The AFC South-leading Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1) try to win a second straight game for the first time since 2019 when they visit the Los Angeles Chargers (1-1) at SoFi Stadium in Week 3.
Jacksonville beat the snot out of the Indianapolis Colts 24-0 as 3-point home underdogs Sunday. Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence completed 25-of-30 throws for 235 passing yards with 2 TDs and 0 INT with a 121.5 QB Rating vs. the Colts.
L.A. choked away a Week 2 visit to the Kansas City Chiefs 27-24 on Thursday Night Football. Chargers QB Justin Herbert threw a game-altering pick-six against the Chiefs in the fourth quarter to put K.C. ahead for good.
Betting Deets (DraftKings)
- Moneyline (ML): JAGUARS (+255), Chargers (-305)
- Against the spread (ATS): JAGUARS +7 (-110), Chargers -7 (-110)
- Total (O/U) — 47 — O: -110, U: -110
The Chargers Still Have To Prove It
There’s a glass-half-empty outlook for L.A.’s 1-1 start. Sure, the Chargers faced two divisional foes including the almighty Chiefs and Las Vegas Raiders in Week 1. L.A. tried to give away that game against Vegas, which the Chargers won 24-19.
The Chargers have only been 7-point favorites or greater five times since Herbert’s rookie season (2018). L.A. is 3-2 ATS in those games. But, those opponents were garbage.
These slouches included the 1-win Jaguars and 2-win New York Giants in 2020 and 4-win Giants, 4-win Houston Texans and 7-win Denver Broncos.
Do you know what all those teams have in common? Their head coaches were fired after the season. As you’ll read below, the Jaguars have a lot more going to them than those crappy teams.
And I know there’s a big lovefest in NFL media for Herbert. But, can the Chargers win some games before Herbert is anointed into the top-tier of NFL quarterbacks?
Jacksonville’s Roster Is Stacked
Three of Jacksonville’s front seven have All-Pro potential and the Jaguars spent the most in free agency this offseason by roughly $80 million.
Jacksonville DE Travon Walker is the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Fourth-year DE Josh Allen is Pro Football Focus’s eighth-best graded pass rusher and hitting his prime.
Jaguars rookie LB Devin Lloyd is already the quarterback of their defense. Lloyd’s college coach — Utah Utes’ Kyle Whittingham — called Lloyd the greatest defensive player he’s ever coached.
Also, Jacksonville signed a bunch of talented vets this offseason such as WRs Christian Kirk and Zay Jones, RG Brandon Scherff and LB Foye Oluokun. All of whom have made a good impact thus far.
Most importantly, Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence is starting to show the potential that got him selected No. 1 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Lawrence has the fourth-best expected points added per play-completion percentage over expectation composite. Two spots ahead of the Chargers’ superstar quarterback.
Even though L.A. has perhaps the most talent in the NFL (on paper), the Chargers aren’t 7 points better than the Jaguars from a roster standpoint. L.A. sure as hell doesn’t have the better coaching staff.
Jacksonville’s Coaching Edge
Pederson nailed that go-for-it on 4th Down shit while coaching the Philadelphia Eagles during their 2018 Super Bowl win. He pulled out trick plays en route to a Super Bowl title in an underrated coaching performance.
Chargers head coach Brandon Staley got punked out of going for it after his first year on the job. Staley lacks conviction and is still learning plus-EV game management.
At least, Pederson has an identity and track record. It’s only been two games, but the Jaguars and Lawrence look a lot better under Pederson than the previous coach.
The Jaguars Are Healthier
Herbert sustained fractured rib cartilage from a hit he received in L.A.’s 27-24 loss to K.C. Thursday. I’m no doctor but fractured ribs don’t heal in 10 days. In fact, OutKick’s Dr. David Chao called it a lingering injury.
The same staff that is working on Herbert further injured former Chargers QB Tyrod Taylor in Herbert’s rookie season. Taylor’s injury opened the door for Herbert to take the reigns of L.A.’s offense. Coincidentally, Taylor was injured on the same medical procedure Herbert requires; rib injections.
One of the sharper oddsmakers in the world thinks Herbert’s injury is more of a concern than the Chargers are letting on. As of Wednesday evening, Pinnacle Sportsbook took the Jaguars-Chargers game off the board. Hmmm…
L.A. also has injuries to other key players including Pro Bowlers in No. 1 WR Kennan Allen, C Corey Linsley and CB J.C. Jackson.
Finally, there’s a Pros vs. Joe’s scenario in the DraftKings Sportsbook‘s betting market. According to VSIN, more than 60% of the money is on the Jaguars ATS. While nearly two-thirds of the bets placed are on the Chargers ATS at the time of publishing.
Since sharps bet heavier units than the public, it’s typically wise to follow the cash column of the betting splits. Maybe the sharps know L.A.’s medical staff is going to seriously injure another Chargers quarterback. Or maybe there’s just value in Jacksonville plus the points.
Either way, BET the JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS +7 (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook while it’s still at a key number. I’m also SPRINKLING on the JAGUARS (+255) ML.
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