Detroit Lions vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Matchup Preview (10/18/20): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)
Detroit Lions vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Matchup Preview (10/18/20): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)
Neither the Lions nor the Jaguars made the playoffs last season and both teams sit well outside of the playoff picture as we enter Week 6. These teams are not dead in the playoff race with the expanded 7-seed format in each conference, but this is a must-win game if either team wants to make a real late-season push. Coming off its bye week, Detroit is trending towards full health as there were only two Lions players to miss practice on Wednesday. For the Jaguars, they have been bit by the injury bug in recent weeks as several key players have missed or been limited in practice this week. I’ll discuss those concerns for Jacksonville in the team breakdown below. It’s always tough to draw on past results for intra-conference matchups but it is worth noting that the Lions and Jaguars are tied at 3-3 in their all-time series. This game should be a pretty close contest between these two teams who are desperate for a victory. For odds movement and full matchup history, visit the Detroit Lions at Jacksonville Jaguars Matchup Page.
Date: Sunday, October 18th, 2020
Time: 1:00 PM ET
Location: EverBank Field, Jacksonville, FL
TV Coverage: FOX
Lions vs. Jaguars Live Stream
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Detroit Lions: H. Bryant (concussion) DNP, D. Trufant (hamstring) DNP, C. Jones (knee) LP, C. Moore (calf) LP, F. Ragnow (groin) LP, D. Hand (chest) FP, N. Williams (shoulder) FP, B. Scarborough IR eligible to return, J. Coleman IR eligible to return, M. Ford IR eligible to return, J. Dahl IR eligible to return
Jacksonville Jaguars: L. Shenault Jr. (hamstring) DNP, D. Chark (ankle) DNP, C. Claybrooks (quad) DNP, T. Eifert (neck) DNP, D. Allen (foot) DNP, J. Allen (knee) Q, M. Jack (ankle) LP, C. Henderson (shoulder) LP, A. Jones (ankle/hamstring) LP, D. Hayden IR, J. Lambo IR, J. Wilson IR, D. Ozigbo IR, Q. Williams IR, T. Brock IR
Detroit Lions Analysis
The Lions head into this game at 1-3 with not a whole lot going right this season. With a 10-25-1 record in three seasons as the Lions’ head coach, it may be time for Detroit to consider moving on from Matt Patricia with another loss here. However, with Matthew Stafford under center, this team will continue to compete at a level that belies their coaching and overall talent. Stafford has been solid if unspectacular this season with 1,017 passing yards, 8 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions. It’s worth noting that since Kenny Golladay returned to the lineup, Stafford has thrown for five touchdowns in two games. Against the Jaguars’ poor pass defense, he should have another strong game.
Detroit needs Matthew Stafford to be at his best with how minimally this rushing attack has produced. The three-headed monster of Adrian Peterson, Kerryon Johnson, and rookie D’Andre Swift has the Lions looking at the 9th-fewest rushing yards per game and a below-average rushing offense in efficiency for the umpteenth season in a row. It hasn’t helped at all that the Lions have had a well below-average offensive line this year and with injuries to Frank Ragnow and Joe Dahl, that doesn’t seem likely to change in the immediate future. Swift has shown flashes of brilliance in limited time but Peterson continues to lead the backfield despite being a less efficient option. At this point in time, it does seem like Kerryon Johnson will make a big impact going forward as he only had 3 carries for 9 yards last week.
It can’t be overstated how massive a deal it is for the Lions to have a fully healthy Kenny Golladay. The fourth-year wideout is coming off his first Pro Bowl appearance with 65 receptions for 1,190 yards and 11 touchdowns despite not having Matthew Stafford healthy for half of the season. Golladay has already combined for 10 catches for 119 yards and two touchdowns in his first two games back and his elite downfield receiving helps open up space underneath for Marvin Jones, T.J. Hockenson, Danny Amendola, and the run game. Jones has had an underwhelming season and Hockenson has been hit-or-miss, but both should improve from having Golladay in the lineup. This is an offense that has plenty of skill talent, but Kenny G ties it all together and makes this a legitimately dangerous offense.
Defensively, things have gone very poorly for the Lions. Football Outsiders has them pegged as the third-worst defense in the NFL in overall DVOA and the second-worst in run defense, specifically. Detroit has allowed the most rushing yards in the NFL so far. Their passing defense has also struggled with injuries to key defensive backs in Desmond Trufant and Justin Coleman, both of whom are inching their way closer to returning to action. If either is able to play in this game, it would make a massive impact on a pass coverage unit that has struggled. The Lions’ pass-rush has also been nonexistent as they’ve produced the third-fewest sacks per game. The Lions are going to need to rely on their offense to win them this game.
Detroit Lions Depth Chart
Jacksonville Jaguars Analysis
The Jaguars head into this game at 1-4 with four straight losses. The Texans exposed Jacksonville’s banged-up defense last week as they beat them by 16 points for their first win of the season. Gardner Minshew has had a very strong sophomore year as he’s thrown for 1,344 yards on a 70.3% completion rate with 10 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. Minshew ranks 16th in QBR as well as Football Outsiders’ QB DVOA, but it’s still unclear if he’s their quarterback of the future as it’s becoming increasingly likely that the Jaguars will land a top-three pick and work their way into the range to draft Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields. If Minshew keeps playing this well, though, they may not end up in that draft territory.
Shortly before the start of the season, the Jaguars cut their former starting running back Leonard Fournette. After spending the #4 overall pick on him in 2017, Jacksonville has not had the efficient rushing offense they hoped for. However, undrafted rookie James Robinson has looked stellar in his place so far this season. Robinson has rushed for 333 yards on 73 carries with 3 touchdowns and has also added 19 receptions for 183 yards. He ranks as Football Outsiders’ #15 running back in DVOA and #10 in DYAR so far this season. With a matchup against a run defense that has allowed the most rushing yards this season, Robinson should have a very strong game.
The Jaguars have an exciting group of young skill players that gives this offense legitimate reason for long-term optimism. Third-year wideout D.J. Chark has struggled to stay on the field but he does have 18 catches for 220 yards and 3 touchdowns so far. Chark does rank 1st in FO’s DVOA and 3rd in DYAR so I’m still confident in his ability to produce once he gets past these injuries. In the meantime, Laviska Shenault Jr. led the team with 7 catches for 79 yards. The rookie wideout has looked awesome so far this season and is FO’s #16 wide receiver in DVOA and #19 in DYAR. The Jags have also gotten significant pass-catching production from Keelan Cole, Chris Conley, James Robinson, and their two tight ends Tyler Eifert and James O’Shaughnessy, all of whom will need to step up if Chark and Shenault are unable to take the field this week (both missed practice on Wednesday).
Defensively, things are looking really bad for Jacksonville. After allowing almost 500 yards of offense to the Texans, things haven’t improved as Myles Jack, Josh Allen, and C.J. Henderson were limited or absent from practice on Wednesday. Jacksonville has the worst defense in the NFL this season per Football Outsiders, including the worst pass defense and 12th-worst run defense. If they’re missing those key players from the defense, things bode even worse for them against a dangerous Lions offense. While I like the Jaguars’ skill players and I love me some Gardner Minshew, this defense is going to hold them back from winning many games this season.
Jacksonville Jaguars Depth Chart
Spread: Lions -3, Jaguars +3
Moneyline: Lions -175, Jaguars +140
Over/Under: 54.5 points
As someone who thought the Lions could make the playoffs before the season, I had sworn off betting on them after multiple late-game collapses early in the season. The only problem is, I also swore off betting on the Jaguars somewhere over the past few weeks during their four-game losing streak. Neither of these teams has done anything to instill confidence in bettors as the Lions (1-3 SU, 1-3 ATS) and Jaguars (1-4 SU, 2-3 ATS) have not been profitable teams to bet on. The one thing I am confident in is that both of these offenses are very capable of moving the ball and neither of these defenses are capable of stopping the opponent, especially with both teams dealing with defensive injuries. The Jaguars have not allowed fewer than 30 points since Week 1 and the Lions have scored 20+ points in all four of their games. The over has hit in three of four Lions games and three of five Jaguars games so the over is easily the highlight bet here.
If I was going to bet on a team to win this game or cover the spread, my confidence would be with the Lions. The Jaguars have fallen flat as of late in losses to the Texans, Bengals, and Dolphins, while the last time we saw the Lions, they hung tough with the Saints for much of the afternoon. With D.J. Chark and Laviska Shenault potentially out or limited this week for the Jaguars, other skill players will need to step up. While they certainly have guys who can produce against a beatable Detroit offense, I like the Lions’ playmakers more with Kenny Golladay back on the field. Kenny G is going to dominate what has been a terrible Jaguars pass defense and will help earn his team their second win of the season.
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Daily Fantasy Picks
Kenny G has scored a touchdown in each of his two games this season and should be even more involved as his team is heading off their bye week. The Jaguars’ defense was absolutely torched by Brandin Cooks and the Texans last week and it’s possible they could be without standout rookie cornerback C.J. Henderson. Golladay was a fantasy stud last year and I would not be shocked if he finished as a top-10 guy this week, so this price is very enticing.
For similar reasons as to why I’m buying in on Kenny Golladay, I’m all over Stafford at a low price tag this week. The Jaguars’ pass defense is the worst in the NFL per Football Outsiders and the return of Kenny G boosts Stafford’s upside considerably. In the past three weeks against Deshaun Watson, Joe Burrow, and Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Jags have given up an average of about 22 fantasy points. Start Stafford with confidence.
Jaguars’ rookie running back James Robinson has scored 10+ PPR points in every game this season and his seven targets last week show that even when Jacksonville is trailing in a game, Robinson will still be heavily involved. This week, Robinson takes on the Lions’ defense that has allowed the most fantasy points to running backs this year. With his elite volume and surprisingly great talent, Robinson should be higher-priced and is a smash play in this matchup.
Gardner Minshew has surpassed 300 passing yards in three of his last four games and has now thrown for 10 touchdowns this season. He’s also scored 19+ fantasy points in four of his five games this season. This week, he has the opportunity to take on a Lions defense that has struggled against the pass all year and has allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing QBs. The injuries to D.J. Chark and Laviska Shenault are concerning and if they can’t play that would cap his upside, but I still like Minshew to produce a strong line in a favorable matchup.