The NFL divisional round kicks off Saturday with an AFC matchup between the Jacksonville Jaguars (10-8) and the Kansas City Chiefs (14-3). The Chiefs will host this one at Arrowhead Stadium, with kickoff scheduled for 4:30 pm ET.
Last week, the Jaguars mounted a massive comeback to erase a 27-7 halftime deficit to the Los Angeles Chargers in the Wild Card round. Trevor Lawrence had four interceptions in the win, but he also threw for 288 yards and four scores.
The Chiefs enjoyed a bye week last week after taking the top seed in the AFC this season. They come into this game having won five games in a row, including a 31-13 drubbing of the Raiders in Week 18.
The Chiefs are the overwhelming favorites in this one playing at home. They are -450 to win, while the Jaguars’ moneyline sits at +350. The spread features Jacksonville as 8.5-point underdogs, and the over/under for total points is 52.5.
Jaguars Look To Keep Magical Season Going
After starting the season just 4-8, the Jaguars mounted five straight victories to overcome the Titans in the AFC South. Trying to keep their magical season alive, they will look to overtake the Chiefs on the road, where they are 4-5 this season.
Jacksonville’s offense ranks ninth in the NFL this season, averaging 24.2 points per game. They are led under center by 23-year-old quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who threw for 4,113 yards, 25 touchdowns, and eight interceptions during the regular season.
Lawrence’s favorite target was wide receiver, Christian Kirk. In 17 games during the regular season, he hauled in 84 receptions for 1,108 yards and eight touchdowns.
On the ground, the team is led by Travis Etienne, who rushed for 1,125 yards and eight touchdowns on 220 carries this season.
The Jaguars rank 12th in scoring defense, allowing opponents 21.1 points per game.
Chiefs Hope To Stay Dominant At Arrowhead
A well-rested Kansas City Chiefs team will look to stay dominant at Arrowhead Stadium, where they were 7-1 during the regular season on Saturday. In fact, the last time they lost a game at home was back on October 16 in a four-point loss to the Buffalo Bills.
Despite losing Tyreek Hill in an offseason trade, the Chiefs remained the NFL’s top offense. They averaged 29.2 points per game, although they scored just 25.1 at home this season.
Leading the offense is veteran quarterback Patrick Mahomes. In 17 games, he threw for 5,250 yards, 41 touchdowns, and just 12 interceptions.
Mahomes’ go-to receiver was tight end Travis Kelce. He hauled in 110 receptions for 1,338 yards and 12 touchdowns. JuJu Smith-Schuster also added 78 receptions for 933 yards and another three scores.
On the defensive side, the Chiefs rank 16th overall, allowing an average of 21.7 points per game to opponents (19.4 at home).
Take Jacksonville And The Points
Looking at the trends, Jacksonville is not only 6-0 in their last six games, but they are 5-1 against the spread in that time. However, against the Chiefs, they are just 1-6 against the spread in their last seven games and have lost six straight to them straight up.
For the Chiefs, they are 15-2 straight up in their last 17 games, but they have struggled against the spread as of late. They are just 2-4 against the spread in their last six games, and they are 2-11 against the spread in their last 13 against AFC teams.
It is worth noting that the most impressive Chiefs’ stat might be their production after a bye. With Mahomes, they are a perfect 5-0 after a bye, while head coach Andy Reid is 21-3 in this career after a bye.
Expect the Chiefs to continue their dominance both at home and after a bye, but don’t be surprised if the Jaguars keep this close. For the most value, take the Jaguars +8.5 (-108) on the spread.