Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Cincinnati Bengals – NFL, October 4, 2020
The Jacksonville Jaguars pulled off a somewhat stunning victory against Indianapolis to open the season. But it wasn’t so much a case of Jacksonville dominating. Instead, credit the Colts with making more costly mistakes and failing to capitalize on red zone opportunities. Still, a win is a win, and Jacksonville will take it any day of the week.
Despite losing to Tennessee 33-30 in Week 2, the Jags acquitted themselves well thanks to a fourth-quarter surge that saw them even the game at 30-30. Week 3 saw Jacksonville revert to the team many expect them to be in their 31-13 loss to the Dolphins.
What can we say about the Bengals? While last year’s tank for Joe Burrow seems to be paying off, the Bengals record would indicate that they are still a long way from being competitive. But are things really that bad?
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Cincinnati Bengals Odds
|Jacksonville Jaguars +3||+100|
|Cincinnati Bengals -3||-120|
|Jacksonville Jaguars Moneyline||+145|
|Cincinnati Bengals Moneyline||-165|
Well, somebody needs to be favored, so why not make it the home team? It is actually a good spread. It’s not like Cincinnati has been getting blown out. They’ve managed to keep all of their games close so far. Burrow has also been effective spreading the ball around and he’s made some good decisions for a rookie who has found himself facing a lot of pressure. This isn’t to say Jacksonville doesn’t deserve consideration. They don’t look like they are destined to be a playoff team, but it also doesn’t seem like they are in tank mode. This team might actually have some pride.
Jacksonville hasn’t been a very good team since their miraculous playoff run a couple of years ago. Despite going 2-9 SU in their last 11 games as a road dog of three or more, they are 4-6-1 ATS in those games. That doesn’t equate to profits for Jacksonville spread bettors, but it hasn’t meant heavy losses. They can take comfort in knowing they have been able to handle the Bengals in their last two meetings including a 27-17 win last year in Cincinnati.
The Jaguars must get a good effort out of its defense if they are to be successful this week. In particular, the pass defense needs to improve. This team has allowed 8 passing TDs against just a pair of picks and they are facing a quarterback that has shown flashes of brilliance early on. To their credit, Jacksonville has been half decent against the run and the Bengals have not been a good rushing team.
Yes, the Bengals are an awful football team. One of their biggest issues is that they are pretty much one-dimensional. Their ground game is among the worst in the league leaving Burrow to shoulder the load. As for the defense? It has allowed the second-most rushing yards in the NFL, but they have allowed the seventh-fewest passing yards.
They’ve only given up three touchdowns through the air while equaling that total in interceptions. The longest pass they’ve given up so far went for just 43 yards. Of course, these stats are typical of teams that consistently find themselves playing catch up.
It will be important for Cincinnati to stop Jacksonville from getting their rush attack going. This will be easier said than done as the Jags are averaging 4.9 yards per carry. Forcing Minshew into action just might play into one of Cincinnati’s few strengths.
My Jaguars vs. Bengals Prediction and Pick
This game sets up to be a close match. It makes little sense to wager the Bengals on the -165 moneyline. Taking them at -120 against the spread isn’t too appealing either. It’s a coin toss, and getting the plus money such a proposition makes most sense.
Jacksonville Jaguars Moneyline+145