The NFL Playoffs get underway and one of the first matchups in the postseason features the Los Angeles Chargers (10-7, 5-4 away) in the Sunshine State battling the Jacksonville Jaguars (9-8. 5-3 home).
Jacksonville earned the four-seed on the AFC-side of the bracket while the Chargers earned the five-seed. The two teams met early during the regular season with Jacksonville rolling in a 38-10 victory.
Saturday’s kickoff is at 8:15 p.m. EST inside TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. The Chargers are a 1.5-point road favorite and the over/under total is 47.5 points.
What to Know – Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angeles returns to the postseason for the first time since 2018 after a second-place finish in the AFC West. The Chargers closed out the regular season with a narrow loss to Denver after winning four in a row.
The Chargers offense was 13th in the league in scoring averaging 23.0 points per game backed by 359.3 yards of offense per contest. On defense, Los Angeles sits in the bottom half of the league, surrendering 22.6 points and 346.1 yards to opposing teams.
Justin Herbert makes his playoff debut but will be without the services of leading wide receiver Mike Williams. Williams was ruled out for Saturday’s contest with a non-surgical fracture in his back.
The Chargers went 11-5-1 against the spread during the regular season and an impressive 7-2 ATS on the road. Los Angeles is 9-1 ATS over its previous ten games against the Jaguars.
What to Know – Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars are in the playoffs for just the second time since 2007 but come in as one of the hottest teams in the NFL. Jacksonville rallied to win six of its last seven matchups, including five-straight to close out regular season play.
Offensively, Jacksonville ranked 10th in the NFL averaging 23.8 points and 357.4 yards of total offense per game. The Jaguars defense also ranked in the top half of the league, holding opponents to 20.6 points and 353.3 yards of total offense.
Trevor Lawrence also makes his postseason debut in his second season in the NFL. Jacksonville comes into the matchup relatively healthy on both sides of the ball.
Jacksonville was 8-9 ATS during the season and an even 4-4 record ATS at home. The Jaguars are 6-3 ATS in recent contests played on Saturdays.
The Pick is In
Two quarterbacks making their postseason debut should provide a thrilling nightcap to Saturday’s NFL doubleheader. Herbert and Lawrence can both sling the pigskin around, and both should find success moving the ball through the air against the opposing defenses.
The loss of Williams is a tough break for a Chargers team that should be able to move the ball offensively through the air against a below-average Jaguars secondary. Without Williams, we like Jacksonville to ride its momentum and lean on its stout run defense to corral the Los Angeles offense and move on to the Divisional Round.
The Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars ML