The Los Angeles Chargers (10-7) play the Jaguars Jaguars (9-8) in the AFC Wild Card Round on Saturday, Jan. 14 at 8:15 p.m. ET/5:15 p.m. PT at TIAA Bank Field. These two teams met in Week 3, where the Jaguars dominated 38-10 in Los Angeles. The Chargers opened as a -1.5 (-110) road favorite at FanDuel Sportsbook, but that number quickly moved to -2.5. Find Chargers at Jaguars Wild Card opening odds below.
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NFL Wild Card Opening Odds: Los Angeles Chargers At Jacksonville Jaguars
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How The Jaguars Got Here
Party like it’s 2017, Jacksonville! For the second time since 2002, the Jaguars won the AFC South with a thrilling 20-16 victory over the Titans on Saturday night. Head coach Doug Pederson turned the team around from the first overall pick to hosting a playoff game in his first season. Trevor Lawrence also turned heads, exhibiting the arm talent and playmaking ability the NFL world expected out of him coming out of Clemson.
The unit that took the biggest step forward was the Jags pass rush. Number-one overall pick Travon Walker paid dividends to the front, leading them to the seventh-highest pressure rate in the NFL. They allowed 4.2 yards per carry (seventh least), although the unit was susceptible to better rushing attacks. Against the Chargers in Week 3, the Jags allowed just 26 total yards on the ground.
This team sat just 3-7 after 10 games, trailing the Titans who were 7-3 after their first 10. Jacksonville then went on a 6-1 run to close the year. Duval will host a playoff game this coming weekend.
How The Chargers Got Here
For the first time under Justin Herbert, the Chargers will play in the postseason. The sigh of relief came in Week 16, when LA won their ninth game of the season. Thanks to a Ravens loss at the Bengals in Week 18, their outcome against the Broncos didn’t make a difference in seeding. Of all the AFC Playoff teams, Jacksonville is one of the more favorable draws.
Receiver Mike Williams exited Week 18 with an injury. However, key players like Rashawn Slater may return in time to play in the Wild Card round. Slater’s return would be a huge boost for the Bolts, who allowed a pressure on 22% of Herbert’s dropbacks (14th most).
In their first go-around with Jacksonville, the Bolts mustered just 26 total rushing yards and turned the ball over twice. However, they were without Keenan Allen while Austin Ekeler was held to just four carries.
Heading into Week 18, the Chargers posted a 1-5 record against teams in the playoff field. Couple that with a 5-4 road record and the Chargers’ trends suggest the AFC Wild Card Round will be an uphill battle.
NFL Playoffs Begin Jan. 15 With Super Wild Card Weekend
The Kansas City Chiefs secured the AFC’s top overall playoff seed Saturday with their win over the Raiders. Patrick Mahomes & Co. get the coveted bye week for the Wild Card Round. The bye also fortifies their position as the Super Bowl odds favorites. On the other side, the Philadelphia Eagles locked up the NFC’s top overall seed. Led by NFL MVP contender Jalen Hurts, the Eagles also get an extra week’s rest and await winners of the Wild Card Round.
Aside from this game, the Buffalo Bills host the Miami Dolphins and the Baltimore Ravens visit the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Playoffs. The San Francisco 49ers play either the Packers or Seahawks, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers face the Dallas Cowboys, and the Minnesota Vikings host the New York Giants on the NFC side.
Super Wild Card weekend begins Jan. 15 with the Seahawks at 49ers. Follow along with TheLines for NFL Playoff odds and coverage.