The Jacksonville Jaguars head north to Cincy to take on the Bengals as Week 4 of the NFL season kicks off. The Jags are still looking for their first win of the year while the Bengals are looking to build on their solid 2-1 start. Oddsmakers currently list Cincinnati as seven and a half point favorites in the contest.
As usual, let’s break down each team on both sides of the ball to see who has the advantage. We’ll also provide a Best Bet on this game for those of you who want a little bit of Thursday night action!
Jaguars Offense vs. Bengals Defense
Rookie QB Trevor Lawrence has shown flashes of brilliance during his first three NFL games. He’s also looked overwhelmed and sometimes confused by the speed of NFL defenses. The former Clemson superstar has thrown for 669 yards and five touchdowns, but he’s also thrown 7 interceptions. How will Lawrence fare tonight against an improved Bengals defense?
Cincinnati’s defense has been a pleasant surprise so far in 2021. This unit is only giving up 18 points per game and is coming off a dominant performance over Big Ben and the Steelers offense. The Bengals defensive line has done a masterful job of stuffing the run as they’re only allowing 78.3 rushing yards per game. They should be able to get some pressure on Lawrence in this game.
Bengals Offense vs. Jaguars Defense
Many Bengals fans were concerned about Joe Burrow’s health after losing him to a torn ACL last year. The former Heisman Trophy winner has put their minds at ease by throwing for 640 yards and seven scores so far this season. Burrow should find plenty of success against a Jags secondary that is giving up 311.7 passing yards per contest. Look for Burrow to keep throwing the ball to his old LSU teammate Ja’Marr Chase, who has caught 11 passes for 220 yards and four touchdowns.
The Jags defense has done a pretty good job against the run so far this year. The weakest link is in the secondary, though, as they’re getting burned on way too many deep post patterns down the middle of the field. Things aren’t likely to be any better tonight for this unit as starting corner Tre Herndon will miss the game with a knee injury. Rookie Tyson Campbell, a second-round pick out of Georgia, will likely start in Herndon’s place (Ourlads.com).
Our Pick: Bengals -7.5
Paul Brown Stadium will be loud and rowdy for this stand-alone Thursday night game. We think the Bengals’ passing offense will be way too much for this banged-up Jags secondary to handle. We also expect Trevor Lawrence to keep throwing picks as he adjusts to the complexity of the pro ranks.
Look for a big game from Burrow and Chase as the Bengals win by double digits! Our final score prediction is Bengals 31 Jaguars 14, so we have no trouble laying the seven and a half points. Best of luck!