NFL Picks Jaguars vs. Redskins: All Signs Point to Betting 'UNDER'

Jason Lake

Tuesday, September 1, 2015 6:41 PM UTC

Tuesday, Sep. 1, 2015 6:41 PM UTC

The situation in Washington has gone from bad to worse. But the football odds are still in D.C.'s favor Thursday night against the sad-sack Jacksonville Jaguars.

We knew the football was going to hit the fan at some point. Going into this weekend, the rumor mill was churning about Jay Gruden deciding to start Kirk Cousins at quarterback over Robert Griffin III in Washington's regular-season opener. It didn't seem like much of an issue at the time – Griffin suffered a concussion in Week 2 of the preseason and wasn't cleared to play last week. But it's the only issue in town right now, outside of Donald Trump.

Despite the kerfuffle, Washington is a 4.5-point home favorite on the NFL odds board for Thursday's preseason finale (7:30 p.m. ET) against the Jacksonville Jaguars – which says plenty about the Jags. Our early consensus reports show 94 percent support for Washington, as well. Which of these two wayward franchises will get the job done this week? Or should we go running into the arms of that 40-point total?

Condensed Milk
A quick straw poll here at the home office suggests the latter. Each team has the UNDER at 2-1 this preseason, making it 5-2 for Gruden and 8-3 for Gus Bradley since they took over their respective teams. True, Washington is 3-0 SU and ATS in exhibition play this year, while Jacksonville is 1-2 SU and ATS, but D.C. looks like a toxic asset after Griffin's demotion. More importantly for our purposes, this means No. 3 QB Colt McCoy will play all of Thursday's game, with Cousins dressing only in case of an emergency.

McCoy has done some impressive things during his time in D.C., including his three preseason appearances this year. But he's got a limited upside compared to Cousins; last year, I trotted out a poker analogy and said that McCoy has a capped range, which means he doesn't hold any particularly strong or weak hands. He's about as vanilla as vanilla gets. With that in mind, we expect another fair-to-middling performance this Thursday.

No Green Bortles Hanging on the Wall
We don't even want to guess what flavor the Jaguars are. Okay, they're bleedin' Jaguar flavor, and don't ask if they come with wafers. As we go to press, Bradley has yet to announce whether his starters will get in a series or two, or just miss Thursday's game entirely. But given the number of injuries Jacksonville has sustained this summer, we don't expect to see much of QB Blake Bortles in this matchup.

Instead, please welcome back Chad Henne to our studios. He's quietly put together a nice preseason, steering a Jacksonville offense that doesn't look quite as bad as years previous, even with all the injuries. The Jags offensive line is holding up rather well for a change. We might be tempted to roll with Jacksonville as a road dog, but Washington's 3-0 SU and ATS record is causing enough interference for us to prefer the UNDER, which has strong inputs from both teams.

NFL Free Pick: Take 'UNDER' 40 at GT Bets

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