But with Cincinnati losing star quarterback Joe Burrow to a season-ending wrist injury in Week 11, tonight's AFC affair went from a look-ahead line of a pick’em to hovering around a double-digit spread in favor of Jacksonville.
The Jaguars have won two straight and have only one loss since Week 4 while the Bengals stumble into Florida on a three-game losing skid with a backup QB calling the shots.
I dive into the spread and Over/Under for Monday Night Football and give my best NFL picks for Bengals vs. Jaguars on December 4.
Bengals vs Jaguars odds
Bengals vs Jaguars predictions
A backup quarterback under center and the return of another standout receiver may scare you off betting Over on Ja’Marr Chase odds Monday night.
However, Chase sits in that category of WRs who elevate whichever QB is taking snaps (think D-Hop and Amari Cooper) and the return of Tee Higgins to the Cincinnati Bengals offense will stop defenses from blanketing Ja’Marr with extra coverage.
It’s something Chase was very excited about heading into Week 13.
“That’s why I had the energy,” Chase told the media after practice Friday. “Instead of bringing the whole defense to me, bring the defense to him. Anytime I can get on the field with him I’m happy. With the three receivers on the field (Tyler Boyd), that’s all good.”
That added attention didn’t stop Chase from snagging four of the six passes his way against Pittsburgh last week. He turned those receptions into 81 yards, including a 31-yard gain on a tipped pass — a throw that would have found Chase on an open slant regardless but may not have had as big a chaotic outcome.
Chase’s receiving yard total for Monday’s trip to Jacksonville sits at 57.5 Over/Under at FanDuel.
He’s bounced between Over and Under results in each of his past 10 games, due in part to the erratic play from Cincinnati’s quarterbacks (injured Burrow, healthy Burrow, Jake Browning).
Last week, Chase’s 81-yard effort topped his closing prop total of 60.5 yards receiving — a market that took a nosedive with Burrow out of action (Week 11 total was 85.5 O/U).
While the Jacksonville Jaguars do have one of the better pass defenses in the land, the Week 13 number is just three yards shorter than Week 12 despite Higgins now stretching the coverage and another week building chemistry with Browning, who took a lot of first-team reps with Chase in the summer when Burrow injured his calf.
"Him coming in and just knowing the plays," Chase said of the Bengals’ backup-turned-starter. "Because the plays are a lot, maybe they get a little longer here and there. It's up to him knowing those. And even if he messes up, some guys are still there to help him, make sure it's corrected. If it's not on him, then it's on our part to know it ourselves."
Player projections for Chase are very positive, with every model well beyond the high end of his receiving yard prop (57.5 yards). These range from 67 to 92 yards with Covers’ brand-new player projections showing 78.6 yards. My number comes out to 71.6 yards from Cincy’s star wideout in Week 13.
Add in the one-sided spread and the game script that says the Bengals will be battling from behind and forced to throw a lot more. Last week, Cincinnati dropped back on more than 73% of snaps — the third-highest pass rate in Week 12.
My best bet: Ja’Marr Chase Over 57.5 receiving yards (-114 at FanDuel)
Picks made at time of writing may not reflect live odds.
Bengals vs Jaguars same-game parlay
Chase has been buzzing about his team this week and his player projections all call for at least 67 yards on Monday night.
Etienne is a threat on the ground or through the air, facing a Bengals defense that has allowed 10 touchdowns to running backs in 2023.
This is a meaty point spread, so we’ll pass on the ATS and give our SGP a little tick-up with the big favorite to win outright.
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Bengals vs Jaguars spread and Over/Under analysis
As mentioned, this game was shaping up to be a highlight of the Week 13 odds board before the Burrow injury. Look-ahead lines were as tight as pick’em ahead of Week 11 when Cincinnati lost their star QB for the season.
That look-ahead moved to Jaguars -7 and then the official opener hit the board at -7.5. From there, money sided with the home team and has pushed this spread as high as Jacksonville -10 as some sharper books. Covers Consensus shows 71% of picks laying the points with the Jags.
Jacksonville exorcized some demons in Week 12 by beating the rival Houston Texans, who had long been a thorn in their side and their closest competition in the AFC South. That improved the Jaguars to 6-1 SU and ATS in their last seven games, with the lone loss a blowout at the hands of San Francisco.
This battle with the Bengals was expected to be another test of Jacksonville’s validity, however, Cincinnati’s offense isn’t the same without a healthy Joe Burrow making throws.
Cincy settled for a 16-10 home loss to Pittsburgh last week, with backup QB Jake Browning receiving mixed reviews after his second-half interception killed a potential go-ahead drive.
The Bengals defense may have held Pittsburgh to 16 points but it allowed 421 yards off offense to a Steelers attack that was among the worst in the NFL. Cincinnati sits 26th in EPA per play and faces a high-powered Jacksonville team that has been among the NFL’s best since Week 5.
This Over/Under total opened around 41 points and dropped to as low as 37.5 points before coming back up to a current spot of 39.5 Over/Under. Covers Consensus shows 58% of picks on the Over.
Without Burrow, the Bengals offense (5-6 O/U) doesn’t have the same pop or threat to push the ball downfield. Browning is a capable backup and is surrounded by one of the best receiving corps in the league, however, his offensive line ranks 30th in pass block win rate and allowed four sacks in Week 12.
The Jaguars are also 5-6 Over/Under on the season but have stayed below the total in three of their last four games. Both offenses rank on the slower end of the pace scale, ranking 24th and 28th in seconds per snap.
Bengals vs Jaguars betting trend to know
Jacksonville is just 2-3 SU and 1-4 ATS as a favorite of -6 or more since 2020. Find more NFL betting trends for Bengals vs. Jaguars.
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Bengals vs Jaguars game info
|EverBank Stadium, Jacksonville, FL
|Monday, December 4, 2023
|8:15 p.m. ET
|ESPN or ABC
|Jaguars -7, 41 O/U
Bengals vs Jaguars latest injuries
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