Thursday Night Football Picks: Our Staff's Top Bets for Cincinnati Bengals vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Three weeks of the 2021 NFL season are in the books, and Week 4 is about to get underway with the Cincinnati Bengals playing host to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
While the idea of this game might knock you into a coma, you can always avoid dozing off by placing some bets -- and our staff is here to help with that.
In addition to an ever-growing abundance of top-notch content, our staff will be providing us with their favorite overall plays each week of the season.
For this piece, our staff will be covering whatever bets they feel strongest about for the Bengals vs. Jaguars matchup -- no limitations. Let’s get to it!
Bengals vs. Jaguars Picks
Cincinnati Bengals -7.5 (-105)
The number may seem a touch high for a team like Cincinnati, but to their credit, they are 2-1 against the spread (ATS) this year and have an ATS +/- of 7.2. Jacksonville is 0-3 ATS and straight up with an average margin of victory of -12.7. They’re losing and they’re losing big, and I don’t see that changing this week. As an away team, the Jags are 4-5 ATS since the start of 2020 and have an average margin of victory of -11.1. At home, the Bengals have been excellent against the spread. They’re 6-3 for a 66.7 cover percentage, and as a home favorite, they’re 1-0 winning that game by eight points.
-- Matt O’Leary (@MattOLearyNY)
Marvin Jones Over 5.5 receptions (+110)
You can also get Over 4.5 right now at FanDuel if you want, but it's juiced to -140. My play is over 5.5. The combo of talent, volume, and usage through three weeks has been tremendous for the veteran wide receiver. Jones Jr. leads his new team in snaps at wide receiver. He's garnered 28 targets through the first three weeks. The Bengals have allowed the fourth-most receptions to wide receivers so far this season. Jones Jr. has 5, 6, and 6 receptions through the first three weeks. With oddsmakers pricing the Bengals of more than a touchdown favorite, we can expect the Jags to be trailing and passing the ball. Let's have Jones Jr. soar past this total tonight. He is also one of my picks for an anytime touchdown bet, which you can read here. Best of luck if you tail!
-- Tom Viera (@Tom_Viera)
Jacksonville Jaguars +7.5 (-110)
This pick has everything to do with the hangover effect the Bengals will likely be feeling from a big road win against the rival Steelers. Yes, Cincinnati is 2-1 on the season and feeling good in a three-way tie atop the division at this point. But there has to be a bit of a letdown having the Jaguars come to town on a short week, even though the game is nationally televised. Jacksonville showed fight last week against the Cardinals, and if Trevor Lawrence takes better care of the ball (that is a big "if"), the Jaguars should be competitive in a battle between the last two No. 1 overall draft picks.
-- Mike Spector (@MikeSpector01)
Joe Burrow Under 1.5 Passing Touchdowns (+155) - DraftKings
As far as passing scores are concerned, Joe Burrow has started out the 2021 campaign scorching. The 24-year-old has tossed for two, two, and three scores through three outings. That said, regression should be coming, and it could be as soon as this week. This season, Burrow is through a touchdown on 9.3% of his passes -- for reference, reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers led the league with a 9.1% touchdown rate last season. Furthermore, Burrow had a measly 3.2% rate last year, and while he was bound to see an improvement, this is, undoubtedly, an overcorrection. The second-year signal-caller failed to record multiple touchdown passes in six of his 10 starts as a rookie, and only managed one in a 33-25 victory over the Jaguars. For what it's worth, Jacksonville is tied for the ninth-fewest passing touchdowns allowed so far this season. At +155, this is a bet I'm a big fan of.
-- Elisha Twerski (@ElishaTwerski)