The divisional round of the NFL playoffs kicks off on Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium, with the Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Both of these teams enter the postseason red-hot, but it's the more battle-tested Chiefs led by Patrick Mahomes who are significant faves against the young Jags and sophomore QB Trevor Lawrence.
Also, be sure to check out Sam Farley's favorite NFL player props for this weekend's big game.
Jaguars vs Chiefs best odds
Jaguars vs Chiefs picks and predictions
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce was relatively quiet in Weeks 17 and 18, but he still finished the year with 1,300 receiving yards. Not only did that number lead the position this season, but it was a whopping 402 yards more than runner-up T.J. Hockenson.
When the chips are down, Patrick Mahomes tends to lock on to the reliable tight end. In three postseason games last year, Kelce had at least 95 receiving yards in each contest, and he went over 100 yards in all three of his playoff games the previous season.
According to Football Outsiders, the Jacksonville Jaguars are dead-last in the league in pass DVOA against tight ends. They also surrendered 62.7 receiving yards per game to the position during the regular season.
Expect the seven-time All-Pro to get plenty of targets and go Over his receiving yards in a very favorable matchup versus Jacksonville.
My best bet: Travis Kelce Over 79.5 receiving yards (-125)
Jaguars vs Chiefs
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Jaguars vs Chiefs spread analysis
The Jaguars are coming off their first playoff game in five years, and it was one to remember as they clawed back from a 27-0 deficit to edge the Chargers out 31-30. It isn't a great sign that they fell behind early, but it showed the mettle of this young team to fight back, and Trevor Lawrence showed poise by recovering from a horrific first half that saw him throw four picks.
Jacksonville has now gone 6-0 straight up and 5-1 against the spread in its last six games and will look to take advantage of a KC defense that ranks 20th in the league in pass DVOA.
The Chiefs have also been on fire as winners of 10 of their last 11 games. That said, this is a team that has struggled to knock down the big spreads placed in front of them — especially at home. They are just 1-7-1 ATS in their last nine contests at Arrowhead and are 0-4 ATS in their previous four contests against teams with a winning record.
With Mahomes leading the way, Kansas City has an explosive offense that ranks first in the league in EPA/Play and DVOA. The Chiefs are heavily reliant on their downfield passing attack and should be able to take advantage of a Jaguars secondary that is 30th in the league in defensive pass DVOA.
Both of these teams have done an excellent job in pass protection, with the Chiefs having the second-best quarterback sack percentage in the league and the Jags ranking fourth. However, the Chiefs have the superior pass rush and took Lawrence down five times when these teams faced off in Week 10. That could be a problem for Jacksonville, with guard Brandon Scherff and center Luke Fortner both listed as questionable with injuries.
That previous meeting also took place at Arrowhead, with the Chiefs cruising to a 27-17 victory and rolling up 486 yards of offense.
Jaguars vs Chiefs Over/Under analysis
The total for this game sits at a relatively high 52.5, which makes plenty of sense when you consider that each team has a diverse aerial attack and a vulnerable pass defense.
Mahomes is the best QB in the world and led the NFL this year with 5,250 passing yards and 41 touchdowns. He does an excellent job of spreading the ball around and will be able to pick apart a Jags secondary that surrendered 238.5 passing yards per game during the regular season.
That number is even worse when you consider that Jacksonville benefitted from playing in the weakest division for QBs in the league.
That said, Kansas City's defense hasn't been much better and ranks just 27th in opponent passer rating. Lawrence has been impressive in recent weeks and completed 72.5% of his passes for 259 yards and two scores when these teams met up earlier this season.
The Chiefs' defense did look better towards the end of the year, allowing just 5.0 yards per pass attempt in their last three games, but that was inflated by matchups against Jarrett Stidham and a washed Russell Wilson.
The Chiefs lead the league with 29.2 points per game, while the Jags are averaging 29.5 ppg over their last six contests.
Jaguars vs Chiefs same-game parlay
Trevor Lawrence Over 249.5 passing yards
Jacksonville team total Over 20.5
Isiah Pacheco Over 54.5 rushing yards
Travis Kelce Over 84.5 receiving yards
Win or lose, the Jaguars are going to need Lawrence to throw the ball, and I think he'll pass for at least 250 yards against a mediocre Chiefs secondary. The Jags should also be able to score at least 21 points, but it might not be enough against a Chiefs offense that features the best TE in the league in Kelce, as well as rookie running back Isiah Pacheco, who has gone Over this low number in eight of his last nine games.
SGP odds: +900 at DraftKings
Jaguars vs Chiefs betting trend to know
Kansas City is 2-7-1 ATS in its last 10 games overall. Find more NFL betting trends for Jaguars vs. Chiefs.
Jaguars vs Chiefs game info
|Location:||Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO|
|Date:||Saturday, January 21, 2023|
|Kickoff:||4:30 p.m. ET|
|Opening odds:||Chiefs -9, 51.5|