Los Angeles Chargers vs Jacksonville Jaguars Pick and Preview
AFC Wild Card Matchup
Point Spread: Jaguars +2.5 | Total Points: 47.5
Heading into the game, the Chargers are the 5th ranked team in the AFC with a record of 10-7. Against other teams in the Conference, they have a mark of 7-5. Heading into this Wild Card Weekend matchup, the Chargers will look to get back in the win column, as they are coming off a 31-28 loss to the Denver Broncos. Los Angeles went into the game as the 6.5-point underdogs on the spread. Going into the game, the over-under total was set at 39 points, which the teams surpassed.
This week, the Jaguars travel to take on the Chargers, having won 5 straight games leading to an overall record of 9-8. Going back to last week, the Jaguars picked up a win in the AFC South, as they defeated the Titans by a score of 20-16. In terms of betting, Jacksonville did not cover the spread in their win, as they entered as the -5.5 point favorites. The two teams combined point total of 36 remained below the betting line of 39.
Chargers vs Jaguars History
In the previous matchup between the two teams, the Jaguars came out on top by a score of 38-10. This matchup took place back in week 3. Heading into the game, the Jaguars were the 6.5-point underdogs on the spread, giving them a win vs the spread. The over-under betting line going into the game was set at 46.0 points. The two teams combined to surpass this figure with a total of 48.
In the last 3 head-to-head matchups, the Chargers are averaging 31 points per game, compared to the Jaguars at 25. These figures have led to Los Angeles posting a record of 2-1. Jacksonville will look to do a better job at home in this series, as across their 3 most recent home games vs Los Angeles, they are just 1-2. Los Angeles holds a recent edge vs the spread, going 4-1 in the previous 5 meetings. These games have finished with an average point total of 51, leading to an over-under mark of 4-1.
Keys To Victory: Los Angeles Chargers
This year, the Chargers offense is ranked 13th in the league at 23.0 points per contest. The Chargers have made up for half of the scoring in their games. Look for the Chargers to rely heavily on the passing attack in this week’s matchup, as not only are they one of the better teams at moving the ball through the air, but they have a good matchup against a Jaguars defense that is ranked just 28th in yards per game vs the pass. Los Angeles quarterback Justin Herbert comes into this week’s game with an excellent matchup vs a Jacksonville defense, allowing an average of 238.5 yards per game through the air. So far, Herbert has thrown for 4739 yards and has one of the best passer ratings at 93.2. Mike Williams is the team’s top receiver, coming into the game with 895 receiving yards. For the season, he has been the recipient of 24.0% of the pass attempts to wide receivers.
This week, don’t expect the Chargers to find much success on the ground, as they are not only one of the worst rushing teams in the NFL, but they have a tough matchup against a Jaguars defense giving up just 114.8 yards per game against the run. So far, the team’s leading rusher is Austin Ekeler, who is averaging 4.5 yards per attempt. Through 17 games, he has rushed for a total of 915 yards on the ground.
Keys To Victory: Jacksonville Jaguars
On offense, the Jaguars are ranked 10th in the league at 23.8 points per game. They will need a strong offensive performance in order to pull out the win as 2-point underdogs. For the season, Lawrence is averaging 241.9 passing yards per game through the air. This figure has him sitting 14th among quarterbacks. Lawrence is coming off a 212 yard performance, leading to a passer rating of 92.2. Christian Kirk has been targeted 133 times and has caught 63.2% of the passes thrown his way. He comes into the game with a total of 1108 receiving yards.
Jacksonville has managed to put together a strong scoring offense despite finishing the year as a mediocre running team. Against Los Angeles, running back Travis Etienne Jr. is expected to get his fair share of carries and has run for a total of 1125 this year. As a team, Jacksonville is just 14th in the NFL in rush yards per game.
- Los Angeles is 3-2 ATS in their last 5 games on the road.
- Los Angeles is 3-2 ATS in their last 5 games at home.
- Los Angeles is 5-4-1 ATS in their last 10 games as the favorite.
- Los Angeles is 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games as the underdog.
Looking at our NFL Picks for the wild card playoff weekend, you’ll see the Jaguars are our only upset pick of the week. We like the Jaguars’ young defense and feel confident with Doug Pederson back in the playoffs. After a quiet couple of weeks from Trevor Lawrence, we expect a surprisingly fast start that catches the Chargers off guard.
Pick the Jaguars as the spoiler of the week.