Betting News & Analysis

NFL Wild-Card Weekend: Los Angeles Chargers-Jacksonville Jaguars betting preview (odds, lines, best bets)

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Los Angeles Chargers running back Joshua Kelley (25) runs the ball in the second half against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

  • Bet Los Angeles Chargers -2.5: The market continues to move in their direction and although the Jacksonville Jaguars are a feel-good story, they still appear to be a year or two away from having any success in the AFC playoffs.  
  • Bet Joshua Kelley O5.5 receiving yards: His utilization shows key opportunities whether this game remains close or the Chargers jump out to an early lead. Expect him to spell Austin Ekeler on numerous occasions, especially in long down-and-distance situations.
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Let’s dive into the best bets to make for the Saturday wild-card contest between the Los Angeles Chargers and Jacksonville Jaguars.


Wild-card weekend's tightest spread continues to move in the road team’s direction. PFF Greenline showed early value on the Chargers at -1, but that turned to a negative percentage when the game line moved to -2.5. 

PFF’s play-by-play simulation is overly bullish on the Chargers' chances, seeing them as the clearly better team in this matchup. The most likely result is a Chargers three-point victory, but a seven-point victory has the second most likely outcome based on the simulation. 

The Chargers are the only side to back in this matchup and could still offer some value before -3. 

The total seems to fall right in line with PFF's projections, but this game could be a little more of a defensive battle than what the betting market projects. With Jacksonville showing little life offensively in their playoff-clinching victory, the only real side to play looks like the total, but that may not have enough value to be a pregame bet worth making. 

Pick: Chargers -2.5, -110 (bets playable to -115)

Player props

Player props continue to be one of the best approaches to betting on the NFL. If interested in macro-trends from the past three seasons, check out my midseason prop article.

One way to consistently find defined edges without blindly betting unders is by utilizing PFF's player props tool. The ability to adjust both number and price means you are always certain of the expected value for each prop bet. Let’s dive into the best player props to bet for Saturday's playoff game. 

Joshua Kelley O5.5 receiving yards (-118)

Kelley ran at least 10 routes in five of the last six games, finishing with at least one target and reception in each of the last five. The real encouraging part is he has played over 50% of the long down-and-distance snaps based on PFF’s utilization report. If even one of these results in a dump-off or check-down, then Kelley should have no problem clearing this prop number on Saturday night. 

Anytime TD scorer pricing per FanDuel compared to play-by-play simulation
Player FanDuel Price Implied Probability Simulation Probability Value Difference
Austin Ekeler -155 60.8% 55.5% -5.3%
Travis Etienne -130 56.5% 46.1% -10.4%
Keenan Allen 130 43.5% 35.4% -8.1%
Christian Kirk 160 38.5% 29.6% -8.9%
Josh Palmer 165 37.7% 31.1% -6.7%
Mike Williams 165 37.7% 11.4% -26.3%
Zay Jones 220 31.3% 27.0% -4.3%
Evan Engram 230 30.3% 20.5% -9.8%
Gerald Everett 280 26.3% 20.4% -5.9%
DeAndre Carter 330 23.3% 20.8% -2.5%
Trevor Lawrence 350 22.2% 19.4% -2.8%
Marvin Jones Jr. 360 21.7% 18.1% -3.7%
Joshua Kelley 460 17.9% 21.5% 3.6%
JaMycal Hasty 460 17.9% 16.8% -1.1%
Justin Herbert 650 13.3% 6.3% -7.0%
Donald Parham 700 12.5% 15.3% 2.8%
Tre' McKitty 950 9.5% 12.8% 3.3%
Larry Rountree III 1200 7.7% 5.7% -2.0%
Chris Manhertz 1500 6.3% 8.0% 1.7%
Snoop Conner 1500 6.3% 4.9% -1.4%
Tim Jones 1500 6.3% 4.2% -2.0%
Dan Arnold 2000 4.8% 4.8% 0.0%
Pick: Donald Parham (+700)

Click here to place bets at BetMGM

Same game parlay

The Donald Parham anytime TD is a long-shot bet that may not be the best leg for a same-game parlay. The nice thing about DraftKings is they offer a many alternate player prop numbers and targeting Joshua Kelley to go over starts our parlay on the plus price side. There's also some correlation between his usage and a Chargers victory, especially if they lead by a significant margin early in the game. Folding just these two legs in pays out an enticing +340. If you are looking to gamble a little more, there are some Chargers anytime TD opportunities that could also be included in this same-game parlay. A really interesting one based on the table above is Kelley scoring, which would bump this payout up to +1700. 

  • Joshua Kelley 12+ Receiving Yards
  • La Chargers -2.5

Odds: DraftKings (+340)

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