Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New Orleans Saints kicks off this Thursday at 8:15pm EST in New Orleans as a home game for the Saints. The Jaguars are currently a +1.5 underdog and +100 on the moneyline while the total is set at 39.5. With question marks at quarterback for Jacksonville and elite defense on both sides of the ball, expect unders on the likes of Derek Carr, Alvin Kamara, and Travis Etienne for this Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New Orleans Saints matchup.
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After a rocky start behind an injury riddled offensive line, the Jacksonville Jaguars have gotten back on track and are looking like one of the upper echelon of teams in the NFL. This has been in large part of their offensive line getting healthy, but now having to deal with an injury to Trevor Lawrence. While his status has yet to be confirmed, it will already be a tall task to find production against an elite Saints defense.
Derek Carr Under 239.5 Passing Yards
While question marks surround the quarterback position for the Jaguars, the Saints can rest easy knowing they have their man under center. He comes off of a modest performance in their last game, throwing for 353 yards, one touchdown, and one interception in a loss to the Texans.
The uptick in passing comes from having to play from behind against the Texans, now potentially flipping the script against the Jags who may be without Trevor Lawrence. Even if Lawrence is able to give it a go, the Jags offense will take a step back as he deals with a nagging injury.
The Jags defense have also excelled at limiting the pass attack, currently ranking 10th in Def Pass EPA, 11th in Def Pass Success Rate, and 10th in Def Pass DVOA. They blitz at a high rate, forcing the ball out of the quarterback’s hands faster than anticipated and disrupting their rhythm.
Factor in Alvin Kamara commanding a lion’s share of the offense since his return from suspension, as well as Jamaal Williams coming back from injury, and Carr should see his pass attempts slashed. Should they start out hot and gain an early lead, expect a heavy dose of the run in an attempt to drain the clock against the hobbled Jags.
Derek Carr Under 1.5 Passing Touchdowns
Correlating this prop with the previously mentioned prop, expect a lower dose of the pass attack on the Saints end as they dominate the time of possession. They certainly have the personnel to do so, being able to lean on the rushing duo of Alvin Kamara and Jamaal Williams.
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With points expected to come at a premium, scoring when inside the 20 will be vital the Saints are better off served by giving it to their bull backs instead of continuing to ride Derek Carr’s red zone struggles. It was a common theme during his stint with the Raiders and has now carried over into the Saints. It’s apparent that Carr struggles against a shortened field, now having the ability to give it up to two elite finishing backs.
Alvin Kamara Under 52.5 Rushing Yards
This prop may come as a surprise after saying how heavy of a role Alvin Kamara and the ground game will receive in an attempt to slash Carr’s pass attempts. The issue for Kamara is that Jamaal Williams makes his return from injury, instantly cutting into Kamara’s attempts as a capable running back in his own right.
There’s also the factor that the Saints ground game may struggle at times against a stout Jags rush defense. As of writing, the Jags currently rank second in Def Rush EPA, third in Rush Def Success Rate, and sixth in Def Rush DVOA.
Travis Etienne Under 15.5 Longest Rush
While the attempts will certainly play in Etienne’s favor as the Jags lead back for him to cash this, the Saints defensive scheme will severely halt his open field ability. The Saints defense blitz at one of the lowest rates, opting in to keep their linebackers in place which limits the distance to gain from opposing running backs.
The Jags may also find themselves playing from behind with minimal possessions in a potential clock draining game plan from both ends, being forced to throw at a heavier rate and eat away at precious rush attempts towards our favor.