Bontempo’s NFL Week 2 Betting Beat: Will Jaguars Get Revenge vs. Chiefs?

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Go ahead, I dare you. I double-dog dare you to bet on the Jacksonville Jaguars against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

That’s what major sportsbooks appear to be saying to bettors after moving the odds from Kansas City -3 to -3.5 as a road chalk in a playoff rematch from January.

The Chiefs won that one, 27-20 at home, while Jacksonville covered at -7.5 and -8 across various books.

Operators have reacted to Kansas City sentiment in the rematch. Kansas City sports a whopping 85% handle and 72% of the DraftKings bets, some of which helped move the number, as of early Friday morning.

 

Bettors Do Double Take on NFL Week 2 Spotlight Game

Two major influences impact the betting line. Gamblers must decide if the line justifies them.

No. 1 is that tight end star Travis Kelce, who missed the Chiefs’ 21-20 season-opener loss to the Detroit Lions, is expected to return. He is the heart and soul of quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ passing attack.

Kelce is his third-down rock. Kelce is the receiver always able to come back to the ball when Mahomes scrambles.

They are in sync. But Kelce only just returned to practice Wednesday. If he’s 75-80 percent healthy, what level of impact will he make?

No. 2 is the return of star defensive player Chris Jones, who ended his holdout. Throughout the season, he will be a difference-maker. The question is what type of football shape he will be in this week.

DraftKings Boss: It’s the Little Number That Matters

“Any time the Chiefs are laying a small number, even against an improved team, the public is going to bet them,” Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told Gaming Today.

“Everybody seems happy in Kansas City now. When the Chiefs don’t have their full arsenal, they play a lot of tight games, but as soon as everybody is back, the public loves this team. They are still the team to beat.”

Few people can imagine the defending Super Bowl champs being 0-2. A bounce-back game for them appears to have been incorporated into this line.

The big question surrounding this game will be how full Kansas City’s arsenal is for Kelce and Jones’ first week.

Public Expects Teams to Air it Out

The total of 51 is interesting. In their two meetings last year, victories for Kansas City by 27-17 and 27-20 scores, the total was under 50.

And yet, in an early-season game amid the struggles league offenses have faced, bettors expect a shootout. Gamblers back the Over to the tune of 73% handle and 64% of the bets.

Quarterbacks the Key to Whether Teams Reach That Number

On the Kansas City side, that’s Mahomes. He’s a one-of-a-kind magician with the football. He put the Chiefs in position for a game-winning drive against the Lions, but a key drop by Kadarius Toney negated the momentum.

“I thought Mahomes is still Mahomes and he moves great out there,” Avello noted. “But I keep wondering how long he is going to be able to do that. Lots of older quarterbacks are thinking ‘What am I doing out here, running from these angry men?’” Avello laughed.

The 27-year-old Mahomes indeed does what others don’t. He can dance around the rush, fling side-arm passes against his body, hurl the unexpected shovel pass near the end zone, and he can run to daylight.

His theatrics gain more focus measured against 39-year-old Aaron Rodgers, who may become the biggest trade bust of all time. The New York Jets’ celebrated off-season pickup of the four-time NFL MVP will not pay dividends this year, at least. Rodgers went down in his first series of the year from a torn Achilles and is out for the year.

Jacksonville counters with a proven leader in Trevor Lawrence. He has blossomed into a top-notch player and led the team on a pair of fourth-quarter scores to help Jacksonville overcome a stubborn Indianapolis Colts team, 31-21, last week.

Lawrence threw for 241 yards and two scores with only one pick. He has emerged as a star in the Joe Burrow-Justin Herbert mode and is the type of quarterback one expects to see in a Super Bowl sooner than later.

Mahomes and Lawrence on the same field has Over bettors salivating.

The Intangible Wild Card for Each Team

Kansas City Chiefs

Lost in the Mahomes-Kelce-Jones adoration is the most unsung element of the Chiefs: their stingy defense.

Consider:

They held the Jags to 20 points in the playoff victory.

They notched a big defensive stop against the Cincinnati Bengals in the final minute of the AFC championship. That turned the ball back to Mahomes and company for the game-winning drive.

The D notched a game-changing touchdown on a fumble recovery against the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl.

And they just held the potent Detroit Lions offense to 14 points. Only a Lions’ defensive score proved to be the difference.

This unit gains little acclaim, but remains a big cog for the Chiefs.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Calvin Ridley looked reborn in Week 1, snaring eight passes for 101 yards and a touchdown. It was his first game back after missing the entire 2022 season for betting on NFL games.

Ridley backers might key in on him, especially early in the game. Lawrence completed four passes to him on the first TD drive, including the scoring play. Lawrence hit him again early in the second drive.

A note of caution: Ridley fumbled after catching a pass and wasn’t targeted nearly as much afterward.

Travis Etienne is a strong back and he powered for 77 yards and a touchdown.

Jacksonville has personnel and a coach that knows his opponent very well.

Is “Dougie” Due?

Jags coach Doug Pederson seeks a breakthrough victory against Chiefs coach Andy Reid.

Pederson played for Reid in Green Bay (1996-98) and then Philadelphia (1999). He spent seven years coaching under Reid in Philadelphia (2009-12) and then in Kansas City (2013-15).

While he hasn’t beaten Reid on the field, Pederson accomplished something Reid did not. He won a Super Bowl in Philadelphia in 2018.

Pederson sparked immediate improvement in the Jags last year. They are an up-and-coming team and perhaps a serious postseason threat.

If they are, there is always a hump-clearing game that sets the stage for that.

This could be that game for the Jags.

DraftKings NFL Week 2 Liability Report

Avello believes DraftKings will have significant exposure on the Jets. They are +9.5 at the Dallas Cowboys and have a huge moneyline payout of +340.

Avello expects sharp bettors to load up on either the points or the moneyline number. Thus, while only 22% of the public had the Jets on the moneyline on Thursday, some huge dollars may overshadow public sentiment.

The books and public have faded the Jets, who have been decimated by the loss of Aaron Rodgers for the season. But the team is bolstered by the return of Breece Hall, an elite back.

Hall scampered for 127 yards last week, including an electrifying 83-yard run. He was second in the league to Christian McCaffrey’s 152 yards among league leaders.

One of the big eye-opening numbers of the Jets-Cowboys involves the total. It’s a low 38.5 and 88% of the handle is on the Under.

Bettors believe in the stout defenses of both teams.

 

NFL Week 2 News Impacting Bettors

Austin Ekeler is dealing with an ankle injury, missing his second straight practice on Thursday. The star Los Angeles Chargers back is a vital cog in the offense.

Ekeler’s absence would boost the hopes of the host Tennessee Titans, +3 early Friday.

There has been a big line movement with the New York Giants. Big Blue has gone from -5.5 to -4 as it invades the Arizona Cardinals.

The Giants, the only team to be shut out last week, have 73% of the handle.

Look at Chiefs vs. Jaguars

All odds listed here are via BetMGM:

  • Both teams score 3 or more touchdowns: Yes, +135, No -175
  • Race to 20 points: Kansas City -145, Jacksonville +145
  • Jaguars point total of 24.5: Over +105, Under -135
  • Three Unanswered Scores by Either Team: Yes 230, No +160
  • Score in the Last 2 Minutes of 1st Half: Yes -350, No +240

NFL Weekly Special Menu

Odds available at FanDuel Sportsbook:

Highest Scoring Team

  • Kansas City Chiefs, +800
  • Buffalo Bills, +800
  • Detroit Lions, +1100.

Lowest Scoring Team

  • New York Jets, +600
  • Arizona Cardinals, +1000
  • Washington Commanders, +1200

Highest Scoring Game

  • Kansas City Chiefs-Jacksonville Jaguars, +440
  • Seattle Seahawks-Detroit Lions, +700
  • Las Vegas Raiders-Buffalo Bills, +750

Lowest Scoring Game

  • New York Jets-Dallas Cowboys, +550
  • New York Giants-Arizona Cardinals, +650
  • Washington Commanders-Denver Broncos, +700

Early Winners Cash NFL Week 2 Tickets

Backers of Minnesota Vikings tight end T. J. Hockenson nailed beaucoup bucks Thursday night.

He returned a sizable +1700 at DraftKings to notch the first touchdown in Minnesota’s 34-28 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Hockenson also returned +255 as an anytime scorer.

Jalen Hurts punching in two touchdowns delivered a +500 score.

D’Andre Swift rewarded backers with a +160 collection for his late touchdown scamper.

One bettor placed $10,000 on the Over 48.5 at -108 and pocketed $19,249.

Another gambler placed $25,000 on the Vikings +7 at -115 and got back $46,739.

This was the type of action we highlighted in midweek with the pre-game line bouncing between Philadelphia -7 and -6.

Late Eagles money drove the final spread down to -6, making this result a push. But the early birds taking Minnesota at +7 gained good money.

More action: NFL Week 2 odds | Super Bowl 58 odds | NFL MVP odds

About the Author
Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo

Writer
Dave Bontempo is an award-winning writer and broadcaster, who has covered the sports industry since the 1970s. He won the Sam Taub Award for Excellence in Boxing Broadcasting by the Boxing Writers Association of America in 1997, and is in the New Jersey and Atlantic City Boxing Halls of Fame. Bontempo has broadcast major fights all over the world. The advent of legalized sports wagering shifted his focus to this exciting new industry in 2018.

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