On Thursday night (10/19/23), the Jacksonville Jaguars face the New Orleans Saints. In this article, find a full matchup preview of this Thursday Night Football game. In addition, find our best bet for Jaguars vs. Saints which is the Saints moneyline and under 40.5 points.
Jacksonville Jaguars Vs. New Orleans Saints Prediction
As I was watching the Jaguars and Saints on Sunday, I couldn’t help but look ahead to this matchup with the knowledge that those results would buy us some good value here. The Jaguars had a 37-20 win over their divisional rival Colts, but their offense still looked unconvincing – they had just 233 yards and 3.8 yards per play, but the Colts had four turnovers to give them the win.
The Jaguars’ offense continues to look off as they haven’t played to the level you’d expect with their talent – they’re just 17th in offensive EPA per play this season. Trevor Lawrence hasn’t taken the MVP leap many expected, and last week, he had three turnover-worthy plays and a poor 46.7 PFF passing grade. He didn’t help his team win.
Going on the road to face the Saints’ defense will be one of his biggest tests of the season to this point – they’re fifth in EPA and third in success rate allowed. New Orleans has arguably the best secondary in the NFL headlined by Marshon Lattimore and Tyrann Mathieu. Edge rusher Carl Granderson is also enjoying a breakout season.
The Saints are coming off a game they arguably should have won against the Texans. They outgained Houston by nearly 150 yards but went 0-3 in the red zone, including two uncharacteristic missed field goals by Ben Grupe, who had made 92% of his field goals prior to that this season.
I haven’t been that impressed with Derek Carr this season, but it does look like his injury issues are in the rearview mirror. Still, his 6.5 yards per attempt rank just 25th in the NFL, and he’s facing a Jaguars defense that ranks top ten by EPA and success rate. He could also be without All Pro tackle Ryan Ramczyk, who had a concussion on Sunday.
The Jaguars are in a brutal schedule spot here. A short week road game against this nasty Saints defense could see them fall flat, especially after they were in London for two weeks recently. I don’t expect an offensive explosion for New Orleans against this stout defense, though, so the under is a strong play here.
I don’t have much faith in the Saints’ offense or their coaching staff as a whole, but I’m willing to back their defense to drive them to a gritty home win on a short week. If I had to make a score prediction for this game, it would be Saints 20-17.
Jacksonville Jaguars Vs. New Orleans Saints Prediction: Saints Moneyline and Under 40.5 points
Jacksonville Jaguars Vs. New Orleans Saints Best Odds
The Saints somewhat surprisingly opened as home underdogs here, with the Jaguars laying 1.5 points on the road. However, that was quickly bought up and the current line has the Saints as 1-point home favorites. Keep an eye on the injury reports this week as key player statuses could further change this line. That’s especially true if quarterback Trevor Lawrence is a surprise inactive.
Jacksonville Jaguars Vs. New Orleans Saints Key Injuries
It’s inexplicable that Trevor Lawrence was in the game with the Jaguars nursing a late 17-point lead, especially with a short week coming up, but his knee was twisted up by a defender. He’s considered day to day, but the Jaguars might opt to exercise caution here if he’s not at 100%. The backup would be C.J. Beathard.
The Saints, meanwhile, have major injuries on the offensive line. Ryan Ramczyk suffered a concussion on Sunday, and he’s expected to miss this game, while guard/tackle James Hurst is dealing with an ankle injury. That’s back breaking for an offensive line that already ranks just 22nd in pass block win rate per ESPN.
Jacksonville Jaguars Vs. New Orleans Saints Key Matchups
In this primetime matchup, there are some fascinating players who will determine the outcome. Specifically, each team’s top wide receiver draws a matchup against one of the league’s top cornerbacks. Let’s break it down.
Calvin Ridley Vs. Marshon Lattimore
I was expecting big things from Calvin Ridley in his first year in Jacksonville, but the rust has been real after over a year away from the league. He ranks just 58th in PFF receiving grades and 43rd in yards per route run among 95 qualified wide receivers. Ridley has been held to 40 or fewer yards in four of his six games.
It won’t get much easier for Ridley this week against former All Pro cornerback Marshon Lattimore. Despite being asked to guard the opposing team’s top receiver every week, Lattimore has allowed just 227 yards in coverage through six games. He also has four pass breakups and no touchdowns allowed per PFF.
Chris Olave Vs. Tyson Campbell
Chris Olave dealt with an injury that limited his production against the Buccaneers and Patriots, but he looked healthy on Sunday against the Texans, finishing with seven catches for 96 yards. A high octane downfield target, Olave can take the top off the defense at any moment. The Jaguars will need to constantly account for him in coverage.
Now in his third season, Tyson Campbell is one of the league’s most underrated cornerbacks. Unfortunately, Campbell went to the locker room with a hamstring injury against the Colts on Sunday, and his status is in question for this week. If he’s out, look for Darious Williams and 2022 seventh-round pick Montaric Brown to step up.