Handicapping the playoffs is never an easy task, especially when we are coming off a season where surprises were the norm. Every game is difficult in their own right, but things get especially tricky when you get to the middle seeds, as there is very often little between them. The final Saturday game delivers one of those tricky games, with the LA Chargers going on the road to face the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are one of the surprise teams of the season. This is one of those games that really could go either way, with the bookies expecting a close one. The Chargers are the lower seed and the road team, but the bookies have them in as a modest 2 ½ point favorite. The point total for this one has been set at 47 ½. Let’s break down this NFL Playoffs betting matchup as you consider your weekend wagering.
NFL Playoffs Prediction: Analysis Los Angeles Chargers vs Jacksonville Jaguars
Wild Card Game Info: Chargers versus Jaguars
- When: Saturday, January 14 at 8:15 PM EST
- Where: TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville
- TV: NBC
Why bet on the LA Chargers
It is always tough to win in a division that also contains the Kansas City Chiefs, but the Chargers still delivered a solid enough season, going 10-7 and finishing 2nd in the West. They did lose the final game of the season, but they had already clinched their spot by then and were probably quite content with the prospect of going on the road to face the Jaguars, especially with a winning record of 5-4 away from home in the regular season. That loss aside, the Chargers finished the season strong, winning 4 of their last 5 games with the playoffs on the line. They have also had the number of the Jaguars, winning 8 of the last 10 meetings. In terms of the spread, the Chargers have also been great, covering in 9 of their last 10 versus the Jags, as well as going 7-2 ATS in their last 9 road games. The UNDER has hit in 4 of their last 5 conference games.
Why bet on the Jacksonville Jaguars
When you think about it, the Jaguars have essentially been playing playoff ball for the last 5 games. They looked to be dead and buried, sitting at 4-8 and well off the pace in the South. Once the Titans started to go in the hole, though, the Jaguars began plugging away at the lead, winning 5 in a row, including the final game of the season against the Titans that won them the division and got them into the playoffs in the process. The Jaguars have been solid at home of late, winning 4 of their last 5 in their own building. On the negative side of things, they have also failed to cover in each of the last 5 visits from the LA Chargers. The UNDER has hit in 4 of their last 5 versus the AFC West and in 5 of the last 6 games played in the month of January.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
This is a very difficult game to predict. On the one hand, I believe that the Chargers are just a little more talented than Jacksonville. On the other, the Jags are hot right now, winning 5 in a row. I still think it will be the Chargers who win and cover, with the UNDER also hitting.
LA Chargers 24 Jacksonville Jaguars 17.