What an incredible Wild Card weekend and no other team defined its craziness other than the Jacksonville Jaguars. Mounting a large comeback late in the fourth, the Jags secured a win over the Chargers with a last second field goal. They now look for vengeance against the Chiefs, a team they lost to earlier in the season while on the road. Can Trevor Lawrence and company put together another magical performance and get the upset victory?
Jacksonville Jaguars vs Kansas City Chiefs Betting Odds
Oddsmakers don’t think so as they opened the Jags as a +8.5 favorite. Bettors have also leaned towards the Chiefs early on, backing them up to -9 in some shops. This comes as no surprise as the Chiefs are well rested and bring playoff experience from a player perspective. Especially at quarterback. They also share similar identities in DVOA metrics as both field fantastic offenses and weaker defenses. Even while similar, the Chiefs have the upper hand on both ends as well.
As for the total, oddsmakers believe points are expected to be scored in a flash as they opened the total at 50.5. Bettors are in agreement with them as well, backing the total up to as high as 52 in some shops. Both defenses are below average per DVOA and now go against two high powered offenses, setting up a game script for both units to get ample opportunities to put up points on the board.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs Kansas City Chiefs Prediction
Prediction: Over 51.5
With that said, I will take the over at no higher than 52 in what is setting up to be an explosive battle between both units. This will be heavily predicated on the Jags ability to score as the Chiefs have shown more continuity on their end. It was a rough start for Jacksonville in Lawrence’s first playoff game by scoring only seven points in the first half, but they eventually clicked and routed the Chargers in the second half.
Speaking of rough starts, it got about as bad as it got for Lawrence as he finished with four interceptions. He made up for it with four touchdowns, but those mistakes can not be replicated against a much better team in the Chiefs. They can bring that second half offensive momentum against a reeling Chiefs defense, a unit that ranks 21st in Def Pass DVOA.
Not only have they struggled to defend the pass, but the Chiefs are also slightly below average in defending the run with a 17th ranked Def Rush DVOA. This makes Travis Etienne production highly coveted as he is both a threat in the backfield and in the pass attack as one of the best dual-threat running backs in the league.
- Jaguars are 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven meetings against the Chiefs
- Favorite is 4-1-1 ATS in their last six meetings against each other
- Under is 4-1 in their last five meetings
Jacksonville Jaguars Injuries: Trevor Lawrence (Q), Ross Matiscik (Q), Kendric Pryor (Q), Brandon Scherff (Q)
Kansas City Chiefs Injuries: Skyy Moore (Q), Mecole Hardman (Q), Frank Clark (Q)
Can the Chiefs pass attack continue to dominate against the Jags?
Patrick Mahomes vs Jags secondary defense
New year same Chiefs as they finish out the season as the best pass attack in the NFL with a first place ranked Off Pass DVOA. There was some skepticism going into the season if they could keep up their elite level of production without Tyreek Hill, but it’s safe to say they have silenced those doubters.
They have opened the field with effective cross routes that have relied on more clean throws through the middle. Flipping the scales from down field attacks to more precise middling throws, this has allowed the Chiefs to limit turnovers and sustain drives down the field. The Jags will be hard pressed to stop it, ranking 30th in Def Pass DVOA.
With both offenses getting ample opportunity to put up points on the board, take the over at no higher than 52.