Los Angeles Chargers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Prediction ATS
Los Angeles Chargers (4-8 SU, 3-7-2 ATS) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8 SU, 5-7 ATS)
NFL Week 14
Date/Time: Sunday, December 8, 2019 at 4:05PM EST
Where: TIAA Bank Stadium, Jacksonville, Florida
Point Spread: LAC -3/JAC +3 (BetAnySports)
Over/Under Total: 43
The Los Angeles Chargers come to TIAA Bank Stadium on Sunday for an AFC matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars. With both squads at 4-8, it’s been rough going as of late. On Sunday, the Chargers again lost when they found yet another creative way to screw things up in a 23-20 loss to the Broncos at Mile High. They now drag their dispirited team into Florida for another road appearance against the Jags. And after watching them lose at home, 28-11, to Tampa Bay for their fourth loss in a row, there isn’t a lot of good things to say about the Jaguars, either. Who is more-primed to provide the bettors with a cover this week?
Can it Get Worse for the Bolts?
With three covers on the season and a 4-8 overall mark, following a 12-4 season, it’s hard to quantify how big of a letdown this has been for the Chargers. Sunday was a case in point. They always show something good before the ceiling caves in. After marching down and tying the game after overcoming a two-touchdown deficit, Denver got the ball back, with overtime looking all but certain. Then, a long pass and a pass-interference call set Denver up for the game-winning kick and the sad looks on the faces on the Chargers’ sidelines told the story.
The team is broken. We can point to injuries all day long, and they have suffered more than their share on that front. At the end of the day, when you have an established QB like Philip Rivers, a gaggle of viable aerial targets, two good backs, and a defense packed with playmaking talent, you need to make some good things happen. Six losses in eight games and so few covers show a team extracting a stunningly-low amount of production out of what it has. And sure, a dilapidated offensive line and injuries affecting all levels of the team have stunted their firepower and hurt their continuity. But excuses only go so far. At its essence, the Chargers simply stink right now. And betting on them can be one of the most painful experiences you can have in all of sports wagering.
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Are the Jags Any Better Off?
Going back to Gardner Minshew after Nick Foles failed to get a win or look that good after two games and change speaks of the lack of solidness of the Jags heading down the stretch run of the season. Why give a guy that much money if he’s going to get that short of a leash working with an offense where most quarterbacks would struggle mightily. The line is doo-doo, and no one is playing that well right now. RB Leonard Fournette’s yardage totals have plummeted in recent weeks. With a total of 47 points scored in their last four games, an aerial game that was showing some vitality with DJ Chark, Dede Westbrook, Chris Conley, and Fournette has been missing the mark. While the Chargers’ defense has not been getting a ton of what they have, their pass-rushing up front and playmaking ability of their secondary, which now has Derwin James back, could manifest in a big way this week.
Since coming off the bye three weeks ago, we see a Jacksonville defense that is getting lit up regularly. They have given up 103 points in the last three weeks, and with that coming against Tennessee, Indy, and Tampa, it paints this side of the ball in a bad light heading into their final four games. Injuries are a big part of that equation, and getting guys like Ronnie Harrison, DJ Hayden, Josh Allen, and Myles Jack would really help. Their secondary could be able to hang in there against an error-prone and off-target Chargers’ aerial game, but without the ability to stop the run, a peaking Melvin Gordon could put up some big numbers this week. Rivers and the Chargers should be able to work the short-pass game with Gordon, Austin Ekeler, and others like TE Hunter Henry.
Which Team Will Undermine Themselves More?
Both teams lately have been very helpful to their opponents. And both defenses, for all their faults, still possess the ability to make game-changing plays. It’s an equation that lends itself to looking at which offense is more likely to give the game away. It might be a draw. For the Chargers, it’s almost bankable that they’re going to do things that make it hard to win. With eight interceptions in the last three games, Rivers has not been taking care of the ball. And if there’s a critical time to get called for an unconscionable penalty, the Chargers will find it.
But at least they’re going against a similarly-undisciplined squad in the Jaguars, who are the league’s most penalized team. Many times this season, the most untimely penalties have upended both sides of the ball. Against Tampa on Sunday, picks by each Foles and Minshew, along with two lost fumbles, helped take them out of the game. It’s not enough that they’re going against the opponent, as more often than not, they’re also going against themselves.
Take the Road Favorite
After winning just twice at home this season and getting lit up by Tampa, it’s worth asking how much being at home matters for a wayward Jaguars’ squad. Granted, it can’t possibly feel comfortable laying points on a Chargers’ team right now. I just see them having more potential at this point in actually putting forth a half-decent game. They should be able to run the ball and disrupt Jacksonville’s offense enough to get the win and cover on the road this week. I’ll take the Bolts.
Loot’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Los Angeles Chargers minus 3 points.
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