Last week’s Bengals-Browns shootout featured a ton of scoring and a lot of winners in our weekly Thursday Night Football betting preview. This week, the Dolphins head up to Jacksonville to face a Jaguars team with a quarterback in Gardner Minshew who is playing as well as almost anyone right now. These might not be two Super Bowl contenders, but it’s still pro football on a Thursday night, and there’s still plenty of value to be had on the board.
We’re going to get you ready for the matchup on the gambling side of things in this space, including what you need to know about each aspect of the game from a betting perspective. All odds via William Hill Sportsbook.
What picks can you make with confidence in Week 3? And which Super Bowl contender goes down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which NFL teams are winning more than 50 percent of simulations, all from the model that is up over $7,300 on its top-rated picks.
How to watch
Dolphins at Jaguars (-3)
This line reopened on Sunday at Jaguars -2.5 but quickly moved to Jaguars -3. That’s where it’s stayed ever since, but with the Dolphins -120 on their line of +3, it seems if anything this one could teeter back closer to zero before kickoff.
The Dolphins will be looking to buck a few trends in this matchup. Per CBS Sports research, road teams are just 23-38-2 ATS (38%) on Thursday over the last five seasons, though if you only look since the start of 2019, it’s about a 50-50 proposition. Much worse for Miami: the Dolphins are 5-14-1 ATS in primetime games since 2010, while Ryan Fitzpatrick is 4-10 ATS in primetime as a starter in his career.
Pick: Jaguars -3. I don’t love taking it at -3, but this has to be the side for me. Minshew and James Robinson have the Jacksonville offense firing on all cylinders, and the Jacksonville quarterback shined in his only primetime appearance last year, beating the Titans by 13 despite entering the game as a short underdog. Miami also has allowed the highest passer rating in the league through two weeks while facing Cam Newton and Josh Allen.
Moneyline? If you want to play it safe and just take Jacksonville on the moneyline, you’ll have to pay -160. But if you want to risk a little and parlay the spread pick with our total pick, that should net you a little over +200 if it cashes.
Over/Under 48 points
The total has seen a massive move toward the Over over the last few days after checking in at 45 on Sunday night. By Monday morning it was 46, then 47.5 by the afternoon. It first tipped to 48 on Tuesday afternoon, and it’s waffled between 47.5 and 48 since. About two-thirds of the tickets have come in on the Over at William Hill Sportsbook as of Tuesday night. We’ll see if there’s a ceiling for how high this total can climb.
Pick: Over 48. It’s hard actually taking this Over at 48 if you didn’t get it earlier before the move, because it just makes it all the more harder for it to hit when the books initially expected three fewer points in this matchup. But I can’t play the Under here with Jacksonville’s offense putting up big numbers through two weeks and both defenses in this game having trouble getting stops. While primetime games were a reliable Under play last year, the last four Thursday night matchups have gone Over the total by a wide margin (13 points per game).
O/U 22.5 completions
O/U 37.5 attempts
O/U 269.5 passing yards
O/U 1.5 passing TDs (Over -125)
O/U 13.5 rushing yards
Fitzpatrick should have a great shot at topping these totals, particularly the yardage total, but it’ll come down to how much Miami runs the ball. Ryan Tannehill shredded the Jaguars pass defense last week but managed only 239 yards because he had just 24 passing attempts while Derrick Henry ran the ball 25 times. It seems unlikely we’ll see a similar split with the Dolphins and their backfield, so Over 269.5 passing yards seems pretty safe.
O/U 22.5 completions
O/U 35.5 attempts
O/U 269.5 passing yards
O/U 1.5 passing TDs (Over -150)
O/U 17.5 rushing yards
These lines seem destined to go over against a Miami defense that has allowed the highest passer rating in the league through two weeks. But it’s worth noting that even though the Jaguars pulled off a huge upset of the Colts in Week 1 and Minshew threw just one incompletion, he only had 173 passing yards. Plus D.J. Chark’s status for this game is unknown, which could limit Minshew’s ceiling a little. I’d say the smartest play here is to take the Under on attempts and expect the Jaguars to run the ball more in a game they enter as the favorites; after all, Josh Allen racked up 417 passing yards last week against the Dolphins but still threw just 35 passes. SportsLine also considers the Over on Minshew’s rushing yards a value play.
More props to consider
James Robinson Over 69.5 rushing yards
Robinson has been a key part of the Jacksonville offense thus far, carrying the ball 16 times in each of the team’s first two games while totaling 164 yards and averaging more than five yards per carry. The Dolphins gave up 119 rushing yards to the Patriots‘ stable of running backs in Week 1 as well as 93 yards to the Bills‘ RB duo last week. While Laviska Shenault could siphon off a few carries after toting the ball five times last week, he could also be leaned on more as a receiver due to Chark’s health. And No. 2 back Chris Thompson has carried the ball just twice this season. This is a great spot for a big game from the undrafted rookie.
Preston Williams Over 3.5 receptions, Over 46.5 receiving yards
Williams only has managed three catches through two games, but matchups don’t get any tougher than the Patriots and Bills if you’re a receiver. He has had 12 targets despite the three catches, so the production is coming. And now he goes from two brutal matchups to a fantastic one against a young Jaguars secondary that has struggled so far this year. This should be a shootout if you can believe the movement on the total, and Williams should have his opportunities to go over here, with the yards being a better prop than the reception total. SportsLine loves Mike Gesicki in this matchup as well, with the tight end projected to go Over his total of 45.5 receiving yards.
Laviska Shenault to score TD +250, to score first TD +1400
Shenault matched his three catches on four targets from Week 1 in Week 2, but he also added a few more carries while racking up 72 total yards. With Chark’s health in question, there’s a great chance Shenault is an even bigger part of the gameplan this week, which could mean reaching the end zone for the second time this year. And I won’t rule out it being on the first touchdown scored in the entire game. If you want something in the medium range payout between these two, you can take Shenault and James Robinson to both score TDs at +600.