NFL Picks: Disappointing Chargers Not a True Contender for Jaguars

Jason Lake

Friday, November 27, 2015 1:58 PM GMT

Friday, Nov. 27, 2015 1:58 PM GMT

Do not adjust your NFL odds board: The Jacksonville Jaguars are indeed the favorites for Sunday's matchup against the San Diego Chargers. How times have changed.

Jason's 2015 record as of Nov. 25: 43-37-2 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 24-31 Total

 

Respectability is just around the corner for the Jacksonville Jaguars. They've won three of their last four games, beating the NFL odds each time, and suddenly the Jags (4-6 SU, 6-4 ATS) are legitimate playoff contenders in the AFC. It could happen. Health isn't a problem at the moment, and according to Football Outsiders, Jacksonville has the softest remaining schedule of anyone in the league.

It starts this Sunday (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS) with a home game against the disappointing San Diego Chargers. Wrecked by injuries, the Chargers have dropped six straight games to fall into a three-way tie for last place at 2-8 (3-7 ATS). People are still betting on the Bolts, though. Our consensus reports at press time show nearly 60 percent of early bettors preferring San Diego as a 4-point road dog. That doesn't seem like a very sharp NFL pick.

 

The Sunshine State
It probably isn't. Check out our expanded consensus figures, where the Jaguars are pulling in almost two-thirds of the action for this game. This isn't random high-roller action, either; the average bet on Jacksonville is just $80, compared to $29 for the Chargers. Be that as it may, our loveable street urchins tell us there were indeed some sharps taking San Diego +5 at the open.

Every point counts. So do the weather reports, although it looks like Jacksonville will avoid the nasty weather that's threatening nearly every other outdoor game on the Week 12 schedule. Maybe some rain would have helped level the playing field for the Bolts; instead, there's a 5-percent chance of precipitation at kick-off, with temperatures in the low 70s.

 

Dizzy J
Getting some of those injured players back on the field would make San Diego a lot more viable as a contrarian pick. There is some good news on that front: WR Malcolm Floyd returned to limited practice this week after missing Sunday's 33-3 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs (–3 away). Alas, the Chargers have bigger holes on the offensive line, and RG D.J. Fluker might have to sit this one out too, after he was put back in the NFL's concussion protocol.

How good would this Chargers team be with a complete offensive line? Seems like we've been asking that question for a long, long time. They've done a decent job this year of keeping QB Philip Rivers upright (24 sacks), and they've done even better in short-yardage rushing situations. But rookie RB Melvin Gordon (3.5 yards per carry) and veteran RB Danny Woodhead (3.7 yards per carry) haven't gotten past the first level very often. Meanwhile, the Jaguars have the league's second-best rush defense, according to the efficiency stats at Football Outsiders. You get healthy, San Diego.

Free NFL Pick: Take the Jaguars -3.5 (-115) at Bookmaker

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