Chiefs vs. Jaguars Betting Odds & Predictions: Is the Market Undervaluing Jacksonville?
Photo credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Tyreek Hill and Jalen Ramsey
Chiefs at Jaguars Betting Odds
- Odds: Chiefs -3.5
- Total: 51.5
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: CBS
All odds above are as of Thursday evening and via PointsBet.
These franchises slid in opposite directions last season, with the Chiefs jumping to 12 wins and an AFC Championship appearance and the Jaguars dropping to five wins after nearly making the Super Bowl in 2017.
All eyes will be on Patrick Mahomes as he builds on last year’s MVP campaign, but are his Chiefs overvalued in this road spot? Our analysts dive into the game, betting odds, matchups and more.
Chiefs-Jaguars Injury Report
Considering the Chiefs had zero players listed on their injury report, they win the healthiest team award. The Jaguars are also in good shape with defensive lineman Marcell Dareus and linebacker D.J. Alexander as the only two players on the first injury report.
One player to watch is Marqise Lee, who is coming off an ACL tear and was listed as a full participant on Wednesday. Lee appears healthy enough to play, but it’s unclear how many snaps he’ll receive. — Justin Bailey
Note: Info as of Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.
Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds
- Projected Spread: Chiefs -2.5
- Projected Total: 51
The Jaguars were one of five teams to receive an A grade in my Buy/Sell Ratings, so I’ll be looking to back them early in the season. They’re up against the top team in my power ratings in the Chiefs, whom I have as only -2.5 favorites in this one.
Sign me up for Jaguars +3.5 to lock in the most valuable number against the spread in 3.
Most of the action has been on Kansas City here and the line still dropped from +4.5 to +3.5. A lot of the line movement early this summer was due to Tyreek Hill going from likely to be suspended/released to not suspended/available to play Week 1. Wide receivers typically don’t impact a line, but Hill is so dynamic that he’d be worth 0.5-1 points, especially on a weak number like 4.5.
We’re able to filter out the noise now and can safely conclude that the number has dropped a full point due to sharp action, and I still think there’s value here. — Sean Koerner
Leonard Fournette vs. Kansas City’s Run Defense
From all indications, Fournette is in the best shape of his NFL career. A strong rookie season in 2017 was followed with a huge disappointment last season, causing many to question if he is truly a three-down bell cow.
After losing 20 pounds and training through the offseason, Fournette looked explosive in the preseason. Jacksonville’s offensive line is healthy, with left tackle Cam Robinson scheduled to start after ACL reconstruction and 6-foot-5, 315-pound rookie Jawaan Taylor starting at right tackle. Playing at home with a new offensive coordinator in John DeFilippo should provide an optimal setting for the Jaguars to establish the ground game.
More importantly, they face a Chiefs defense that was far and away the NFL’s worst against the run last season. Kansas City ranked last in Football Outsiders’ run defense DVOA and allowed 132.1 rushing yards per game in 2018, ranking sixth-worst in the league.
Per Sharp Football, the Chiefs ranked last in Early Down Success Rate, which would allow Jacksonville to gain favorable down and distance opportunities and keep the Chiefs offense off the field. Kansas City’s personnel additions of defensive ends Frank Clark and Alex Okafor should help that unit, but can it compensate for the losses of Justin Houston and linebacker Dee Ford?
Jacksonville will need to limit the opportunities for Mahomes, which will mean maintaining its slow pace from the first half of games last season. The Jaguars ranked 30th with an average of 29.81 seconds per play in the first half of games, but became more uptempo as they entered the second half, usually playing from behind. Fournette was a true nightmare in 2017, averaging 3.7 targets along with 80 rushing yards per game.
With Jacksonville’s defense having their biggest test of the season in Week 1, DeFilippo will try to control the time of possession behind Fournette and an improved offensive line. The key is whether Kansas City’s new defensive coordinator, Steve Spagnuolo, can improve a run defense that was thrashed weekly in 2018. — Mike Randle
Stuckey: Jaguars +3 or better
When these two teams met last year in Arrowhead, the 5-0 Chiefs were 3-point favorites over the Jaguars. If you assume nothing has changed since then, that would imply the Jaguars should be about a 3.5- to 4-point favorite here.
But they opened as a 3.5- to 4-point dog and now sit around 3.5/4. So, what gives?
Well, obviously the Chiefs ended up being much better than many had anticipated and the Jaguars continued to slide for the remainder of the season. But I still think this is an overreaction– remember that season-to-season regression is vicious in the NFL.
The Jaguars were simply not as bad as they looked on the field in 2018 — one year removed from the AFC Championship game.
- They dealt with atrocious QB play from Blake Bortles
- Injuries plagued them throughout the season
- They went 2-6 in games decided by six or fewer and 0-3 in field goal games
- They recovered only 39% of fumbles compared to 58% the year prior
Look no further than last season’s matchup, which was a microcosm of the Jags’ year. It looks like a blowout on paper (31-14 KC win), but Bortles threw four picks (including one returned for a TD) and lost a fumble.
Bortles has since been replaced by Nick Foles in one of the biggest QB upgrades of the offseason. And the Jags are much healthier on defense and in the backfield with Fournette, who should have plenty of success running against a suspect KC run defense.
Jacksonville also upgraded in the trenches and has two elite corners who will come in handy against the explosive Chiefs offense. While the Jags do play a ton of Cover 3 and 4 with some man mixed in, Jalen Ramsey will still shadow Hill. Now, there are questions at safety, and Travis Kelce could have a massive day, but this Jags defense can match up with KC.
Andy Reid is excellent with time to prepare (17-3 after a bye) and the Chiefs have excelled in September the past few seasons. KC has also been nails in season openers under Reid, including three straight road wins over eventual playoff teams.
But this number is just an outrageous market overreaction. I’m buying the Jags and have them circled as a potential team to bet throughout September.
Collin Wilson: Jaguars +3.5
The Jaguars have a legitimate shot at winning the AFC, and Week 1 is their first chance to prove that. The 2018 season was marred with a record of 0-4 in games decided by a field goal or less and 2-6 in games decided by fewer than six points. There’s still plenty of defensive retention from a 2017 roster that led New England in the fourth quarter of the AFC Championship.
Bortles exits the roster; Reid-quarterback Foles enters.
Some will point to Foles having motivation to show up Reid and Kansas City, but the real story is DeFilippo — the new play-caller for the Jags whose history includes a stint as offensive coordinator for the Super Bowl-winning Eagles, led by none other than Foles.
Regression for Mahomes is expected after the loss of superior weapons in 2018’s run to the AFC title game. Kansas City leaves the frying pan of the midwest for the 90-degree coastal humidity. Take the Jaguars to win this game outright and for their AFC Championship odds to increase.