It’s a Week 10 rematch of the regular season Saturday afternoon, with the Jacksonville Jaguars again visiting the Kansas City Chiefs. Both teams are on rolls. Jacksonville has won six consecutive games (including last week’s epic wild-card comeback), while the Chiefs have won five straight games, 10 of their last 11. Kansas City is solidly favored by 9½ points (total of 53), according to NFL odds.
If you’re looking at odds to win the AFC, Kansas City is the 7-5 (+140) favorite to win, while the Jags are 10 times (+1400) higher, as per NFL conference odds.
Jaguars’ Revenge Game
Arrowhead Stadium is always a difficult place to play, but it is essentially a third straight Jags’ playoff game. However, it’s the first on the road. They defeated the Tennessee Titans to win the AFC South in the final game, then spotted the Los Angeles Chargers 27 points before whipping them, 31-30 with a field goal on the last play. Now, the Jags look to avenge their previous loss to the Chiefs, where Kansas City raced to a 20-0 lead en route to a 27-17 win.
It’s been a great turnaround from a team that went 3-14 in the Urban Meyer fiasco. They were 1-15 in the previous season, but the No. 1 overall pick in 2021, quarterback Trevor Lawrence, and former (Philly) Super Bowl-winning coach Doug Pederson led the turnaround.
Jacksonville was 10th in both scorings (23.8 points per game) as well as total offense (357.4 yards/game) and passing offense (232.9 yards/game). They finished 14th in rushing (124.5 yards/game), providing some balance to Lawrence and his passing forays.
Lawrence, of course, overcame a hideous, four-interception start to his night against the Chargers. He ended with four touchdown passes (288 yards) and that quartet of picks.
Jacksonville finished 12th in defense, having surrendered 20.6 points per game. That was buoyed by 26 takeaways (fifth in NFL), mollifying a defense that allowed 353.3 yards of opposition offense per game (28th in passing defense at 238.5 yards/game).
Jacksonville is 9-8-1 against the spread (ATS), and 9-9 on over/under. The Jaguars were 4-5 (win-loss) on the road, 8-4-1 ATS as underdogs, all but one spread under a touchdown.
Chiefs’ Home Haven
The Kansas City Chiefs have sublet the playoffs in recent seasons, an eighth straight appearance in the postseason, ninth in the last decade. They were the 2019 titles, then lost after the 2020 season. So, they’re out to make it three Super Bowl trips in four years.
The Chiefs are 7-1 at home this season, including that aforementioned 27-17 win over the Jaguars in mid-November. They were the leading offense in the league (29.2 points per game), along with total offense (413.6 yards/game) and passing offense (297.8 yards/game).
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes, favored to win the MVP, established a single-season record in terms of total offensive output (5,250 passing yards, 385 rushing yards, six receiving yards, 5,614 yards in total).
There were 23 giveaways (24th in the league), so sometimes playing hot potato with the football. They surrendered 21.7 points per game (16th in league), and 11th in total defense (328.2 yards/per game). They finished 18th against the pass, and eighth against the rush.
However, awful with the betting public this season (5-11-1 ATS), 8-9 on over/under. KC was 4-10-1 ATS as favorites, and 1-6-1 as faves at home.
Chiefs Too Much
Offensively, Jacksonville has improved noticeably over the season’s second half. It was able to score 40 points in an overtime win against the Dallas Cowboys (winning on a defensive pick-six), and last week’s comeback over the Chargers showed the downfield-in-a-hurry prowess. The Jags have a bend-not-break defense, but the Chiefs remain an obstacle that’s very tough. Mahomes, among his attributes, extends the play as well as anyone. KC also has, in Travis Kelse, unquestionably the best tight end in football.
The Jaguars are just 1-5-1 against the spread (ATS) in their last seven meetings with the Chiefs, and the favorite is 4-1-1 ATS in the last six.
Regardless of how well Jacksonville is playing, this is going to be a difficult task. Take the Chiefs, despite awful ATS figures of their own, to win and cover (9½ points) at even money.