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Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars are still searching for their first win of the 2021 season. What can we expect? Derrik Klassen gives us his best player prop picks.
ANALYSIS

Top Thursday Night Football Player Props: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Bengals QB Joe Burrow Over 247.5 Passing Yards (-115)  - DraftKings

Joe Burrow has been something of a roller coaster this year. The Bears forced him into three consecutive interceptions in Week 2, only for him to rebound in Week 3 with a trio of touchdown passes against the Steelers. To this point, the significant yardage totals have not been there, but that’s in part because they have not yet faced a freebie defense. Thankfully, Burrow is not playing the Bears or the Steelers this week. Instead, he is facing a horrific Jaguars defense on a short week.

Through three weeks, the Jaguars are among the league’s worst pass defenses. They rank 30th in pass-defense DVOA and have yet to hold a single passer under 285 passing yards. To this point, Jacksonville’s defense also has just one interception — a pick that was much more a product of Kyler Murray carelessly heaving a post route into double coverage as opposed to the Jaguars defense doing anything particularly impressive. The Jaguars have also failed to get to the quarterback very well, which is generally the key factor to keeping Burrow down.

Jacksonville also just traded away cornerback CJ Henderson. A groin injury held Henderson out of action in Week 3, but he played the first two weeks, taking 100% of the snaps in Week 1. While Henderson had not been any good this season, trading away a starting cornerback still leaves the Jaguars thinner at the position than they entered the season. Cincinnati’s three-headed monster of wide receivers are plenty talented enough to abuse Jacksonville’s shaky cornerback situation and give Burrow clear targets.

Bengals WR Ja’Marr Chase Anytime TD (+100)  - DraftKings

Ja’Marr Chase has scored in each of the first three weeks of the season. Now, that does not mean he will score every week this year, but it’s hard to see why this would be the week that ends the streak. Also, as mentioned plenty in the last section, the Jaguars defense is a bad, disjointed pass defense unit playing on a short week.

Chase has found the end zone a few different ways, too. The Steelers game was a perfect example of that. First, Chase found one touchdown deep down the left sideline, separating at the last second with a slight push-off, just like he always did at LSU. Then, he found another touchdown cutting across the middle of the field while the offense was in the red zone. 

Jaguars RB James Robinson Under 52.5 Rushing Yards (-115) - DraftKings

Neither the matchup nor the expected game script is favorable for James Robinson to hit the over here. Robinson has been a disappointing figure from a production standpoint this season, which is half his fault and half the fault of the offensive play-callers, and it does not feel like this is the week he kicks into high gear.

For one, this game has the potential to get away from the Jaguars early. The Bengals offense has been sort of up and down, but we saw what they could do at their peak last week against the Steelers. Granted, Pittsburgh’s front was decimated and rendered incapable of generating any pressure on Burrow. Still, it’s not like this Jaguars front is going to be getting home all that often, either. Pile that on top of an already disjointed Jaguars defense playing on a short week, after just trading starting cornerback CJ Henderson, and you have a game that is ripe for the Jaguars to abandon the run early.

The Bengals have also been stout-run defenders, believe it or not. Their linebackers may still leave something to be desired, but their front four is littered with solid, smart run defenders who can occasionally flash in the backfield. Signing Trey Hendrickson, trading for BJ Hill, and getting DJ Reader back from injury has helped tremendously. As a result, Cincinnati has allowed just 3.3 yards per rush this season, settling in at fifth-best. They also sit at 2nd in run defense DVOA, which is a better measure of their run defense relative to down-and-distance, game situation, etc.

While Robinson did handle 15 carries for 88 yards last week, that Cardinals defense is among the least-sound in the league. They do not have their ducks in a row right now and were the perfect team to set up hope that Robinson could get back on track. Assuming this Bengals front plays to their level and Burrow can get the offense going against a bad defense, Robinson will have a hard time clearing the over without a random explosive gain. He is not generally good at generating. 

Top Thursday Night Football Player Props: Bengals vs. Jaguars

  • Joe Burrow Over 247.5 Passing Yards (-115)
  • Ja’Marr Chase Anytime TD (+100)
  • James Robinson Under 52.5 Rushing Yards (-115)

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You've seen his breakdowns and football analysis on Twitter and elsewhere. Now, Derrik Klassen brings his unmatched knowledge of the game to OddsChecker to give us his NFL picks each and every week.

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