Jaguars vs. Bengals Odds & Predictions: An Expert Pick For This Thursday Night Football Over/Under
Getty Images. Pictured: Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence, Bengals QB Joe Burrow
|Time||8:20 p.m. ET|
The 2-1 Bengals are 7-point favorites over the 0-3 Jaguars on Thursday Night Football, so it’s no surprise that 71% of the bets and 60% of the money has come in on Cincinnati as of writing — yet the line hasn’t budged (see more public betting data here).
The total sits between 45.5 and 46.5 across the market, with 57% of the action on the over and 68% of the money on the under.
When the Bengals Have the Ball
The Bengals will be without Tee Higgins for the second straight week due to a shoulder injury. Losing a wide receiver of Higgins’ caliber would typically move the odds, but considering the Bengals still have Tyler Boyd and Ja’Marr Chase at their disposal, I’m not altering my spread or total rating.
In fact, their matchup improved after the Jaguars inexplicably traded 2020 first-round cornerback C.J. Henderson to the Panthers for tight end Dan Arnold. The move forces the Jaguars to test their CB depth, and I expect Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow to pick on second-round rookie CB Tyson Campbell on Thursday night.
Bengals guard Xavier Su’a-Filo is doubtful, which means second-rounder Jackson Carman will be starting again. According to PFF, the rookie didn’t allow a single pressure on 19 pass-blocking snaps in his spot start last week, so I’m expecting Burrow to have a clean pocket again.
The Bengals offense should move the ball with ease against the Jaguars’ 27th ranked defense in Football Outsiders’ DVOA.
When the Jaguars Have the Ball
Trevor Lawrence is off to a horrific start. His seven interceptions are tied for the most in the NFL and his 76.1% catchable rate ranks dead-last among 35 qualified QBs.
It’s hard to imagine him turning things around with only three days to prepare against a defense that ranks fourth in DVOA on the season. However, the Bengals defense is contending with injuries to key players.
Cincinnati will be without safety Jessie Bates (neck) while CB Chidobe Awuzie (groin) is listed as doubtful. Bates’ absence is significant as he’s arguably a top-five safety in the league. Nevertheless, it gives me some hope that Lawrence will be able to flash (at times) why the Jaguars drafted him No. 1 overall.
The sharp play here would be to take the points on the winless, hopeless Jaguars — but I’m not going to put any hard-earned money on them until they prove they can play a competitive, close game. So, therefore, the play is here on the over.
The Bengals offense should be able to have their way against the Jaguars defense. However, it’ll be up to Lawrence and the Jaguars to put up enough points early to ensure the Bengals offense keeps its foot on the gas. With Bates out and Awuzie likely to miss, that becomes a possibility.
It also doesn’t hurt that the Jaguars rank first in pace of play through three games.
What looks like another awful Thursday Night Football matchup could turn into a sneaky shootout. The market is starting to move up here, with some books already up to 46.5 as of writing, so lock this over in sooner than later.
Pick: Over 45.5 | Bet to 47