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NFL Wild Card: Los Angeles Chargers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Betting Preview

Cap off your Saturday with a NFL Wild Card matchup between the Los Angeles Chargers (10-7) and the Jacksonville Jaguars (9-8). The Jaguars will host this one at TIAA Bank Field, with kickoff scheduled for 8:15 pm ET.

The Chargers come into this one having won four of their last five games, but they did lose their last matchup 31-28 against the Broncos. In the loss, Justin Herbert threw for 273 yards and two touchdowns before being replaced by Chase Daniel. Keenen Allen had a big day as he finished with eight receptions for 102 yards and two scores.

Jacksonville finished the season as one of the hottest teams in the league, winning five straight games. Last Saturday, they took down the Tennessee Titans 20-16 to secure the AFC South crown. In the victory, Trevor Lawrence threw for 212 yards and a touchdown.

The Chargers come in as slight favorites despite playing on the road. They are -138 to win, while the Jaguars’ moneyline sits at +118. The spread features Jacksonville as 2.5-point underdogs (-110), and the over/under for total points is 47.5 (-110).

Chargers Look For Redemption

This is not the first time these two teams have matched up, and the first game certainly did not go well for the Chargers. They lost 38-10 to the Jaguars, allowing Trevor Lawrence to throw for 262 yards and three touchdowns. They will look for redemption Saturday as road favorites.

Offensively, Los Angeles ranks 13th in the NFL in scoring, averaging 23 points per game. They were slightly better on the road during the regular season, averaging 24.1 points.

Leading the offense is quarterback Justin Herbert. In 17 games this season, he threw for 4,739 yards, 25 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Herbert’s leading receiver, Mike Williams, is questionable for this one with a back injury, but he still should have Joshua Palmer (769 yards, three touchdowns) and Keenan Allen (752 yards, four touchdowns) at his disposal.

Herbert will also have Austin Ekeler to help balance the offense. On the ground, Ekeler rushed for 915 yards and 13 touchdowns. He is also an asset in the passing game, as he had 722 yards receiving and another four scores.

Defensively, the Chargers rank 21st in the league, allowing an average of 22.6 points per game to opponents.

Jaguars Hope To Continue Cinderella Story

After finishing 3-14 last season, the Jaguars have gone from worst to first in the AFC South. In what has been a magical ride, head coach Doug Pederson is hoping that the Cinderella story continues a little deeper into the playoffs.

They will play this game at home, where they are 5-3 this season. Between coming in on a five-game winning streak and their solid home record, the Jaguars will certainly be confident Saturday night.

Trevor Lawrence really hit his stride this year for an offense that ranked 10th in scoring, averaging 23.8 points per game. He threw for 4,113 yards, 25 touchdowns, and eight interceptions in 17 games. He also rushed for 291 yards and another five scores.

Through the air, Christian Kirk has been his go-to receiver. He leads the team with 84 receptions, 1,108 yards, and eight touchdowns.

On the ground, Travis Etienne Jr leads the way with 1,125 yards rushing and five scores. He also has 35 receptions for 316 yards.

On defense, the Jaguars rank 12th overall, allowing 20.6 points per game (19 at home).

Take Jacksonville And The Points

Don’t expect the same type of blowout that happened when these two teams matched up in Week 3. In that game, the Chargers’ defense simply had no answers for Jacksonville, but with a healthy Joey Bosa, Keenan Allen, and Justin Herbert, this will likely be a much more contested game.

Still, it is hard to ignore the roll that the Jaguars come in with. There will certainly be some nerves for a team playing in their first playoffs since 2017. If they can temper their excitement, they have to like their chances coming into this one.

In what could be the most competitive game of the Wild Card weekend, this one could truly go either way. For that reason, take the points in this one. That means taking Jacksonville +2.5 (-110).

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