Thursday Night Football in Week 4 of the NFL season will bring a matchup between the last two No. 1 overall picks in the NFL Draft in Joe Burrow and Trevor Lawrence.
While the Bengals seem to be on the come up this season while Jacksonville is predicted to be in the league’s basement (only projected 4.5 wins at WynnBET), this should make for an intriguing matchup of young talent.
Ja’Marr Chase and Lawrence will try to make Offensive Rookie of the Year cases on Thursday, but what are the best plays for the night?
Our editors have you covered with their best bets for Thursday Night’s showdown:
Joe Burrow UNDER 30.5 Pass Attempts (-115)
Zac Taylor and the Bengals got their franchise quarterback back from a torn ACL and drafted a receiver No. 5 overall, so naturally they’re the most run-heavy offense in all of football through the first three weeks.
Makes sense right?
Burrow has yet to attempt over 30 passes in a game, and he only threw 18 in a dominant win over Pittsburgh in Week 3. Joe Mixon has been strong in the running game, and this matchup with the lowly Jaguars could be another positive game script for Mixon.
Burrow may make some big throws (he has seven touchdown passes this season), but in a potential blowout spot (Cincy is a 7.5-point home favorite) I don’t see Taylor unleashing Burrow for a season-high in pass attempts. -- Peter Dewey
Marvin Jones OVER 5.0 Receptions (-105)
Last week, I went with D.J. Moore to grab over 4.5 receptions and I hit, so I’m going right back to the receiver position this week.
Marvin Jones is the lead receiver on a pass-heavy Jaguars team. He’s just outside the top 10 in targets and hasn’t had fewer than five catches in a game this season. Trevor Lawrence makes it a point to look for Jones and he will do the same against the Bengals. At -105, I like the value for Jones to have himself a day on Thursday. -- Donnavan Smoot
Trevor Lawrence UNDER 37.5 Passing Attempts (-115)
Despite a third consecutive double digit loss and an 0-3 against-the-spread start to his coaching career, Urban Meyer actually found something that worked in Week 3: James Robinson and the run game.
Robinson carried the ball for a season high 15 times for 88 yards and a touchdown against Arizona, while also seeing six targets in the pass game. Lawrence, after throwing 51 times in their Week 1 blowout loss to the (cleans fog off glasses), Houston Texans, has only thrown it 33 and 34 times in his last two games.
Even though Cincinnati is eighth best in the league in opposing yards to running backs, that's not going to stop good ole' Urban from trying to "establish the run" early and often, By the time they realize they're not putting the ball in their most talented player's hands more often, it will be too late. Give me the under on Lawrence pass attempts as we sit through another farce of a Thursday Night Football matchup. -- Ben Heisler
Jaguars +7.5 vs. Bengals (-110)
There's not a scenario that exists that the 2021 version of the Cincinnati Bengals should be favored by over a touchdown in an NFL game. I don't care that they're 2-1, I don't care that the Jaguars have looked bad, and I certainly don't care that I fell for this exact same trap last week when the Texans played the Panthers.
The Bengals are 19th in the NFL in yards per play at 5.3, and the Jaguars are right behind them in the stat, averaging 5.1 yards per play. Not as big of a discrepancy as you may have thought.
A touchdown is too much here, and I'm sure I'll regret it by halftime, but give me the Jags +7.5. -- Iain MacMillan
Jaguars vs. Bengals Over 46 (-110)
Everything in my body is stopping me from pulling the trigger on the Jags at over a touchdown, but I'll go a different way and take the over. The Jaguars' defense is going to provide little resistance on a short week to an emerging Bengals offense that has Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase clicking as they did back at LSU. I'm also not sure the Bengals' defense is as good as we are giving them credit for.
Cincy's defense shut down the Bears and Steelers over the past two weeks, and while I'm not expecting much from the Jaguars, the offense looked decent for most of the game last week against a formidable Cardinals team before a brutal pick-six from Trevor Lawrence. The game may start to come around for Lawrence after a rough first three weeks against a now overrated Bengals' D.