Public Betting Jaguars Line to The Widest It’s Been
The public is squarely on the Jacksonville Jaguars for this Monday Night Football game. Who can blame the people? Jacksonville is at home against the shorthanded Cincinnati Bengals. The visitors are not only without its star quarterback but could also be missing a top receiver, linebacker, and maybe more. As such, the Bengals-Jaguars closing odds keep widening the spread for Jacksonville. The Jaguars are now at nine points, with the total moving down to 38.5.
Location: EverBank Stadium, Jacksonville, FL
Can the Jaguars Be Trusted With This Line?
The Jaguars have won 14 of its last 18 games going back to Week 14 of last season. And now it gets to beat up on the wounded Bengals to go 9-3 and flirt with being the top seed of the AFC. Not so fast. This is the widest line Jacksonville has had since Week 3 of the 2018 season. And guess what: it lost that game 9-6 at home.
This team is not even the most reliable at home. It is just 3-3 for the season and is just 8-13-0 against the spread (ATS) as a favorite since 2017, the last time Jacksonville won 10+ games (which it is on pace to do this 2023). These are unflattering NFL results, so laying nine points or -410 on the moneyline could be reckless.
Look at this team’s performances at home this season. Its only two wins at EverBank came against its division rivals, Indianapolis and Tennessee. Its losses came against Houston, San Francisco, and Kansas City. That’s fair; they’re all playoff-caliber opponents. But then Jacksonville Jaguars was held to 17, three, and nine points against them, respectively. Yikes.
The Jaguars’ offense averages just 4.76 yards per play at home and 40% in red zone scoring percentage. That’s not good enough to be worth their Bengals-Jaguars closing odds, even if they are facing a beat-up team that’s below .500.
Jacksonville is 4-0 against teams at .500 or worse. Maybe using a 6.5-point teaser to cut the line to -2.5 in a two-team parlay is the way to go here. Still, we will not be shocked if the Jaguars poop the bed, especially if it overlooks Cincinnati with bigger games on the horizon: Cleveland and Baltimore.
Can Bengals Shock the World?
Each season, there is a game that produces an upset no one sees coming. Could this be it? Banking on Cincinnati, even at +9, could be a bold pick. This team is down its star quarterback and has injuries to its second-best receiver, Tee Higgins, and its top tackling linebacker, Logan Wilson. To exacerbate their problems, Jake Browning, the new QB, injured the wrist of his throwing hand.
“I thought it could have been a little strain or something like that,” Higgins said about his injury. “But obviously, [we] went in and got the pictures and it was a little worse than we thought.”
With the offense already compromised, a worrying trend sees the team continue to worsen on the NFL defense rankings. The Bengals allowed the offensively-challenged Steelers to accumulate 421 yards last week. If we pair this with its injury-riddled offense, the best bet for the Bengals could be in the NFL over-under. Lay heavy on the under?
Cincinnati managed just 222 yards and 10 points in Jake Browning’s first start last week. The Jaguars allow nearly six yards per play and 21.5 points at home. The former is the third-most generous mark for hosts. But these stats are against teams that are significantly better than the Bengals at this stage.
The total of 38.5 points is not a lot. Jacksonville could cover the ‘over’ nearly by itself if Cincinnati’s defense can’t return to form. It allowed 30 against Houston and 34 against Baltimore. If it hopes to topple the Bengals-Jaguars closing odds, it will have to keep Jacksonville muted.