Jaguars vs. Bills: 3 best prop bets for NFL Week 5

10/07/2023
DB+

Week 5 of the 2023 NFL season has taken our beloved Buffalo Bills across the pond to London, England for a kerfuffle with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Blimey, don’t be cheeky mate, it’s poppycock to buy into the rubbish that the Bills cock up and lose to the Jags. Bugger off with that.

Don’t blame me. Blame the internet for making British slang so readily available.

This small section of the internet made free money readily available to you last week yet again. Our third winning week in a row thanks to the Bills’ stomping the Dolphins. Let’s recap:

  • James Cook o18.5 receiving yards, -110, Result: 48 receiving yards✅
  • James Cook o81.5 combined yards, -110, Result: 77 combined yards❌
  • Devon Achane, o36.5 rushing yards, -114, Result: 101 rushing yards✅

Cook didn’t play for a chunk of the fourth quarter as the Bills used heavier running backs to grind out the clock in a lopsided game, so I can’t get upset about the combined yards bet: it’s the Dolphins’ fault for not showing up in the second half.

If you’ve been playing $20 units, you’ve now more than paid off your One Pass subscription and everything else from here on out is pure profit. We still have at least 13 weeks of football ahead of us. You are our prime constituency, people who like getting smarter about football and enjoy free money.

Let’s tuck in, you’re about to be gobsmacked by all the quids we bring in.

First Things First

Here are a few rules to keep your betting a fun, enjoyable hobby.

  1. Never bet more than you can afford to lose.
  2. Don’t chase a bet.
  3. Don’t bet on what you don’t understand
  4. Check the other sportsbooks’ lines
  5. See Rule #1.

If you think you might have a gambling problem, please contact any of these agencies for help.

National Council on Problem Gambling: 1-800-522-4700.
Gambling Anonymous National Hotline: (888) GA-HELPS (888-424-3577)
Gambling Assistance Hotline: (800) 522-4700

Lastly, these are recommendations, not guarantees. Act accordingly.

Game Script

Starting with the Bills on offense, the Jags run middle-of-the-field closed (MOFC) coverage at the sixth highest rate, 52%. MOFC means the play starts with a single safety high somewhere around the hashes. Cover 1 and Cover 3 are basic types of MOFC coverages. Opposing defenses usually don’t play MOFC against the Bills, and that leads to QB Josh Allen being 25th in attempts versus Cover 1 and Cover 3 with 50. When they do face see MOFC though:

  • Allen has the fourth-highest completion percentage at 76%
  • the Bills have the ninth most Yards/Target at 9.3, and
  • the fourth-best EPA/Target at 0.49

Another tendency of the North Florida Housecats is to stack the box. Per Sports Info Solutions, the Jags stack the box more often than any other NFL teams in 2023 at 33%, and they only have the 17th-best success rate (39%). It would be unwise for them to continue stacking the box when Allen is under center across from them. Against stacked boxes,

  • Allen has the second-best rating at 147.3
  • 0% sacks (against 8+ in the box)
  • 4 TDs (2)
  • most EPA

When the Jags are on offense, I expect the Bills to keep doing what they have been doing, even with defensive end Greg Rousseau out. The Bills’ defense has been working to create confusion both high and low. Rushing only four but running simulated and creeper pressures up front while using late safety rotations to hide the coverage until the last possible moment. Jacksonville has some players who could create problems, but the Bills have done an excellent job this season as chaos merchants with well-coordinated rush and coverage components.

Overall, this game could start off slowly with the Bills dealing with jet lag, and the Jaguars having slept in hotels for close to two weeks, but, while the Jags will score, the Bills are the better team overall: Prediction: Bills 31 – Jaguars 20

Check our Uber Hansen’s Game Day Preview for a thorough breakdown.

DVOA Matchup

Injury Reports

As always, be sure to check the game-day inactives before game time. (These are the Thursday reports because we’re going camping, but I trust you can find the Friday reports. I believe in you).

Weather

From AccuWeather, London:

Recommendations

Stefon Diggs Receiving Yards

Book Line o u
DK 84.5 -115 -115
FD 82.5 -114 -114
MGM 84.5 -115 -115

In the game script, the Jags use MOFC coverage at a high rate relative to the league, and Allen and the Bills perform well against it. As is generally the case when Allen has good numbers, Stefon Diggs has good numbers, too. Diggs has the sixth most Yards/Route Run when opposing defenses are in Cover 1 or 3, and Allen has a perfect QB rating when targeting Diggs, a nice, round, perfectly logical 158.3.

There is a chance the Bills go back to their 11 personnel (one RB, one TE) roots in Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday morning. The Jags’ slot cornerback is Tre Hendon, who has the seventh-worst passer rating against in the league with 145. Period, no minimum snaps or anything, seventh worst of any CB who has taken a snap this season. Herndon averages around 35 snaps a game in the slot, and has given up 15 receptions on 19 targets. The Bills could target a weaker player in Herndon with one of the best WRs in the league by putting Diggs in the slot repeatedly. Diggs is no stranger to the slot with around 10 snaps a game from that alignment, but in Week 1 against the Jets, he played about 50/50 in the slot or out wide. The Bills have leaned heavily into 12 (one RB, two TE) in 2023 and are second in the league in using that grouping, but watch for the Bills to highlight that advantage and go with three wideouts with Diggs in the slot.

Recommendation: Stefon Diggs o82.5 rec yds at FD, 0.75u

Ed Oliver Sacks

Book Line o u
DK 0.25 +120 -145
FD
MGM

DaQuan Jones and Ed Oliver are first and sixth respectively in PFF’s Pass Rush Productivity measure (A formula that combines sacks, hits and hurries relative to how many times they rush the passer). Oliver ranks 18th in ESPN’s Pass Rush Win Rate at 13% (Jones is first with 27% despite being double-teamed 69% of the time).

The Jags’ IOL has struggled this season. Center Luke Fortner and guard Ben Bartch have both given up nine pressures in the young season, and the other guard, Brendon Scherff, has given up seven. Those numbers aren’t terrible, but they are all in the 36 most pressures allowed by IOL with 50% of pass rush snaps. Plus, it’s reported that Jacksonville will try 6’7″ tackle Walker Little at Left Guard for Bartch. Little has never played G  two snaps in his rookie season playing G on field goal attempts. It will be impressive if Little can hold his own at a new position in the NFL and maintain leverage at his height. in the tighter confines on the inside of the trenches.

Recommendation: Ed Oliver sacks o0.25, 0.5u

Travis Etienne Longest Rush

Book Line o u
DK 15.5 -110 -120
FD
MGM 15.5 -110 -120

The Jags have only run from 12 personnel 27 times this season, but the Bills have proven susceptible to it so far. The Yards/Attempt is skewed by the big Breece Hall run against the Jets, but the Boom rate, the percentage at which opposing offenses get a play worth more than one point in EPA, isn’t impacted by that one play, and the Bills give up the highest Boom rate to 12 personnel at 33.3% (second is at 12.9%).

Etienne is an explosive runner, who has taken 23 of those 27 rush attempts, and he breaks a tackle or forces a missed tackle 13% of the time, which is good for 16th among all rushers with 10+ carries. It doesn’t taste good to bet on a positive result for the opponent, but we’ll wash it out with a pint o’ cash.

Recommendation: Travis Etienne longest rush o15.5, 0.5u

Conclusion

It doesn’t matter the currency of where the Bills play. We like free dollars, pounds, quids, tenners, fivers, dosh, bread and honey, whatever, just give it.

Record: 7-5, +4.70u

You can find Chris on Twitter (@lowbuffa), getting dirty in #MafiaGardens, or watching football. Go Bills!

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