LA Chargers vs Jacksonville Jaguars Wild Card Predictions, Picks & Best Bets
Adam Thompson | 6 mins
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Justin Herbert and Trevor Lawrence each get their first taste of postseason NFL action on Saturday night when the Jacksonville Jaguars host the Los Angeles Chargers in an AFC Wild Card Weekend matchup.
The Jaguars (9-8) won the AFC South to earn the home game, though the Chargers (10-7) had the better record. It’s a rematch from a Week 3 game in L.A., a 38-10 blowout Jaguars win.
Jacksonville won five in a row to get into the playoffs, while L.A. had won four straight before taking the pedal off the gas in Week 18.
Los Angeles is favored by 2.5 points in the latest Chargers vs. Jaguars odds on NFL betting sites, with an Over/Under set at 47.5 points. Bookies.com NFL handicapper Adam Thompson – focused on hitting over 60% of his NFL picks for a fourth-consecutive season – reveals his best bets and props for this AFC rematch. .
Chargers vs. Jaguars Point Spread Pick
The Chargers were favored at -1 at the start of the week, a number that’s ballooned to -2.5 on sports betting apps. These teams played each other during the regular season and it wasn’t particularly close. The Chargers lost 38-10 at home as 6.5-point favorites. Few expect such a dramatic final score this time around.
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Each team is good in this spot; the Jaguars are 4-0 ATS as a home underdog, while the Chargers are 4-1 when favored on the road. Jacksonville won five straight to get here, while L.A. won four in a row to qualify (before losing in Week 18 with nothing on the line).
But the Chargers, against playoff-level opposition, were a poor 1-5 straight-up, the lone win vs. the Tua-less Dolphins. A lot of things are equal. It’s not our top play of the night, but we’ll lean the home side to cover.
Chargers vs. Jaguars Over/Under Best Bet
On the surface, it makes sense that this is the highest total for the weekend on betting sites. These two QBs know how to sling it and neither team is generally known for defense. But in reality, defense is why they’re in the postseason.
Combined, the teams are allowing just 22 ppg the last three weeks. Offensively, the Jaguars and Chargers rank No. 1 and No. 2 in the NFL in dropped passes. It’s also the first-ever playoff game for both QBs. We don't expect the onslaught of points the total suggests, but rather more rushing to set up better passing situations. We’ll back the Under on the highest total of the Wild Card round.
Chargers vs. Jaguars Moneyline Pick
Favored Los Angeles is -145 on the moneyline, while host Jacksonville has NFL odds of +125. But the matchups on the field seem to lean toward the Jaguars, or are stalemates at worst. It makes sense to take the team on the plus end of the scale, and the home team.
It could be argued that Herbert is more ready for this moment than Lawrence, and the Chargers defense has more potential to be better than the Jaguars defense. But from this chair, too many aspects even themselves out. The plus-odds moneyline on the Jaguars is worth a sprinkle.
Best Chargers vs. Jaguars Player Props
Travis Etienne, Over 16.5 Carries
Odds: -115 at DraftKings ➜
The way to beat the Chargers is to run the ball and keep the ball out of Herbert’s hands as much as possible. It’s why L.A. ranks 28th against the run this season, and it should be why Etienne should be fed early and often and all game long. The Jaguars RB has eclipsed 16 carries only five times all year, but the team is 4-1 and averaging 27.8 ppg when it happens.
Christian Kirk, Under 57.5 Receiving Yards
Odds: -110 at BetMGM ➜
Kirk is the go-to WR for Lawrence and the Jaguars, but he’s been highly erratic, with four games of at least 99 yards and four with under 25. Two of his last three games he’s finished at 22 and 21 yards. The Chargers can throw Asante Samuel Jr. on him and Lawrence has a slew of similar weapons he can target instead – when they’re not handing off to Etienne.