The Jacksonville Jaguars look like they are on their way back to the AFC playoffs. At 8-3 (both straight-up and against the spread), they are the leaders in the AFC South. But they are by no means guaranteed a division title - the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts have surprised a lot of folks and are only a game and a half behind.
The Cincinnati Bengals, who got to the Super Bowl just a couple of seasons ago, were expected to be the challenger. But things have gone awry for them. Quarterback Joe Burrow came into the season with an injury that affected his performance. And just when he and his team was coming around, another injury (actually a couple of them) set him back to the point where he won't be available for the rest of the season.
So the Bengals are sitting with a 5-6 record and will have to make things happen with Jake Browning as the starter at QB. They are not mathematically eliminated from the playoff picture, but they have a number of teams to leapfrog just to get a chance. There is no room for defeat.
So it should be a desperate squad that steps into EverBank Stadium in J-Ville on Monday night. The kickoff comes at 8:15 PM ET on ESPN.
In the Monday Night Football betting odds that have been posted on this game by the people at BetOnline:
Jacksonville Jaguars -10
Cincinnati Bengals +10
Over 41 points -110
Under 41 points -110
In his first NFL start last week, Browning was 19 for 26 with 227 yards. But, he was intercepted, sacked four times and moved the chains only ten times, which resulted in only about 23 minutes of possession time. Cincinnati only scored ten points, and we feel safe when we say that part of that whole story was that they did not have a ground game (25 yards).
On an overall basis, the Bengals have not run the ball especially well. They've averaged just 76 yards a game, so there shouldn't be much discussion about controlling the game on the ground or even providing some balance, which is usually critical when you have an inexperienced quarterback in there. The Jags are not all that permissive against opposing rushing attacks as it is (87.4 ypg).
There is some good news, as Tee Higgins is returning to the Bengals' lineup after an injury. But we can tell you that if Cincy can't put together some first downs, their defense is going to have more and more pressure on it. Last week the Steelers gained 400-plus yards for the first time in over 50 games, and we think that is more than just a coincidence.
Last week we gave Browning our support; we knew that the staff belied in him, and that he knew the offense. But right now we'd have to keep him in the "prove it" stage. So it's a measured recommendation on the Jags for Monday night.
Monday night NFL betting action certainly has everyone excited, and BetOnline has plenty of attractive wagering options to take advantage of, including Prop Builder. The time to get involved in the action is right NOW - open up an account with your credit card, or any one of 16 cryptocurrency options!