Dolphins vs. Jaguars Odds & Pick: Your Thursday Night Football Betting Guide
Photo credit: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images. Pictured: Gardner Minshew
Editor’s note: With the total rising from 48.5 to 49 on Thursday morning, we’ve updated the odds and pick below.
Dolphins vs. Jaguars Odds
Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Gardner Minshew is the football equivalent of the meme of Spider Man pointing at himself.
Facial hair aside, it’s crazy how similar these two quarterbacks are.
Both were drafted outside the first five rounds and are likely too good for their teams to truly tank. Fitzpatrick wasn’t supposed to be able to lead the 2019 Dolphins to a 5-11 record, but he did, failing to secure the No. 1 pick along the way. In the end, it all worked out as they ended up drafting Tua Tagovailoa anyway. Now the Jaguars are in rebuilding mode and look primed to enter the Trevor Lawrence draft sweepstakes, but like Fitzpatrick last season, Gardner Minshew is likely to play too well for the Jags to secure the first overall pick.
Tonight could be pivotal in whether the Jaguars ultimately move forward with Minshew as their franchise quarterback.
I have the Jaguars projected as 3-point favorites against the Dolphins, which is right in line with the market — after the spread opened at -2.5, it was quickly bet to -3, where it’s been parked ever since. The public is fully behind Minshew as 70% of the bets have come in on the Jaguars as of writing (see real-time public betting data here).
I’m staying away from the spread at this number, though — not only is -3 spot on, but this is a matchup of two QBs who are very tough to project.
That said, I’m focusing on the total.
The public clearly wants to watch a shootout between two exciting quarterbacks as 79% of the tickets and 94% of the money have come in on the over as of writing. That action has pushed the total all the way up to 49 at some sportsbooks — two points higher than my projection of 46.5.
Generally, the Dolphins should be involved in lower-scoring games this season as they made significant additions on defense and brought in two veteran running backs in hopes to run the ball more. It hasn’t been either Jordan Howard or Matt Breida who has stepped up to be the lead back, though. Instead, it’s been 2019 seventh-round pick Myles Gaskin who has earned the honors. He’s off to a great start, too, with 86 yards on 16 carries (5.4 yards per carry) and 10 receptions through two games.
That’s allowed the Dolphins to become a bit more balanced — after passing at the second-highest rate in 2019 at 65.9%, they’ve dipped to 62.3% (sixth) so far in 2020.
This matchup should be close, forcing both teams to operate more balanced conservative game plans on a short week. The Jaguars also play at the NFL’s slowest pace (32) in game neutral situations while the Dolphins are around league average (17th).
I’m fading the public and saying this will be a lower-scoring affair than expected.
Getting the 2.5 extra points between my 46.5-point projection and the 49-point line at PointsBet is especially valuable when you consider 47 and 48 are key numbers when it comes to betting totals.
PICK: Under 49