Jaguars vs. Chargers Odds & Picks: How To Bet On A High-Scoring Sunday
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images. Pictured: Gardner Minshew
Jaguars vs. Chargers Odds
The Chargers have been competitive all season but have a record of just 1-4. Now they’re favored at home by more than a touchdown against the 1-5 Jaguars. But should Los Angeles really be laying that many points, even against Jacksonville?
Let’s take a closer look.
The Jaguars have ruled out four players for Sunday: Safety Jarrod Wilson (hamstring), linebacker Myles Jack (ankle), defensive tackle Abry Jones (IR) and tight end Tyler Eifert (neck). Offensive lineman A.J. Cann is listed as questionable.
Jacksonville will look to attack the Chargers behind lead running back James Robinson.
Los Angeles allows only 79.2 rushing yards per game, but has been torched for 7.8 running back receptions per game, the most among all NFL teams. Robinson has been one of the most efficient pass-catching backs in the league, ranking fifth in receptions (23) and third in receiving yards (207).
Gardner Minshew will face a Chargers defense that’s been allowing the following fantasy quarterback performances due to recent injuries: Drew Brees (QB11), Tom Brady (QB2) and Patrick Mahomes (QB8). Minshew’s rushing ability should also benefit from a Chargers defenses that has permitted three rushing scores to the position.
The Chargers pass defense has been strong, but there are areas to exploit. Los Angeles will still be without slot cornerback Chris Harris (foot), leaving Keelan Cole and rookie Laviska Shenault with high-floor potential.
D.J. Chark draws a difficult matchup with shut-down cornerback Casey Hayward, but still brings big-play ability with high volume. Chark totaled 14 targets in Week 5, and ranks second among all wide receivers with eight red zone receptions in just five games.
Jacksonville’s defense has struggled all season, but should receive a boost with the return of defensive end Josh Allen, who set a team rookie record of 10.5 sacks last season. Allen had missed the two previous games with a knee injury.
In Doug Marrone’s coaching tenure, Jacksonville has been a surprising live underdog. When a road underdog by more than a touchdown, Marrone’s Jaguars are a surprising 4-1 against the spread including a close 33-30 loss at Tennessee in Week 2. Per our Bet Labs data, a bettor would have seen a 48.2% Return On Investment betting on the Jaguars in these situations.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers continue to battle serious injuries to key players. RB Austin Ekeler (IR), S Derwin James (season-ending knee injury), LB Drue Tranquill (leg), CB Chris Harris (foot), and guard Trai Turner (groin) will all be out yet again.
RB Justin Jackson surprisingly popped up on the injury report this week with a knee injury, and is listed as questionable.
Los Angeles should get a boost from the return of DE Melvin Ingram and DT Justin Jones, who both returned from injured reserve on Saturday.
Los Angeles is reeling after becoming the first NFL team in 17 years to blow consecutive 17-point leads. Their personnel losses have morphed their defense into a “bend but don’t break” unit. The Chargers lack of ability to force turnovers (four takeaways) and pressure the quarterback (only eight sacks), have allowed opposing offenses to put up big point totals. The Saints and Buccaneers have both cleared the 30-point plateau over the past two weeks.
Los Angeles’ offense has been able to generate points in order to stay competitive. Quarterback Justin Herbert has seven touchdowns with only one interception in the past two games, translating to the overall QB9 and QB4 performances.
The Chargers will get a fully healthy Keenan Allen, which should be a big help to their passing attack. Allen torched Carolina in Week 3 for 13 receptions on 19 targets with 132 receiving yards and a touchdown. Big-play outside receiver Mike Williams has also generated an early connection with Herbert, with two touchdowns and 109 receiving yards against the Saints.
Los Angeles will lean on its pair of running backs against a Jacksonville defense that’s allowed the sixth-most rushing yards and fifth-most fantasy points per game to opposing backfields. Both Justin Jackson and rookie Joshua Kelley should find success against a weak Jaguars rush defense.
Tight ends have also found success against the Jaguars, leaving the consistent Hunter Henry as a safe short-to-intermediate weapon for Herbert. Henry ranks fifth at the position in both receiving yards (268) and completed air yards (155).
Suffering through injuries on both sides of the ball, the Chargers have struggled to put teams away, even while scoring points. Both offenses should find success, which leads me to back the over in a high-scoring battle. The high-scoring potential of this game is in the shadow of other big Week 7 contests.
Jacksonville’s road success and ability to move the ball with Minshew makes this spread too high as well.
I’m taking Jacksonville +7.5 with the over on 49.5 points. I would take this side down to 7, and the total up to 50 points.
PICKS: Jaguars +7.5; Over 49.5