Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Jamal Agnew
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Jamal Agnew (39) runs back a missed field goal for a 109-yard touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Jaguars vs Bengals Best Bets/Props, Sept. 30

Patrick Werkmeister

After a very different start for these two teams going into Week 4, this Thursday night matchup yields a high point spread. From Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars face off versus second year QB Joe Burrow and the Bengals. Although both teams haven’t fully revealed their identities yet, this encounter should come down to the wire if the Jags play their cards right. While the Bengals had a resounding victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, they suffered a hideous defeat against the Chicago Bears. They are primed for a letdown vs this undervalued Jags team who, despite their results, have shown flashes of production. Here’s where I like my money in this match.

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Jags (+7.5)
The opening line for this one favored Cincinnati by six and a half-points and has been bet up to -7.5 following their upset win in Pittsburgh. The Jags are 0-18 SU in their last 18 games, and 1-6 ATS in their previous 7. Last week, Jacksonville found themselves in an intense competition with the high-powered Arizona Cardinals until they started giving the ball away. A pick-six late in the third quarter erased their 19-17 lead and crushed their hopes for a victory. Although they have found a way to mess things up in each of their games so far, if they don’t turn it over vs this easier Bengals defense, Urban Meyer’s team can give Cincy a run for their money. After starting out slow in the running game in the season, the Jags offense looked more comfortable with an established rushing attack vs Arizona. RB James Robinson had his most productive outing last game with nearly 150 yards from scrimmage and a TD. Robinson has clearly displayed his usefulness at the position, which makes me wonder why they don’t run more often. If they go with a conservative run-first approach, it will limit turnovers, take tremendous pressure off Lawrence, and give them an actual shot at winning the game. I see them going with a more tactical approach in this contest and covering the spread. Take Duval plus the points.

James Robinson Anytime TD (+160)
Following an exponential increase in productivity from Week 1, the Jaguars offensive playbook for success must involve James Robinson. Last week, he was able to secure his first touchdown of the season and that pattern should continue. After abysmal outings in their first two weeks, Jacksonville’s ground game couldn’t get started with only 60 rushing yards in each match. However, with 135 yards from scrimmage vs Arizona for Robinson, 88 of which were on the ground, they were almost able to shock the world and defeat the Cardinals. Head coach Urban Meyer plainly stated earlier this week that the running back needed to be more involved. At +160, this prop has outstanding value against a mediocre Bengals defense where he should run rampant. Take him to run one in for what should be a high-scoring affair.

Joe Mixon Over 84.5 Rushing Yards (-114)
Joe Mixon’s excellent start to the season against good defenses and bad defenses alike has put him in a favorable position to run past this mark vs Jacksonville. Coming into Week 4, Mixon is the second leading rusher in the league with 286 yards rushing in 3 games. In Week 3, their offensive line was able to control the line of scrimmage as they convincingly dominated on the ground vs a stout Pittsburgh front. His bell-cow status makes this prop so valuable, given how low this total really is. In his game versus the Jaguars just last year, Mixon ran for 151 yards and two touchdowns. Expect to see the colossal numbers he got last year against this similarly structured defense in Thursday’s game. Take his rushing over in what is a pretty safe bet.

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