The Jaguars return to London in better shape than they were a year ago, but the last few weeks have been a struggle for Jacksonville. The Jaguars have dropped from 2-1 to 2-5 despite fine play from Trevor Lawrence, quickly falling behind in the AFC South. The Broncos are looking to snap a four-game losing streak of their own but may or may not have Russell Wilson available.
Let’s make predictions, dive into the depth charts, and take a look at the odds ahead of Sunday’s matchup in London.
Denver Broncos vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars are 3-point favorites, entering at -165 on the moneyline. The over/under is set at 39 points.
Jacksonville was favored by 3 ahead of its Week 7 loss to the Giants, so be cautious, but this line is the natural result of the Broncos’ offensive futility. Denver is averaging fewer than 15 points per game, and the offense has been bad enough that I’m not sure news about Wilson’s availability will move the line much.
Considering how well the Broncos’ defense has played, under 39 points looks like a good value here – Denver’s last three games have come in under 39.
Denver Broncos vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Prediction
Both of these teams enter on a four-game losing streak, but only one has a completely inept offensive coaching staff. Nathaniel Hackett hasn’t shown anything as the Broncos’ head coach and offensive play-caller, regardless of whether it’s Wilson or Brett Rypien under center. The Jaguars’ defense has been less than impressive over the last two weeks, creating some cause for concern, but it might not matter with the way Denver’s offense has beaten itself since Week 1.
Trevor Lawrence has shown flashes even during this disappointing stretch, and I trust Doug Pederson to figure out his team’s problems before Hackett. Travis Etienne has also begun to play like a top-tier running back and has full control of the backfield after James Robinson was traded.
In what should be a close game, I’ll take the Jaguars to cover -3, but Jaguars moneyline may be the safer play. Under 39 points also works until the Broncos prove otherwise.
- The Broncos are 3-12 ATS in their last 15 games against AFC opponents. This stretch obviously dates back to the Vic Fangio era, but the struggles have carried over
- The Jaguars are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games against a team with a losing record
- The under is 4-0 in the Broncos’ last 4 games following an ATS loss. As bad as their offense has been, the defense is genuinely impressive
Denver Broncos Injuries: Hackett is optimistic QB Russell Wilson will be able to play after missing Week 7 with a hamstring injury. Breakout LB Baron Browning is expected to miss several weeks with a hip injury. RB Javonte Williams remains out for the season with a torn ACL and other damage.
Jacksonville Jaguars Injuries: CB Shaquill Griffin’s status is uncertain after he missed Week 7 with a back injury.
Check out the key matchups and mismatches for Broncos vs. Jaguars below.
Trevor Lawrence vs. Broncos Secondary
The Broncos are allowing only 4.4 yards per pass attempt this season, the best mark in the NFL. Patrick Surtain II is having a tremendous season and might be able to take Christian Kirk out of the equation for Jacksonville. Can Trevor Lawrence adjust like a bonafide NFL quarterback and move the offense anyway?
No quarterback has had a passer rating north of 80 against this Broncos defense since Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 3. If Lawrence can reach that threshold, it should be enough to win.
Broncos Running Game vs. Jaguars Run Defense
The cratering of the Broncos’ offense has largely been the result of Javonte Williams’ injury. A unit that couldn’t pass the ball effectively suddenly can’t run well, which isn’t a great combination.
After the Jaguars let Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones both run for over 100 yards in Week 7, this would be a great opportunity for either Latavius Murray or Melvin Gordon to give Denver’s offense a jolt. The Jaguars also let Miles Sanders run for 134 yards and Dameon Pierce run for 99 yards during this losing streak.