Jaguars vs Commanders: Odds, Picks, Prediction for NFL Week 1

Jaguars vs Commanders: Odds, Picks, Prediction for NFL Week 1 article feature image

Scott Taetsch/Getty Images. Pictured: Carson Wentz.

  • Carson Wentz and the Commanders are home favorites in Week 1 against the Jaguars.
  • Trevor Lawrence has a new coach and seems poised to improve in his second season.
  • Anthony Dabbundo breaks down the game and what bet he's on below.

Jaguars vs. Commanders Odds

Sunday, Sept. 11
1 p.m. ET
Jaguars Odds
-114o / -106u
Commanders Odds
-114o / -106u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Both the Jaguars and Commanders failed to make the playoffs and massively underachieved preseason expectations last season. While the Jags were often on the end of jokes across the league because of the Urban Meyer circus and Trevor Lawrence's rookie struggles, Washington went from playoff team and division champ to a 7-10 record.

There's more optimism for both teams this season once again. The Jaguars hired former Super Bowl head coach Doug Pederson and are hoping for a second-year leap from Lawrence. The 2021 No. 1 overall pick showed flashes of improvement at the end of last season, including his best career game against Indianapolis in Week 18 to knock the Colts out of the playoff hunt.

For Washington, the expected improvement is the quarterback. The Commanders traded for former Eagles and Colts QB Carson Wentz.

Despite all of the turnover in Jacksonville with the coaching staff, the lacking home field for Washington and new quarterback could provide some early season uncertainty for the Commanders.

In a matchup of two mediocre teams, is Jacksonville getting too little market respect?

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Jaguars vs. Commanders Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Jaguars and Commanders match up statistically:

Jaguars vs. Commanders DVOA Breakdown (Stats from 2021)
Overall DVOA2727
Pass DVOA3028
Rush DVOA187
Overall DVOA2131
Pass DVOA2231
Rush DVOA1919

Wentz is now on his third team in as many seasons, and there are a lot of reasons to be skeptical of the Commanders offense with him running the show.

Colts head coach Frank Reich’s offense has given a significant bump in EPA+CPOE composite (a measure of efficiency and accuracy) in the last three seasons. Even with the Reich bump, which helped Jacoby Brissett, Phillip Rivers and Wentz last year, the new starter in Washington finished the season 22nd amongst quarterbacks with at least 150 snaps.

Wentz is a below-average starter at this point, and the Commanders have arguably the worst home-field advantage in the NFL. Also, as bad as the Jags defense is on paper, Jacksonville did have plenty of success against Wentz last year. The Jaguars held Indianapolis under 6.8 yards per pass attempt in both meetings.

Lawrence had a disastrous rookie season, but he finished the year with two of his three best games against the Jets and Colts. Only five times did Lawrence average more than seven yards per attempt in a game, and two of those came in Weeks 16-18.

When you match these two teams up on paper, the immediate question mark is how well the Jacksonville offensive line will hold up against the Washington defensive line. The Commanders ranked 12th last season in both adjusted sack rate and adjusted defensive line yards, which makes them a solidly above average unit. Mike Clay's NFL position group ratings puts the line solidly above average.

However, there's reason to believe that the Pederson scheme will help the Jacksonville offensive line. He was excellent with both Wentz during his MVP year and Foles after that in setting him up to get the ball out quickly. Jacksonville was above average in adjusted sack rate despite a rookie quarterback and so the Jaguars could neutralize the strength of the Commanders defense.

Betting Picks

Your perception of this line is heavily tied into how highly you rate the two quarterbacks relative to the market. Lawrence had a terrible rookie season in a bad situation, but I'm of the belief there's a reason he was scouted so favorably and that plenty of quarterbacks went from bad rookie campaigns to have solid NFL careers. Now with a better coach and more stable environment, Lawrence could flourish.

This will be a much more difficult environment for Wentz to thrive in. His accuracy issues have persisted throughout camp.

This game is a classic example of why getting the best of the number is so important in a market as efficient as the NFL. If you liked Jacksonville, there were 3.5s available early in the week and a few available in the market as of writing on Saturday.

If you like Washington, you had plenty of opportunities to snag a -3 on the Commanders. Given that the Commanders will win this game by exactly three points about 10% of the time, that's a massive value add to your wager.

I'm not much of a trends person in general, but road underdogs who failed to make the playoffs the year prior are 73-46-1 against the spread in week 1. It's a classic example of the market overreacting to a poor season the year prior.

I'd bet Jacksonville, but only at +3 or better. Anything less than that is no longer worth a bet.

FanDuel QuickSlip: Jacksonville +3 | Bet to +3

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