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Matchups Week 1: Commanders vs. Jaguars

Jan 9, 2022; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) during the second half against the Indianapolis Colts at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Commanders vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Spread: Commanders -3.

Game Total: 44.

Team Totals: Commanders (23.5), Jaguars (20.5)

Weather: Outdoors, rain expected.

The Line Report

  • The consensus line in this contest is Commanders -3, although there are some Commanders -2.5 options available.
  • This line opened as Commanders -4 or Commanders -3.5.
  • This line has recently stayed adjacent to Commanders -3, but it’s gotten as high as Commanders -4.5.
  • DraftKings Pick’Em has the Commanders -3.5.
  • Circa Sports Millions Pro Football Contest has the Commanders -2.5.
  • The consensus total for this contest is 44-points, with some 43.5 options available.
  • This total opened with 44 or 44.5 points. This total has primarily stayed between 43.5 and 44.5 total points. 

Notable Injuries

Commanders: EDGE Chase Young (Out), S Kamren Curl (Out), TE Logan Thomas (Questionable).

Jaguars: DL Folorunso Fatukasi (Questionable).

The Commanders Offense vs. Jaguars Defense

Despite losing guard Brandon Scherff to Jacksonville, Washington has a fringe top-ten offensive line. The Jaguars have a young, blue chip edge duo in No. 1 overall pick Travon Walker and former No. 7 overall pick Josh Allen. The ceiling is sky high for that pairing, but today the Jaguars have an average at best front four. Washington has a solid trench advantage in this matchup.

Notes and Observations

  • The Commanders were 7-9-1 against the spread in 2021.
  • The Commanders were 7-10 on overs in 2021.
  • Carson Wentz takes over at quarterback for Washington. At this point we should not expect a return to Wentz’s 2017 MVP-caliber form.
  • The Jaguars allowed the 11th most rushing yards and the sixth fewest receiving yards to running backs last season.
  • Jacksonville gave up the 12th most yards to wide receivers last year.
  • The Jaguars yielded the 14th most receiving yards to tight ends in 2021. 

The Jaguars Offense vs. Commanders Defense

When Chase Young is 100% Washington’s front has four former first round picks that collectively have a fascinating ceiling. Unfortunately, Young is out and he missed most of last season, so this group has not yet realized its potential. Even without Young, Washington has a moderate line play edge against Jacksonville.

Notes and Observations

  • The Jaguars were 5-12 against the spread in 2021.
  • Jacksonville was 5-12 on overs in 2021.
  • The transition from Urban Meyer’s debacle to Doug Pederson will greatly benefit Trevor Lawrence.
  • Per The Edge, Washington surrendered the most rushing yards to quarterbacks last season.
  • The Commanders gave up the fifth fewest rushing yards and the 14th fewest receiving yards to enemy running backs in 2021.
  • Washington allowed the fifth most receiving yards and the sixth most receptions to wide receivers last year.
  • The Commanders gave up the fifth most PPR points to slot receivers in 2021.
  • New Jaguars wide receiver Christian Kirk was paid to be the guy at wide receiver for Jacksonville this season.
  • Washington yielded the ninth most receiving yards to opposing tight ends in 2021.

This is What You’re Betting On in Commanders vs. Jaguars

A bet on Washington starts as a bet on a home favorite that has a line play edge in both phases against Jacksonville. New quarterback Carson Wentz should be treated as a volatile player until proven otherwise. That said, the Commanders have a talented, young skill group headlined by wide receiver Terry McLaurin. Washington can win this game in a few ways. Your primary concern if you’re backing the Commanders, apart from Carson Wentz simply failing in this contest, is that Jacksonville’s historic quarterback prospect starts his second season off with a bang. There’s also some chance that the Jaguars young, blue chip edge duo turns promise into production earlier than anticipated.

A bet on Jacksonville is almost entirely built on second-year quarterback Trevor Lawrence taking a big step forward under Doug Pederson. Similarly, the Jaguars defense has some raw materials where they could be better than expected. Ultimately, in both cases, we are talking about a lot of unknowns when it comes to the Jaguars. A bet on Jacksonville here is also a direct bet against Carson Wentz, who bombed against the Jaguars in the regular season finale last year. That performance led to Wentz being traded after just one year in Indianapolis.

Winner/Confidence Pool: We should expect Washington to be selected at a roughly 60% rate in winner pools. In confidence pools, Washington is a mid to lower-level rankings option.

Spread Pool: I tend to avoid betting against teams that have two-line play edges, but I have some interest in taking the Jaguars where I can get the +3.5 hook.

Survivor: Washington is not for me in survivor, but they are an aggressive play that warrants consideration in this matchup.