Chargers vs Jaguars Wild Card Props: Allen Rises Above Jags

The Jaguars and Chargers struggle defending the pass and run, respectively, so we're targeting skill players to prey on those weaknesses in the Wild Card matchup. Find out more in our NFL player prop picks.

Last Updated: Jan 14, 2023 5:21 PM ET Read Time: 4 min

The Jacksonville Jaguars host the Los Angeles Chargers in NFL Wild Card action on Saturday night.

Both teams looked strong during the final month of the season but both also have obvious flaws. For the Chargers, their Achilles heel is their atrocious run defense, while the Jaguars' biggest flaws are their pass defense and inexperience.

That's why I'm backing Bolts wideout Keenan Allen and Jacksonville running back Travis Ettiene, while fading a Jags rookie who might be a tad overrated at this point in his career. Here are my best Chargers vs. Jaguars NFL prop picks for January 14.

Be sure to also check out our Chargers vs. Jaguars picks and predictions for a full game preview!

Chargers vs Jaguars prop picks

Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Chargers vs Jaguars Wild Card props

Keenan Allen was banged up to start the year, but when healthy, he's one of the best receivers in the NFL. He showed that in the Chargers' season finale when he snagged eight catches for 102 yards and a pair of scores against Denver's highly-rated pass defense. 

He has a much better matchup on his hands against Jacksonville on Saturday. The Jags are 30th in the league in defensive pass DVOA according to Football Outsiders. They are also 28th in DVOA against No. 1 receivers. 

Allen has posted more than 85 receiving yards in five of his last six contests and is averaging 88.7 yards on 11.3 targets per game during that span.

Bet the Over on Allen's receiving yards which you can still find at 70.5 but I'd be willing to take that up to 75.5.

Keenan Allen Prop: Over 70.5 receiving yards (-120 at bet365)

I faded Travis Etienne last week against Tennessee's elite run defense and he was promptly held to 17 yards on seven carries. He should find it much easier to find running room against the Bolts.

The Chargers have been one of the worst teams in the NFL at defending against the run for years, and this season ranked 29th in both defensive rush DVOA and rush EPA. They are especially poor at making tackles in the second level and in the open field, where they rank 31st and 32nd in DVOA.

That's bad news against a speedy back like Etienne, who does his best work after the line of scrimmage. Prior to getting shut down by the Titans in Week 18, Etienne had been on a roll. He rushed for 108 yards on just nine carries against the Texans in Week 17, picked up 83 yards versus the Jets in the previous week, and rumbled for 103 yards against the Cowboys before that.

With the Chargers surrendering 145.8 rushing yards per game on a league-worst 5.4 yards per carry, take the Over on Etienne's rushing yards.

Travis Etienne Prop: Over 76.5 rushing yards (-110 at bet365)

There were sky-high expectations for Travon Walker when he was selected first overall by the Jags in last year's draft, but he was considered a raw prospect. Although Walker showed improvement throughout his rookie year, he still notched just one sack in his final seven games.

Sacks can sometimes be a misleading stat because of how much pressure a player generates but Walker hasn't really stood out in that area either. The only game where he had a sack within the last two months came against the Titans in Week 14 and he boasted a terrific pass rush grade of 91.6 according to PFF in that contest.

However, his second-best pass-rush grade of the season was a mere 69.8 against Tennessee last week and the Titans have one of the worst pass-blocking units in the league. He had a pass rush grade of just 59 over the entire season which ranked 87th among all qualifying edge rushers. 

Despite the early-season loss of Pro Bowl left tackle Rashawn Slater the Chargers have done a good job in pass protection. They rank sixth in the league in QB sack percentage and allowed Herbert to get taken down just once in the final two games of the season. 

Betting on Walker to not get a sack is juiced to -180 for an implied probability of 64.3%. Given his low sack production and LA's stout pass protection, that seems like a fantastic play.

Travon Walker Prop: Player to record a sack - No (-180 at bet365)

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