Thursday Night Football: Jaguars-Saints betting preview (odds, lines, best bets)

2RT42N6 Jacksonville Jaguars running back Travis Etienne Jr. (1) slips past Indianapolis Colts linebacker Shaquille Leonard on his way to a touchdown run during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

RB Travis Etienne, Jacksonville Jaguars: Elite coverage linebacker Demario Davis is dealing with a knee injury and is currently questionable, presenting Travis Etienne with arguably the best opportunity of any Jaguars pass-catcher on Thursday Night Football. Click here to see the best bet. 

K Blake Grupe, New Orleans Saints: The Saints receiving corps is exceptional, and they will move the ball downfield, but they are conservative under head coach Dennis Allen. I do not expect that to change in a game with a low total and a premium on points. Click here to see the best bet. 

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Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

 

GAME OVERVIEW

The most valuable player in this matchup is questionable, and although reports suggest that Trevor Lawrence is confident he'll be ready to go, we do not know how limited he may be. And given that his rushing ability is a big part of what makes him difficult to defend, his knee injury throws up a lot of questions.

The total for this game moved from 42.5 down to the current 40. The spread has moved in both directions all week, with Lawrence's status changing constantly — it opened at Saints -1, moved out to -3, and now it sits back at -1. 

However, Lawrence is not the only injury concern for the Jags, as starting outside corner Tyson Campbell has been ruled out and will be replaced by Montaric Brown. Meanwhile, wide receiver Zay Jones is out for the offense, and right guard Brandon Scherff is questionable.

New Orleans has some concerns coming into the game, too, with right tackle Ryan Ramczyk out with a concussion. Guard Cesar Ruiz will have to move to the outside again, having played 12 snaps in Ramczyk’s place against the Texans last week. That transition didn't go all that smoothly, with Ruiz giving up four pressures and earning a 19.6 PFF pass-blocking grade.

Elite coverage linebacker Demario Davis is also struggling with a knee injury, having not practiced at all this week.

PFF's Best Bets Tool uses PFF data to uncover the biggest edges in the betting market. Click here to see the best bets for this game.

RB Travis Etienne, Jacksonville Jaguars: Over 19.5 receiving yards (-115 BetMGM) & 25-plus receiving yards (+124 FanDuel)

The limitations Lawrence may face, coupled with the strengths of the Saints' coverage defense down the field, offer the potential for check-downs and designed screen plays.

Elite coverage linebacker Demario Davis is dealing with a knee injury and is currently questionable, presenting Travis Etienne with arguably the best opportunity of any Jaguars pass-catcher on Thursday Night Football.

Etienne wasn't involved in the passing game as much as expected in 2022, catching just 35 passes in the regular season, but they have looked to get him involved a lot more this year. He's caught 21 of his 23 targets through six games and leads the league in total offensive touches.

The Clemson product also plays 80% of his team's offensive snaps, so there will be plenty of opportunities to get him involved. 

K Blake Grupe, New Orleans Saints: Over 1.5 made field goals (-106 Caesars) & Over 6.5 points (+100 FanDuel)

Derek Carr is getting healthier and healthier, and the offense looks more productive each week. The team just put up over 400 yards of offense against the Texans in Week 6 despite scoring only 13 points.

The Jacksonville secondary is not as good as the raw numbers suggest. They rank ninth in team coverage grade (83.3) and 12th in expected points added (EPA) per play, but their schedule has been favorable, having played a Colts team with a rookie quarterback (and then a backup quarterback), a Bills team that struggled after traveling to London shortly before the game and a Falcons team that fields one of the least efficient offenses in the NFL.

Houston and Kansas City each put up at least 280 yards against them in Jacksonville's only real tests.

The Saints' receiving corps is exceptional, and they will move the ball downfield, but they are conservative under head coach Dennis Allen. I do not expect that to change in a game with a low total and a premium on points. 

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