Buckle up NFL fans, it doesn’t get much better than this. Two of the league’s most celebrated quarterbacks are set to duel this week under the primetime spotlight of Thursday Night Football. The winless Miami Dolphins, quarterbacked by Ryan Fitzpatrick, will attempt to notch their first W of the season, while the upstart Jacksonville Jaguars and their fearless leader Gardner Minshew will look to pull off one of the most surprising 2-1 starts ever, relative to preseason expectations. Currently, the NFL odds and many experts’ NFL picks are siding with the home team.
It’s FitzMagic vs. Minshew Mania, Beard vs. Mustache, journeyman veteran vs. second-year pro. What did we ever do to get so lucky?
This betting preview will give you the lowdown on the NFL odds and best NFL picks for Dolphins vs. Jaguars on Thursday Night Football.
Dolphins vs. Jaguars Week 3 Thursday Night Football
Miami Dolphins (0-2, 0-1 Away) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1, 1-0 Home)
Date: Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020
Time: 8:20 p.m. EST
Venue: TIAA Bank Stadium — Jacksonville, FL
Coverage: NFL Network
Attendance: Roughly 17,000 fans (25% of stadium capacity) will be allowed to attend
Dolphins vs Jaguars NFL Odds
All odds taken from Bovada Sportsbook.
Opening Lines: JAX -1.5; O/U 44.0
Moneyline: MIA: (+140) | JAX: (-160)
Spread: MIA: +3 (-115) | JAX: -3 (-105)
Total: 48 – Over: (-115) | Under: (-105)
Dolphins vs. Jaguars Overview
After suffering a road defeat against the New England Patriots in Week 1, the Dolphins fell to another AFC East opponent, the Buffalo Bills, this past Sunday. Both the Patriots and Bills are best known for their defense. As one could guess, it has been relatively tough sledding for Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Miami offensive attack thus far. If anything, amassing over 400 total yards against Buffalo last week is encouraging, although much of it can be attributed to Miami trailing for essentially the entire game.
The Dolphins will look to overcome the NFL odds and turn those fortunes around on Thursday Night Football. Wideouts DeVante Parker and Preston Williams should be primed for successful outings against a Jacksonville pass defense that ranks 31st in adjusted efficiency through the season’s first two weeks. Tight end Mike Gesicki will look to use his 130-yard outing against the Bills as a springboard to more success on Thursday. The Dolphins’ backfield is somewhat surprisingly led by Myles Gaskin through the first two weeks. With Jacksonville also lacking a consistent pass rush, the Dolphins have a great opportunity to put up points.
For the Jaguars, offense is the path to success. The “Tank for Trevor” and “Lose for Lawrence” trends have been put on hold, after the splendid performances from Gardner Minshew in each of the first two weeks. The second-year man out of Washington State enters Thursday’s contest with 512 yards passing, a 75.4% completion rate and six touchdowns. Minshew has not been shy about spreading the wealth either. While D.J. Chark was the top receiver in terms of yardage this past week against Tennessee, he was just one of seven Jacksonville players to notch at least three catches.
The Jaguars have seen several young players step up offensively over the first two weeks of the season. After letting go of Leonard Fournette before the season began, the backfield has had the unlikely name of James Robinson leading the way in carries. Rookie wideout Laviska Shenault Jr. is an explosive play waiting to happen, and Jacksonville clearly has several different wrinkles in the playbook that are built around him. Despite all the money the Dolphins put into their defense throughout the offseason, they rank dead last in efficiency through the first two weeks. Minshew Mania could be on full display once again this Thursday night.
Dolphins vs. Jaguars Betting Trends
- Dolphins 2020 Betting Trends: 1-1 ATS; 1-1 to the Over
- Jaguars 2020 Betting Trends: 2-0 ATS; 2-0 to the Over
- The all-time series ATS record between the Dolphins and Jaguars is dead even, at 4-4-1.
- The under has hit in four of the five meetings between the teams since 2009.
- A 43-point total line for their 2009 matchup is the highest an over/under has closed for a game between the Dolphins and Jaguars.
Dolphins vs. Jaguars Stats
- Miami has averaged 19.5 points per game (PPG) this season (No. 26 in the NFL).
- Miami has surrendered 26.0 PPG this season (No. 18 in the NFL).
- Jacksonville has averaged 28.5 PPG this season (T-No. 8 in the NFL).
- Jacksonville has surrendered 26.5 PPG this season (No. 19 in the NFL).
Dolphins vs. Jaguars NFL Picks and NFL Odds
All odds taken from Bovada Sportsbook.
Preston Williams Over 44.5 Receiving Yards
Through Miami’s first two games, Preston Williams has just three receptions for 67 yards. Coming off of a rookie season in 2019 that was cut short by injury, it’s fair to expect a little rust, as Williams returns to game action. The other crucial factor in his two poor showings is the defenses Miami has gone up against. New England and Buffalo have two of the NFL’s best defensive units. Last week, in particular, Williams drew coverage from lockdown Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White. It’s hard to produce when you are only targeted once. Williams did make good on that lone target, beating White for a 26-yard reception.
In what shapes up as a prime bounce-back opportunity, Williams and the Dolphins now go up against a young and vulnerable Jacksonville defense.
Dolphins vs. Jaguars NFL Picks + NFL Odds
Given both the offensive potential and suspect defenses of both teams, it certainly makes sense why the over/under on the game has risen a full four points since opening. The value in the low opening total is long gone, and while the game could still surpass 48, it’s not a comfortable play. Both quarterbacks should be able to put up numbers in this one, and it is tough to decide where the side edge lies.
While the Jaguars have been the darlings of the young 2020 season, Miami catching a full three points might be the best way to play this one. At 0-2, the Dolphins are in desperate need of a win to have any real chance of competing for much this year. Miami has advantages in both offensive experience and defensive talent on paper, and Brian Flores is a vastly superior coach compared to Doug Marrone. In what should be a fun, back-and-forth game, the NFL odds giving the Dolphins a field goal is as good of an NFL pick as you can get on Thursday.
NFL Odds Pick: Dolphins +3