Jaguars vs. Chargers Week 3 matchup preview and current betting lines
It has been four years since the Jacksonville Jaguars have had a winning record after Week 2. They can shock the NFL world with an upset of the Los Angeles Chargers after shutting out the Colts 24-0 last week. But quarterback Trevor Lawrence is going to have to prove that his best NFL games can be in more situations than home games with the Colts. That was his best game in his rookie season, and he was great on Sunday too.
Meanwhile, the Chargers are just hoping to have their quarterback Justin Herbert available after he fractured rib cartilage late in the Kansas City loss last Thursday. That gives him a few extra days to prepare for this game, but there is going to be pain that he will have to get through as this is the first notable injury of his NFL career.
Despite the Herbert situation, the NFL Week 3 odds have the Chargers as a 7-point home favorite in this matchup. The Jaguars have not won consecutive games in the same season since Weeks 7-8 in the 2019 season. If things are going to be different for Jacksonville this year, it needs to play well enough to cover in this game.
If things are going to be different for the Chargers this year, they need to put Jacksonville away comfortably. Even when Herbert was red hot in Week 1 against the Raiders, that was a 24-19 game with minutes to go and the Raiders in possession of the ball. This team has to start closing better.
Players to watch in the Jaguars vs. Chargers game
Christian Kirk: Maybe a plate of crow is already in order as Kirk has been great in his first two games after signing a huge contract in free agency. He already has 195 yards and two touchdowns in two games. Now he gets a defense that had no answers for Davante Adams in Week 1.
Los Angeles Chargers
Austin Ekeler: If Herbert is in pain, then maybe the Chargers should avoid dropping him back 45-plus times this week. Austin Ekeler scored 20 touchdowns last season, but he has yet to find the end zone in 2022. He also is averaging 2.7 yards per carry and hasn’t cracked 40 yards rushing in either game. One of the Chargers’ best players needs to get going this year.
Our Best NFL Bets for the Jaguars vs. Chargers game
We have two NFL Week 3 predictions we believe in for this game as the Chargers look to avoid a losing streak.
Jaguars vs. Chargers Point Spread Pick: Jaguars +7 (-115)
The Jaguars vs. Chargers spread opened with the Chargers as a 9-point home favorite, but with uncertainty about Herbert’s health, that line is moving to Chargers -7 going into the weekend.
It is more than fair to question the Chargers in this one after Herbert looked like he could not move with the rib injury. At one point, he bypassed an easy run for a first down on a third down. Of course, he came back the next play and threw his best pass of the night on a fourth down, but there is some real concern about how he’ll handle a defense that just sacked Matt Ryan five times and turned the Colts over three times in a 24-0 win.
The Jaguars also have gotten better on offense with Doug Pederson’s coaching, wide receiver Christian Kirk’s surprisingly dominant start, and the duo of Travis Etienne and James Robinson in the backfield. It also helps that Trevor Lawrence seems to have improved his accuracy over a bad rookie year.
Keenan Allen’s hamstring also could keep him out another game for the Chargers. That is to be determined, as is Herbert’s playing status for that matter. Backup quarterback Chase Daniel trying to make things happen with Mike Williams does not sound like a good outcome for the Chargers.
Let’s assume Herbert plays and Allen does not. The Jaguars have been impressive enough with fourth-quarter leads in both of their games to make me think they can stay within a touchdown of the Chargers, the AFC equivalent of the Atlanta Falcons when it comes to blowing leads. Take Jacksonville to cover.
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Total Points: Under 47.5 (-115)
In keeping with the theme of the Jaguars keeping the score down and keeping the game close, the under 47.5 points looks like a good choice in this game. Both defenses have held their two opponents under 100 yards rushing. Both have had a good game with sacks, and the Jaguars have forced three turnovers in both matchups so far.
Even with some of the great individual offensive numbers put up in the Raiders-Chargers game in Week 1, that was only a 24-19 finish. The Jaguars just had a 24-0 shutout of the Colts, but this game won’t look anything like that.
Still, Herbert did not look comfortable against the Chiefs after his injury. He gutted it out, and surely, he will get some type of injection before this game if he plays. But by the fourth quarter and after some hits by Josh Allen and company, he may be in bad shape again with a difficult injury to deal with.
Throw in the possibility of the Jaguars laying an offensive stinker on the road, and under 47.5 in a 26-20 type of finish feels like the adequate call for this matchup. Is it the NFL bet of the week? No, but we just feel good about the game not being a high-scoring blowout like the 39-29 finish these teams had in their last meeting in 2020. But this is supposed to be a new Jacksonville regime, right? Let’s see something different.bet on NFL with draftkings >