Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Jacksonville Jaguars (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (4-0 SU, 4-0 ATS)
When: October 7, 2018, 1:00 PM EST
Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
By: Rick Wise
Spread: JAC +3/KC -3 (Opened at -3)
Power Ratings: Chiefs -3
Takeaways From Week 4
Blake Bortles rebounded nicely from his poor showing in the Jags 9-6 loss to the Titans in Week 3 with a career day Sunday in a 31-12 pasting of the Jets . He finished 29-of-38 for 388 yards and 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. But Bortles’ performance also underscores how inexplicably inconsistent he’s been. Through four games, his best two outings (Patriots and Jets) have come against better defenses than his worst two (Giants and Titans).
Bortles can in large part thank his receivers, who came through in a big way against the Jets. Ten different targets caught passes but Dede Westbrook and Donte Moncrief led the way, with both tallying over 100 yards—the first pair of Jaguar receivers to both go over the century mark since 2015. Westbrook recorded a career-high 130 yards on nine catches, while Moncrief snagged five balls for 109 yards and a touchdown.
The Chiefs, meanwhile, proved a lot with their gritty, come from behind 27-23 victory over the Denver Broncos Monday night. And most of it had to do with the Patrick Mahomes. The second-year quarterback has now answered whatever questions were left to answer. For three quarters, the Broncos had Mahomes’ number but he put the team on his shoulders in the fourth quarter, cutting into the 10-point deficit with a 12-play, 75-yard drive and winning the game with an 8-play, 60-yard drive.
Unfortunately for Chiefs fans, the game also showcased that the defense is this team’s Achilles’ heel. KC ranks dead last in the league in total defense, allowing a whopping 451.8 yards per game. Although they kept the Broncos to 385 total yards, the struggles continued as the defensive line really had no answer for a Denver ground game that saw Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay combine for 136 yards and two touchdowns.
How the Public is Betting the Jags/Chiefs Game
Unsurprisingly, 60 percent of the public is backing KC. This is certainly one of those games where you could easily see bettors going the other way because it should all come down to Mahomes versus the best secondary in football. And at the moment, there’s still no reason to jump off the Mahomes train.
These two teams don’t have much of a history, as they’ve only met 11 times, with their first matchup coming in 97. The Jags lead the series 6-5 and have come out on top in three of the last five meetings dating back 2007.
The Jags only have two key players suffering from injuries right now, but back on the list is star running back Leonard Fournette. Fournette’s return from a hamstring injury he suffered in Week 1 against the New York Giants was short-lived. He re-aggravated the hamstring against the Jets and he’s currently listed as questionable for Sunday. The other key injury is to cornerback D.J. Hayden, who’s listed as questionable for Sunday’s game after suffering a toe injury in Week 3 against the Titans.
The Chiefs have three key players inured this week, including wide receiver Sammy Watkins after he suffered a hamstring injury in the second quarter of the Denver game. He’s listed as questionable for Sunday. Also listed as questionable for Sunday are safety Eric Berry (heel) and linebacker Dee Ford (groin).
When the Jags Have the Ball
Jacksonville is far from an offensive powerhouse. They rank 15th in the league in passing yards per game, 15th in total offense and 21st in scoring offense. But because they possess one of the best defenses in the league they do enough on offense to win. And they’ll be facing one of the league’s weakest pass defenses so look for Bortles to have a big day through the air for the second week in a row.
When the Chiefs Have the Ball
Mahomes passed his stiffest yet against the Broncos but this next one may be even tougher. Everyone knows about Jalen Ramsey and company and what amounts to the best secondary in football. Mahomes has already managed to pull one rabbit of his hat and all signs point to him needing another one Sunday. Luckily, KC does have a bit of running game with Kareem Hunt coming off his best game of the season against Denver (19 carries, 121 yards). They’ll likely need more of the same.
- Jacksonville is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games
- Jacksonville is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games
- Jacksonville is 10-4 ATS in its last 14 games on the road
- Jacksonville is 7-15 SU in its last 22 games on the road
- The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Jacksonville’s last 9 games on the road
- Jacksonville is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Kansas City
- Jacksonville is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games when playing Kansas City
It’s expected to be mostly cloudy and 65 degrees in Kansas City on Sunday with a 55 percent chance of a thunderstorm and 72 percent humidity. Winds of 11 mpn are also expected.
Rick Wise’s Pick
The Broncos were very nearly the first team to solve the Mahomes riddle and the Jags defense is even better. They’re built to disrupt quarterbacks. But Jacksonville is also better all the way around than Denver is. They have better offensive line, they have better receivers and they probably even have a better quarterback. And as far as Mahomes, he’s got to fall back down to earth at some point. The Chiefs may win it straight up, but the points look like the play here with a point total under 48.