Jacksonville Jaguars NFL Betting Preview: Looking Ahead to 2021

Posted on: September 5, 2020, 01:59h. 

Last updated on: September 6, 2020, 12:35h.

The NFL stands for National Football League. It also stands for “Not-For-Long,” as former Atlanta Falcons coach Jerry Glanville famously told an official.

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew
As a rookie, Gardner Minshew went 6-6 as the Jaguars’ starter compared to 0-4 for veteran Nick Foles. (Image: Douglas DeFelice/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jacksonville Jaguars’ time as a National Football League power was not for long. After missing the playoffs for nine consecutive seasons, they went from 3-13 in 2016 to 10-6 and all the way to the AFC Championship Game in 2017. The Jaguars, in fact, led the mighty New England Patriots by 10 points in the fourth quarter before losing 24-20.

And that was that. Jacksonville went 5-11 in 2018 and 6-10 in 2019, and seemingly is already waving the white flag of surrender in 2020. Last week, the Jaguars traded their best defensive player, Yannick Ngakoue, and released their best offensive player, running back Leonard Fournette.

Jacksonville opened at +8,000 to win the Super Bowl when Westgate SuperBook released its odds in January. Now, it’s +30,000, making the Jaguars the longest of long shots entering their 25th season.

Over/Under: 4.5 Wins

The good news is the Jaguars are awash in draft capital. They have a pair of first-round picks, including potentially earning the No. 1 overall pick, and two more in the second round. Plus, they are projected to possess the second-most cap space next off-season. That doesn’t help now, though, as they chase the favored Colts in the division.

Just how bad are the Jaguars projected to be by sportsbooks? At PointsBet, they are +2,200 to win the AFC South. They’re also +2,500 to go 0-16.

With such a lack of talent, why should anyone bet on the Jaguars?

The best reason to bet on Jacksonville would be playing in a weaker division, which offers them a slightly higher chance to make the playoffs,” an analyst at William Hill told Casino.org.  “Other teams like Cincinnati, Washington, and Carolina have longer odds to win their division than Jacksonville due to their competition.”

The consensus over/under win total is 4.5. At William Hill, the bet is -110 on both sides.

Mississippi Mustache

The face of the franchise is second-year quarterback Gardner Minshew. The man nicknamed “The Mississippi Mustache” went 6-6 as the starter last season, with an impressive 21 touchdowns vs. six interceptions.

Because the Jaguars are expected to be terrible and MVPs generally play for teams that aren’t terrible, Minshew’s MVP chances are, shall we say, not good. He’s +25,000 at FanDuel.

There is some talent on offense, led by big-play receiver D.J. Chark, who caught 73 passes for 1,008 yards. A second-round pick was used on receiver Laviska Shenault, who should be able to manufacture some offense after the catch. However, not only was Fournette the leading rusher with 1,152 yards, he also led the club with 76 receptions. Without the burly Fournette, Devin Ozigbo is projected to be the No. 1 back. As a rookie last year with the Saints, he carried the ball nine times.

Jacksonville finished second in points allowed in 2017 and fourth in 2018, but 21st last season. The linebacker corps of Myles Jack, free-agent addition Joe Schobert, and first-round pick K’Lavon Chaisson will be a strength. Chaisson is +2,000 to win Defensive Rookie of the Year at BetMGM.

Doug Marrone, who led the Jaguars to the title game in his first season, has the longest odds to win Coach of the Year at +5,000 at DraftKings.

Editor’s Note: This is the 24th of 32 NFL team previews and the last of four on the AFC South.