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Chargers vs. Jaguars Picks: Prop Projections for Austin Ekeler, Every Key Player

Chargers vs. Jaguars Picks: Prop Projections for Austin Ekeler, Every Key Player article feature image
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Harry How/Getty Images. Pictured: Austin Ekeler.

  • With player prop markets available for the Wild Card Round, Sean Koerner has run his data early in the week.
  • Koerner has laid out every key player's market for Chargers vs. Jaguars.
  • Check out Koerner's breakdowns and early betting pick below.

Follow Sean Koerner in the Action App to get all his betting picks, including his player props.


Chargers vs. Jaguars Picks: Player Props

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Justin Herbert
Austin Ekeler
Keenan Allen
Mike Williams
Josh Palmer
Gerald Everett
Trevor Lawrence
Travis Etienne
Christian Kirk
Zay Jones
Marvin Jones
Evan Engram
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Chargers Odds -2.5
Jaguars Odds +2.5
Moneyline -122 / +104
Over/Under 47.5
Time Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET
TV NBC
Odds via FanDuel.

Chargers vs. Jaguars Matchup Analysis: DVOA Breakdown

Offense
Defense
Edge
Overall DVOA 9 16
Pass DVOA 6 10
Rush DVOA 20 29
Offense
Defense
Edge
Overall DVOA 19 26
Pass DVOA 17 30
Rush DVOA 22 11

Chargers

What They’re Going Up Against

  • Jaguars pace: 9th
  • Opposition plays allowed: 4th most
  • Blitz percentage: 15th
  • Pressure rate: 4th
  • Zone vs. Man: 21st zone, 12th man

QB Justin Herbert

Herbert has had both Keenan Allen and Mike Williams at his disposal in four games this season. However, Williams left Week 18’s loss to the Broncos due to back spasms in what was a meaningless game.

With Williams’ status potentially up in the air, I’m not interested in betting any Herbert props yet.

On paper, this is a very good matchup for the Chargers‘ passing attack. The Jaguars are a pass-funnel defense, and L.A. is perfectly equipped to take advantage.

I’m in line with the current market for Herbert at 281.5 passing yards.


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RB Austin Ekeler

Despite the Jaguars being a pass-funnel defense, I do think there are quite a few factors going in favor of Ekeler’s rushing total going over this week.

1) The Chargers always do a good job of limiting Ekeler’s workload during the regular season. He averaged a 50% share of rush attempts and was healthy for all 17 regular-season games.

If the Chargers decide to increase his workload at the expense of Joshua Kelley or Larry Rountree (which I don’t see why they wouldn’t do given the high stakes of a playoff game), Ekeler could end up with a few more rush attempts than usual. That gives him nice upside on rushing yards.

2) Both of these teams play at a fairly fast pace, and the Jaguars allow the fourth-most plays per game in the NFL. We could see elevated play volume for the Chargers, which would in turn increase Ekeler’s potential workload.

3) The Chargers are more likely to have a positive game script.

The betting market has them as 2.5-point favorites, as of Tuesday night, and I think a key factor will be the returning Joey Bosa against a shaky Jaguars offensive line. The Jaguars offense has struggled during this three-game winning streak. It doesn’t seem as likely that the Chargers will end up in a situation where they have to abandon the run.

4) Shawn Smith is the referee for this game, and his crew tends to call offensive holding at a very low rate. He’s averaging the second-fewest offensive holding calls per game this season and called the fewest such penalties per game last season.

Holding calls can be detrimental to a rushing prop because they often happen after a player rips off a big run. Those kinds of penalties can kill a drive and force teams into pass-heavy situations.

I’m going to lock this prop in now since it will likely go up as we near Saturday night’s kickoff. I’m projecting Ekeler for closer to 13 rush attempts with a median of 54.5 rushing yards. Given all of the factors listed above, I like his upside in the market.

Pick: Austin Ekeler Over 47.5 Rushing Yards

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WR Keenan Allen

With Williams’ status potentially up in the air, we don’t have a market right now for any Chargers wide receivers or tight ends as of Tuesday night.

Considering the fact that Allen is playing at a high level right now and that this is a plus matchup for him, his prop deserves to be pretty high here.

I typically fade wide receivers who will be matched up across Tyson Campbell on the outside, but Allen will likely avoid him most of the game. Allen will likely match up with Tre Herndon for most of the game, and I expect Herbert will target him early and often.

This prop depends on Williams’ status, but I’m guessing we’ll see it pop up around 75.5 receiving yards.


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WR Mike Williams

Assuming Williams plays, he’ll likely be matched up with Campbell on the outside. Even if his back is closer to 100% by kickoff, he could struggle here.

The starting point for this prop would be around 55.5 receiving yards if Williams is 100%. How much it looks like he’ll be limited by his back will determine how much I lower his prop and determine if it’s worth betting.


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WR Josh Palmer

If Williams ends up being limited by his back, Palmer will benefit. That means we won’t see any betting markets for Palmer until we have a better idea of what to expect from Williams.

The Chargers’ wide receivers are very volatile this week, but we’ll hopefully have more clarity on the situation closer to kickoff.


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TE Gerald Everett

We also are unlikely to see a market for Everett until there’s more more clarity on Williams’ situation.

Everett could have similar upside to Ekeler in terms of seeing an increase in playing time now that we’ve reached the playoffs.

Everett has averaged a 57% routes run rate over the Chargers’ last five games, ceding snaps to Donald Parham, Tre’ McKitty and Stone Smartt. Los Angeles will likely continue to use Parham on 30-35% of dropbacks, but I can see them cutting back on snaps for McKitty and Smartt to give Everett and Parham more playing time.

The Jaguars rank 32nd in the NFL against opposing tight ends, so there could be some nice value in Everett’s receiving props. Right now, I have him projected for three receptions and a median of 28.5 receiving yards.


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Jaguars

What They’re Going Up Against

  • Chargers pace: 5th
  • Opposition plays allowed: 3rd fewest
  • Blitz percentage: 9th
  • Pressure rate: 23rd
  • Zone vs. Man: 23rd zone, 14th man

QB Trevor Lawrence

Lawrence has cooled off after the best stretch of his young career, which came from Weeks 9-15. He has averaged just 198 passing yards per game and only has one touchdown pass over his last three games.

The 2021 No. 1 overall pick has been dealing with a nagging toe injury, which could be the culprit, but he’s also playing behind a shaky offensive line without left tackle Cam Robinson, who suffered a season-ending injury.

Considering the Chargers finally have Bosa back, this will be a tough test for Jacksonville as it tries to contain the pass-rushing duo of him and Khalil Mack.

I’m in line with the current market for all Lawrence props, so I don’t see much of an investment opportunity here.

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RB Travis Etienne

Etienne predictably struggled against a very good Titans run defense last week, only rushing seven times for 17 yards.

The Chargers present a much easier matchup for Etienne, as they rank 29th in DVOA against the run and have allowed a 100-yard rusher in six of their last eight games.

I’m projected Etienne’s median closer to 71.5 rushing yards, which is a few yards lower than the market right now, but I have no interest in taking his under.


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WR Christian Kirk

I’m currently in line with Kirk’s receiving prop of 55.5 yards, but his longest reception prop at DraftKings is 22.5 yards and there could be some value on the over.

Here’s why:

  • Kirk has cleared this number in 12 of 17 games this season.
  • Kirk had an Average Depth of Target of more than 10 yards in six games this season, two of which have come in the Jaguars’ last four games.
  • The Chargers have allowed the fifth-most receptions of 15 or more yards down the field to slot receivers this season and the second-highest QB Rating on those attempts.
  • Lawrence leaned heavily on Kirk against the Titans in a playoff-like game to the tune of six receptions for 99 yards and a touchdown. Look for something similar this week.

Lean: Kirk — Longest Reception Over 22.5 Receiving Yards


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WR Zay Jones

Jones went off for 10 receptions, 85 yards and a touchdown when these teams met back in Week 3.

While he’s had an outstanding season, he has struggled in the Jaguars’ last three games, during which he’s posted receiving lines of 1-14-0, 3-24-0 and 4-21-0.

Jones could easily break out of his slump this week, but he isn’t a player I’m interested in betting on either way right now.


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WR Marvin Jones

Marvin Jones’ prop market is always an interesting one to monitor. He’s usually the odd man out in the Jaguars’ passing attack and is usually a good fade, but his underlying usage has been trending upward of late. Jones is seeing a target rate of 22% over his last four games, compared to his season-long rate of 16.9%.

Books are probably hesitant to float a market for Jones yet because Jamal Agnew is dealing with a shoulder injury, which makes his status unknown. If Agnew is ruled out, I would raise Jones’ projection by a few yards.

At this point, I’m projecting Jones’ median closer to 30.5 yards with Agnew in and bumped to 33.5 if the special-teams star is ruled out.


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TE Evan Engram

Engram is one of the biggest teases at the tight end position. He will have stretches like Weeks 13-16 when he looks unstoppable, but he’ll follow it up with back-to-back duds, going 1-16-0 and 4-27-0 in Weeks 17 and 18.

Engram has a wide range of outcomes right now and isn’t someone I’m comfortable betting on his median projection. Luckily, I’m in line with his yardage prop in the range of 40-45 yards.

Engram has more value in a “Who will have the most receiving yards in the game?” kind of market where you can invest in his massive upside. I’ll be keeping an eye out for that market, with his name being one that could offer some value.


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