The Jacksonville Jaguars continue to get defensive play that is, at times, on a dominant level. They demonstrated that last week, but now have a different challenge as they take on the Los Angeles Chargers in a game that will begin at 1 PM ET on Sunday at EverBank Field. CBS will televise this game on a regional basis, and you are a VietBetcustomer, you can get real-time wagering even after the game kicks off when you take advantage of what’s available through Live Betting Ultra.
The Chargers (3-5 straight-up, 3-4-1 ATS) got off to a horrific start, losing their first four games, although they were oh-so close to something better, as three of those four losses were by a field goal or less. So was just a matter of closing out games, and they have done that in victories against the Giants and Raiders, and they really handcuffed the Denver Broncos in a 21-0 victory. Last time out, they lost by eight points at New England, and then Anthony Lynn gave the team the whole bye week off so that they could be fresh coming into this week preparation.
The Jaguars (5-3, both straight-up and against the points) have been utterly dominant in the five games they’ve won, giving up a total of 30 points. So when they have the edge, they really exploit it. And they beat Cincinnati 23-7 last time out even without Leonard Fournette, who was basically sat down for a one-game internal suspension (violating teams rules). The front office has made some smart acquisitions, including defensive end Calais Campbell, who is one of the favorites for Defensive Player of the Year with 11 sacks at the halfway mark.
In the NFL betting odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at VietBet, the Jaguars are the favorites at home:
Jacksonville Jaguars -3.5 (-115)
Los Angeles Chargers +3.5 (-105)
Over 41 points -110
Under 41 points -110
It has been very important for Jacksonville that they take pressure off Blake Bortles, a quarterback who can be productive, but also takes chances and makes mistakes. Fournette, drafted in the first round out of LSU, has, for the most part, fulfilled that, with 596 yards. But he missed a game with injury and then, as mentioned, set out last week. Nonetheless, Bortles has thrown only five interceptions, and that is half as many as he had at this same point last season.
The Chargers’ quarterback, Philip Rivers, has at about the same completion percentage as Bortles, and also throws for 7.1 yards per attempt. The Chargers had been a team without balance, but Lynn, the first-year head coach who was an assistant with the Buffalo Bills last year before getting the interim job upon Rex Ryan’s firing, is trying to move more toward the ground game. Melvin Gordon is averaging four yards per carry, and VietBet patrons know he’ll come in handy in this game, especially as Jacksonville is incredibly stingy in the secondary, yielding only 4.9 yards per attempt and allowing only four touchdown passes in the first eight games.
Jacksonville has not always been the most proficient team at home, and they’ll have to get off to a good start here, because the Chargers have jumped out of the gate quickly, outscoring their opponents 50-21 in the opening stanza.
The Jags want to run the ball; that’s their game. And they have called running plays more frequently than any team in the NFL (52.9% of the time, in fact). So it is incumbent upon the Chargers, who have great bookend pass rushers and Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa, to tighten up in the middle and stop the run. We’re going to be on the “under” in this one.
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