Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7) at Cincinnati Bengals (4-2-1)
Overall on the season, the Bengals really haven’t played well, as they rank way down at 27th in rate of moving the chains differential, moving the chains at a 71.36% rate, as opposed to 75.10% for their opponents, a differential of -3.74%. However, they’ve been much better at home, moving the chains at a 78.83% rate, as opposed to 73.28% for their opponents, a differential of 5.55%. This is nothing new for them as, since the start of last season, the Bengals are 11-1-1 at home, outscoring opponents by an average of 12.85 points per game, going 11-2 against the spread.
The Jaguars, meanwhile, rank 29th in rate of moving the chains differential, moving the chains at a 65.82% rate, as opposed to 72.73% for their opponents, a differential of -6.90%. Given that and how well the Bengals play at home, this 10.5 point line is justified, but we’re not getting the same kind of line value as we normally do with the Bengals at home because they’re still so overrated. They overall aren’t as good as their record and, while they are expected to get AJ Green back, there’s no guarantee he’ll be anything other than a decoy in his first game back from a toe injury. The Bengals are also missing several other key players, including Kevin Zeitler, Vontaze Burfict, and Giovani Bernard.
The Bengals are in a bad spot with a Thursday Night Game with the Browns coming up. Favorites are 35-56 ATS since 2008 before a Thursday Night Game. The Jaguars aren’t in a much better spot though with a game in London against the Cowboys on deck. Teams are 40-84 ATS since 2012 before being double digit underdogs (the early line is currently 10.5). That’s because when you have a game coming up like that it generally means one of two things. One, you have a very tough, important game coming up. Two, you really aren’t that good of a football team. Here, I think it’s both. I’m going with the Bengals, but I’m not confident at all.
Cincinnati Bengals 24 Jacksonville Jaguars 10
Pick against the spread: Cincinnati -10.5