Urban Meyer has been fired as coach of the Jaguars, and the betting market reacted swiftly to the news. The betting line at two market-making Las Vegas sportsbooks moved in Jacksonville’s direction for the team’s Week 15 home game against the Houston Texans.
The Jags were adjusted overnight Wednesday from a -3.5 favorite to -4 at both Circa Sports and SuperBook USA. Thursday morning, the line continued to move up, settling at -5 on most oddboards but reaching -5.5 at Circa. BetMGM, as of this writing, remained at the low end of the market, dealing Jags -4.
Jaguars Odds On The Move
The SuperBook moved Jacksonville from -3.5 to -4 “on air” Wednesday night, meaning the news, rather than a bet, prompted the move.
“I texted the guys and said bump it up from 3.5 to 4,” Jeff Sherman, VP of risk management at the SuperBook, told Gaming Today on Thursday morning.
Circa Sports manager Chris Bennett was out of the office when the news broke but relayed to his bookmaking team that he wanted to be the highest in the market on the Jaguars.
“I think this helps them a lot for this game,” Bennett told Gaming Today in a text message.
A sharp customer was able to get down on Jags -3.5 (-105) at the downtown Vegas book.
Circa remained at the high end of the market at -5.5 on Thursday.
“I figured it was going to move up today, because it felt like that locker room was so toxic that (Meyer’s) removal would lead to better energy,” Sherman said.
The SuperBook and Circa each took a sharp moneyline bet at Jags -190 and moved the price to -230. No one played Jags -4 at either shop.
Sherman also moved the look-ahead line for the Jags-Jets in Week 16, from Jets -1.5 to pick ’em.
It’s hard to quantify the value of Meyer being replaced Darrell Bevell – the Jags’ offensive coordinator who is serving as interim head coach – but reports say the team’s players are relieved Meyer has been dismissed, and that Bevell is “wildly popular” within the organization.
“One of the more difficult things to handicap in sports is the emotion,” Sherman said, “(but) if you get a team in a situation like this that’s going to come out emotionally charged, it’s just more difficult to find those, and if you can find them, it usually leads to better success.”
Meyer’s first year in the NFL has been tumultuous, most recently including an altercation with wide receiver Marvin Jones and allegations that he kicked former kicker Josh Lambo during a preseason practice. Those are just the latest on a long list of issues Meyer has been a part of during his short tenure.
The Jaguars have won just two games this season, are a wallet-depleting 4-9 against the spread, and have dropped four straight ATS. The best way for bettors to make money on Jacksonville has been on the ‘under’, which is a remarkable 11-2 this season in Jags game, including eight straight cashes.
Added Sherman, “It sounded like so many thing were wrong in the locker room under Urban Meyer, I would have to think they could only improve from where they were at and that will lead to better performance on the field.”
Even if one believes the change from Meyer to Bevell is a positive for the Jags, though, laying points with this bunch is an uncomfortable proposition. They’ve been priced as favorites exactly once this season – on the road, in fact, in Week 1 against these same Texans. How’d that go? Jacksonville, 3-point chalk, lost outright, of course, 37-21.