Thursday Night Football: Jaguars vs Bengals Odds & Preview

It’s a new week in the 2021 NFL season, which means that it’s time for another Thursday Night Football matchup. This week’s contest will be played between the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3) and the Cincinnati Bengals (2-1).

It’ll be a battle between the last two first overall NFL draft picks. Trevor Lawrence, the first overall pick in 2021, is still looking to lead the Jaguars to their first win of the season. Meanwhile, 2020 No. 1 selection Joe Burrow will do everything to further cement the Bengals’ status as the top team in the AFC North. Only one of these outcomes can happen, which just adds to the excitement of Thursday Night Football.

Read on for betting odds (Bovada) and analysis as to what you can expect in tonight’s matchup.

Jaguars vs Bengals General Information and Statistics

Tonight’s matchup will be played at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, OH — home of the Bengals. Kickoff is at 8:20 p.m. EST and the game can be viewed on the NFL Network, as well as multiple streaming platforms.

The Bengals are averaging 22.7 points per game this season, which puts them in a tie for 17th-best. Meanwhile, the Jaguars average 17.7 PPG — sixth-worst in the NFL. Defensively, Cincinnati is surrendering just 18.0 PPG (6th) while Jacksonville has been giving up an average of 30.3 PPG (28th).

Thursday Night Football: Jaguars vs Bengals Odds

Odds via Bovada as of Thursday, September 30

  • Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3) vs Cincinnati Bengals (2-1)
  • Moneyline: Jaguars (+270) vs Bengals (-340)
  • Spread: Jaguars +7.5 (-110) vs Bengals -7.5 (-110)
  • Total: 46.0 — Over (-110), Under (-110)

Complete odds list and prop bets available at Bovada.

Jaguars Favored to Start 0-4 in 2021

The beginning of the 2021 NFL season has been tough for the Jaguars and the fact that they’re Thursday Night Football underdogs means that that streak will likely continue tonight. For starters, Jacksonville’s defense has been underwhelming in 2021. A lot of this stems from the fact that Lawrence has really struggled at times this year. He’s completed just 54.2% of his passing attempts for 669 yards and five touchdowns to seven interceptions. He’s also fumbled twice and has a 60.3 quarterback rating, which shows there’s a lot to improve on.

Everything just seems like it’s not cooking under head coach Urban Meyer for whatever reason. Nobody expected the Jaguars to be contenders this year, however, a lot of fans and experts expected them to be better than they are under Meyer. Maybe it’s just growing pains as he continues to adapt to the NFL level. Regardless, Meyer needs to find a way to stop the bleeding. The Jaguars are lacking on both sides of the ball and he’ll get that chance tonight against a beatable Bengals team.

Bengals Thursday Night Football Odds

At 2-1, the Bengals have been one of the surprise stories in the early part of the 2021 NFL season. It’s safe to say that they wouldn’t be here without sophomore gunslinger Joe Burrow, who is doing a great job at bouncing back from his season-ending ACL and MCL injuries. The 24-year-old QB has thrown multiple touchdowns in each game this year while also throwing 640 passing yards on 70.7% accuracy.

It certainly helps that Burrow has his old college wide receiver, Ja’Marr Chase, on the field. The fifth overall pick at this year’s draft has looked electric so far this year, catching 11 balls for 220 receiving yards and four TDs.

As mentioned earlier, Cincinnati’s biggest surprise of the season has been its defense. The Bengals were giving up an average of 8.5 points per game more in 2020 than they are this year, which speaks volumes to the team’s offseason improvements. Sophomore linebacker Logan Wilson has been impressive as he leads the Bengals in total tackles (30) and interceptions (three) through the team’s first handful of contests. Cincinnati as a team is tied for the sixth-most sacks per game (3.3) and its run defense has also surrendered just 78.3 yards per contest (8th).

Yes, it’s still early, but the future looks promising if the Bengals can keep up their impressive start to the campaign.

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Devon Platana
After graduating with a Masters degree in Journalism, Devon joined USGS to improve his sports writing skills. As a lifelong sports fan, one of Devon’s favorite things to do is analyze statistics across all sports.