Arizona Cardinals (5-4) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8)
I maintained all along that the Jaguars were going to win a game at some point. It’s very, very hard to go 0 for a season. Winless teams are 24-5 ATS in week 9 or later since 1989 so I’m not surprised at all that Jacksonville was able to go into Tennessee and beat a distracted Titans team. That shouldn’t change what anyone thinks about this team. They’re still one of the worst teams of the decade and easily the worst team in the NFL this season.
Their point differential is -176. No one else is worse than -78 (Houston, NY Giants). Football Outsiders has them at -62.3% in terms of DVOA. No one else is worse than -35.9% (Oakland). In terms of rate of moving the chains, they move the chains at a 64% rate, as opposed to 80% for their opponents. No one else has a differential worse than -8%. Arizona isn’t a fantastic team or anything, but they’re at least average. They move the chains at a 71% rate, as opposed to 72% for their opponents, a differential that is 18th. In terms of DVOA, they are 12th. 9 points might seem like a lot to be giving with the Cardinals on the road, but it’s pretty reasonable.
Now that the Jaguars have a win, they won’t catch teams off guard as easily and they can get back to what they were doing for the vast majority of the season, which was losing to anyone and everyone by 10 points or more. They’re also in a bad spot after last week’s win. Since 1989, teams are 46-67 ATS off of a win as double digit underdogs, including 17-28 ATS off of a win by 3 or fewer points. I’m not confident in the Cardinals because I hate laying more than a touchdown on the road with anyone (7.5+ road favorites are 5-17 ATS since 2011), but if I had to pick a side, I’d take Arizona.
Arizona Cardinals 20 Jacksonville Jaguars 9
Pick against spread: Arizona -9