Jacksonville vs. Washington Odds, Trends, Prediction ATS
Jacksonville Jaguars (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. Washington Commanders (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
When: Sunday, September 11, 1 p.m.
Where: FedEx Field, Landover, Md.
Point Spread: JAX +2.5/WSH -2.5 (Bet on NFL at -105 instead of -110 at BAS!)
Total: O/U 43.5
Carson Wentz is facing a serious case of déjà vu, as he’s starting his time in Washington against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the team that knocked the Indianapolis Colts out of the playoff race last year in Wentz’s final game with Indianapolis. Wentz played poorly against the Jaguars, and that defeat was the main reason that the Colts opted to acquire Matt Ryan and trade Wentz to Washington. Thanks to that loss to Jacksonville, Wentz is now officially a reclamation project, making this an interesting motivational situation for him.
On the other side of the field, not only is Wentz facing the team that drove him out of Indianapolis, but he’s facing the coach who initially gave him a chance in the NFL. Doug Pederson has resurfaced in Jacksonville as the Jaguars attempt to rebuild from the wreckage of the past decade. The franchise that was once a model of stability under Tom Coughlin and Jack Del Rio over its first 16 years in the NFL is now on its fifth coach in 11 years and has just one playoff berth since Del Rio’s departure in 2011. Pederson should be able to get things turned around eventually, but the big question here is how much he’s been able to get Trevor Lawrence to progress. The No. 1 pick in 2021 showed some flashes of competence, but a year under Urban Meyer didn’t exactly serve to get him on the right track. The Jaguars have some pieces here, but they also have a long way to go until they’re ready to compete in the AFC South.
How the Public is Betting the Jacksonville/Washington Game
This might be the time to jump on this line before it loses its value, as the Jaguars have gotten enough attention from sharps to drop the number from -4 to -2.5. The public disagrees, as 64% of tickets have come in on Washington. The total has sat unchanged at 43.5.
Wide receiver Jamal Agnew (hip) is questionable. Running back James Robinson (Achilles) is probable. Defensive end Jordan Smith (knee) is out.
Wide receiver Cam Sims (concussion) and safety Kamren Curl (thumb) are questionable. Tight end Logan Thomas (knee), tight end Curtis Hodges (thigh), running back Brian Robinson Jr. (butt), defensive back Josh Drayden (undisclosed), guard Willie Beavers (undisclosed), center Tyler Larsen (Achilles), and defensive end Chase Young (knee) are out.
When Jacksonville Has the Ball
The big question for the Jaguars is who is going to get the majority of the carries. Travis Etienne missed all of last season with a foot injury (and didn’t get any work at running back after Urban Meyer got the bright idea to try to make him a wide receiver), while James Robinson returns from an Achilles injury, so there’s not a lot of experience in the Jaguars’ backfield from recent action. The talent is there, but the rust might be a problem for Jacksonville in the early going.
That might put some early pressure on Lawrence to produce in his second season after a mixed bag in year one. He definitely showed raw talent in moving the Jaguars’ offense, but he also made several bad reads that might have been improved if he had competent coaching. Now he does have a proven NFL coach running the show, which could lead to some different outcomes. One thing he can’t do is turn the ball over as much as he did last year — 17 interceptions won’t cut it.
When Washington Has the Ball
Carson Wentz is basically in his last chance as a starter before teams start to view him as wasted talent. There are only so many chances you get, even as a former top-five pick and Wentz is starting to run out of time. He showed plenty of good in Indianapolis last season but also many negatives that led to Indianapolis missing the playoffs by a game.
But the quarterback position has been so bad in Washington that the Commanders would happily take anything that resembled competence, even if it came with some occasional ineptitude. The Commanders couldn’t move the ball through the air at all in 2021, ranking dead last against the pass. Either they’ve got to get something out of Wentz, or they have to hope the defense does the work.
Look up slow starters in the dictionary, and you will likely find a picture of the Commanders, who have dropped five straight ATS in September. Washington was actually a good bet down the stretch last season, covering in six of their final nine games, but part of that was because they got two games against the absolutely pathetic Giants. Then again, Jacksonville was a terrible bet in 2021; the Jaguars’ only cover in their final eight games of the year was the game they won against the Colts. These have also been under-heavy teams: Washington has played five straight to the under at home, and Jacksonville has gone 12-4 to the under in its past 16 games.
The weather couldn’t be scripted any better for Jacksonville if the Jaguars tried. With temperatures at 78 degrees at kickoff, humidity in the forecast, and showers expected, Maryland is going to feel more like North Florida. Wind will blow at five miles per hour southeast.
Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread
The Jaguars are getting no respect here, and I think that’s a mistake. Jacksonville isn’t a good team, but Washington isn’t either, and the Commanders don’t have Chase Young on the field. Without their best pass rusher, the Commanders are likely to struggle to get pressure on Lawrence.
If that’s the case, he should have all day to make his reads and get the season off to a good start for the Jaguars. This looks like a mild upset; I’ll take the Jaguars here. Bet your Week 1 NFL picks for FREE by taking advantage of a 100% real cash bonus when you use promo code PREDICTEM at Betnow Sportsbook!