Thursday Night Football Player Prop Bets Week 4 – Jaguars vs. Bengals

| September 29, 2021 10:19 am PDT

Week 4 kicks off with a matchup of the last two number one picks. Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars will travel to Cincinnati to take on Joe Burrow and the Bengals.

Dating back to last season, Jacksonville has lost their last 18 games. The sportsbooks don’t have much confidence in them, as they open as (+7.0) point underdogs.

This matchup isn’t too exciting, but we can spice things up by targeting player prop bets. Here are my favorites for this Thursday night matchup.

Joe Burrow Under 32.5 Passing Attempts (-110)

As a rookie, Joe Burrow was on a record-setting pace when it came to passing attempts. He had at least 30 attempts in all 10 of his games.

When he went down with a season-ending ACL injury, he had 404 passing attempts. Had he kept up that pace, he would’ve finished with an NFL rookie record of 646 attempts. This season, things have gone in the opposite direction.

Through three games, Burrow has attempted 75 passes. Only Jameis Winston has started three games with fewer passing attempts. So, what’s the biggest difference from last season? The Bengals running game.

Joe Burrow had a rough 2020 season. He only had over 70 rushing yards once in six games. This season, Mixon ranks second in carries and rushing yards.

Considering the Bengals are 2-1 as opposed to starting 2-7-1 last season, I’d say the run-first approach is here to stay.

Cincinnati enters this week as big home favorites. I can’t imagine a scenario where the Jacksonville Jaguars control the game. Because of that, I think we’ll see the Bengals lean on their ground game as they look for their third victory.

James Robinson Over 12.5 Rushing Attempts (-120)

James Robinson’s 2021 season didn’t get off to the best of starts. Across the first two weeks, he had 16 carries for 72 yards. The efficiency was there, but the Jacksonville Jaguars just weren’t using him. That all changed with a great Week 3 performance.

  • 15 carries
  • 88 yards
  • 1 touchdown

I don’t think Robinson’s slow start was any fault of his own. Jacksonville has been struggling so much that they have to pass to keep up with teams.

Rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence has a league-high seven interceptions through three games. The Jaguars can’t continue to have him throw the ball 39 times a game.

In the third quarter of their Week 3 matchup, it’s like the switch flipped in Urban Meyer’s head. The Jaguars went on an eight-play touchdown drive that included six carries and 66 yards for Robinson.

Because of the state of the Jaguars, it’s hard for them to lean on their ground game. However, I feel like it’s their best chance to win. They can’t have Lawrence sitting back there turning the ball over.

If Jacksonville can have success with the ground game, they can control the time of possession. That could be the right formula to picking up their first win in over a year.

Marvin Jones Jr. Over 4.5 Receptions (-165)

When you have a rookie quarterback, they like to lean on their veterans. That’s exactly what we’ve seen with the Jacksonville Jaguars offense.

Marvin Jones Jr. has established himself as the top target in this offense. Check out his numbers through three weeks.

  • 17 receptions
  • 28 targets

And it isn’t like he is going up against easy opponents. In Week 2, he faced a Denver Broncos secondary that included Kyle Fuller and Patrick Surtain. Last week, he faced Byron Murphy Jr. and Budda Baker.

The Cincinnati Bengals are dealing with some injuries in their secondary. Trae Waynes signed with the Bengals last season, but he missed the entire 2020 season. He has been dealing with a hamstring injury but could make his team debut this week.

Chidobe Awuzie went down with a groin injury last week. Right now, it sounds like he won’t be available on Thursday night. That’s a massive boost for Jones’ reception hopes.

What makes Jones so valuable in this offense is he can excel in multiple areas. He can run deep and intermediate routes while being a big target in the red zone.

I expect more balance from the Jaguars, but Jones will still be the number one option in the passing game.

Trevor Lawrence Longest Rush Under 9.5 Yards (-135)

It’s very rare to see a young quarterback come into the league and not rely on their legs. Even someone like Trevor Lawrence, who went number one overall because of his elite passing ability, isn’t afraid to run the ball.

With each week, we’ve seen Lawrence’s rushing stats continue to rise.

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3
Carries 1 2 6
Yards -2 21 27
Longest Rush -2 11 10

Because the rushing yards continue to change, I wanted to steer clear of that prop bet. However, I feel confident that he won’t have a rush over 9.5 yards.

The Jacksonville Jaguars don’t have many designed runs. They are available in the playbook, but they would prefer to run with the running backs. Because of that, most of Lawrence’s rushes come via scrambling.

Quarterbacks typically scramble when the coverage is good, and they don’t have an open receiver. Well, if you go back to my section on Marvin Jones Jr., you’d see the Cincinnati Bengals are shorthanded in the secondary.

As a result, Cincinnati’s coverage probably won’t be as good.

Add in the fact that Lawrence isn’t that fast of a quarterback, and the chances he has a rush over 9.5 yards are small.

Joe Mixon Under 2.5 Receptions (+105)

When Giovani Bernard left the Cincinnati Bengals this offseason, Joe Mixon fantasy owners rejoiced. This meant he would finally account for the bulk of the receiving work out of the backfield.

In Week 1, Mixon had four receptions for 23 yards. Fantasy owners thought this was the start of a big season. Unfortunately, he has once again taken a back seat in the receiving game.

Check out his receiving numbers over the last two weeks compared to rookie running back Chris Evans.

  • Joe Mixon: 2 receptions for six yards
  • Chris Evans: 3 receptions for 30 yards

Mixon was never a bad receiving back, but Bernard was always in the way. Now, it looks like Mixon will have to deal with Evans. While people love Mixon’s improvement in the ground game, we aren’t seeing an increase in receptions.

That’s why when I saw the “+” next to his odds on hitting the under, I was all over that. I’ll admit, I’d feel much better if this was 3.5, but I still like the value.

He has been a non-factor in the passing game over the last two weeks.

Cincinnati has the advantage in this matchup and should be able to control things on the ground.

My Top Jaguars vs. Bengals Prop Bet for Week 4

  • Ja’Marr Chase Longest Reception Over 24.5 Yards

I’m old enough to remember when Ja’Marr Chase couldn’t catch a ball. Now, he’s one of the best deep threats in the league.

When I saw this prop bet, I knew this would be my top pick. Chase has had a reception over 34 yards in all three games this season. I’m not sure anyone in the Jacksonville Jaguars can match his speed.

We saw Brandin Cooks haul in big receptions in Week 1. I expect Chase to do that same on Thursday night.

Now that you’ve seen my top bets be sure to head over to the top NFL betting sites to win some money.

Nicholas Sterling
Nicholas Sterling

Nicholas has been a Sports Writer with since May 2021. He has a rich sports background, writing about NASCAR, NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, Golf, etc. Nick is always ready for a new challenge.

He enjoys rooting on D.C. sports teams, including the Commanders, Wizards, and Capitals.

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