Six games down and we’re on our way to the Divisional Round. What a wild card weekend that was. So many exciting games, games that came down to the final play. It was truly a fun way to kick off the weekend. And you know when the betting gets hot this time of year, you can trust our champion handicappers at bigal.com to get you through next week. How about Vegas Writer with a perfect 4-0-0 run last week in the NFL? AAA Sports came through at 4-1-0 and Jim Feist with a 5-2-0 mark dating back to the week prior. What’s going to happen this week with conference championship spots on the line? Make sure you’re tuned to bigal.com and our Best Bets page to see what our champion handicappers are bringing to the table!
Jaguars - Chiefs preview, analysis and prediction
Jaguars: won 31-30 vs. Chargers (wild card round)
You knew it was going to happen. You just didn’t think it was going to happen to that extent.
You knew that the Los Angeles Chargers were going to Charger. You just didn’t think it would happen like THAT.
But we’re not going to take anything away from the Jacksonville Jaguars. For Trevor Lawrence to bounce back the way that he did, down 27-0 and winning the game, was another one of the landmark performances from the young quarterback that we’ve seen. And yes, he’s still undefeated on Saturdays. We’re rolling with this.
That run may finally come to an end this Saturday because the Jaguars, by way of that historic comeback in the wild card round, now have to shift attention to the biggest game in this franchise’s history to date: a divisional round matchup against Patrick Mahomes and the top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday.
I’m not going to lie: When the Jaguars scored right before halftime, I just had a feeling they grabbed the momentum. And that’s exactly what happened. They started gathering momentum every which way and stifled the Chargers like they had nothing going on at all. After throwing four interceptions in the first half, Lawrence went on to throw four touchdowns and the winning drive that led to the winning field goal.
Lawrence ended up throwing for 288 yards, while Travis Etienne ran for 109 yards, including that 25-yard run on 4th and 1 that set up the game-winning field goal. Evan Engram led the way with seven receptions for 93 yards and a touchdown.
“You couldn’t write a crazier script,” Lawrence said. "We said in the locker room that’s kind of how our season’s going. We’re never out of the fight. ... I’m kind of speechless, honestly, just to see what belief can do and to see when a team believes in each other what you can accomplish.”
That’s six straight wins for the Jaguars now, five of them resulting in covers (the AFC South clincher against Tennessee was the only one they failed as 6-point favorites). But I’ve never seen a more historic rally from a 2-point underdog in my life than what happened in this game. And this matchup is much similar to the one that took place in Kansas City on Nov. 13: The Jaguars are getting 9 points at most books.
And to be honest, I don’t want to think that number is too high, but playoff Mahomes is a different animal. The Chiefs got the No. 1 seed and the bye after finishing 14-3 and the top record in the AFC. They’re led by their MVP quarterback, who is likely winning it again, and an underrated defense that can swarm from the interior and play well from the back end.
The Chiefs closed the regular season on a five-game winning streak, but went 2-7-1 against the spread in their final 10 games. If anything, this has the capability of being close, especially if the Jaguars get more money their way. It makes sense to look ahead to Buffalo or Cincinnati in the AFC Championship game, but I’m not going to jump that far ahead.
“Luckily, two of the teams we’ve already played this year,” Mahomes said of the Bills and Bengals, both of whom beat Kansas City, “so I have a general sense of them already. You make sure you stay working out, stay moving around — not just sitting on the couch — and then when we get ready to go next week, I just try to be prepared and ready to roll.”
In games like these, you always want to root for the underdog. You also have to be realistic that you can’t throw four interceptions against Kansas City and expect to come back from 27-0 again. But I do think Lawrence will play better, he will have a better outing against Kansas City, and the Jaguars will keep it close to where they cover. But ultimately, Mahomes and company will get the job done and either host the AFC Championship, or will be making a trip to Atlanta. Chiefs 34, Jaguars 27
Jaguars are 9-14 TS as a road underdog the last three years.
Jaguars are 21-30 ATS in all games the last three years.
Jaguars are 1-6 ATS after scoring 7 points or less in 2 straight games the last three years.
Chiefs are 2-10 ATS against conference opponents this season.
Chiefs are 13-15 ATS as a home favorite the last three years.
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About the Author:
Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.