It’s another in-state Thursday night matchup as Miami travels up I-95 to Jacksonville, the site of today’s Dolphins Jaguars free pick. It’s also an interesting matchup of quarterbacks – the ‘Stache versus the Beard.
The ‘Stache is the Jags Gardner Minshew, the 24-year-old wunderkind who is completing 75.4 percent of his passes and has thrown six touchdowns.
The Beard is the 37-year-old veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick who has done neither of those things. Which one prevails on Thursday?
Game: Miami Dolphins (0-2, 1-1 ATS) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1, 2-0 ATS)
When: 8:20 PM ET, Thursday, September 24, 2020
Where: TIAA Bank Stadium, Jacksonville, Florida
Current Line: JAX -3 Total: 48.5
TV Coverage: NFL Network
The ‘Stache vs. the Beard
Inasmuch as Thursday is a battle of quarterbacks, it’s also a battle of two of the most porous defenses in the NFL. Opponents have regular reservations to the end zone when playing Miami or Jacksonville.
The Jags allow 399.5 yards per game, which is good for 23rd in the 32-team NFL. Miami is even worse giving up 440.5 yards a game, 30th in the league.
Minshew on Target
Minshew became just the fourth player in NFL history to complete 95 percent of his passes in a game when he did so in a Week 1 win over Indianapolis. Could this be a sign for my Dolphins Jaguars free pick? The Jags won as a home underdog over the Colts.
Jacksonville then gave Tennessee all it could handle as Minshew threw two fourth-quarter touchdowns to tie the game at 30-all. A late Titans field goal gave Tennessee the win, but the Jags covered for the second time this season.
The Dolphins have been slow to start under second-year head coach Brian Flores. In seven September games, Miami is 0-for-7. The Dolphins are also a paltry 1-6 ATS in those seven games.
Against the Spread
Sports handicappers know the Jags have had some recent success in prime time games, especially those played on Thursday night. Jacksonville is 4-0 in their last four games on Thursday Night Football. More importantly, the Jags are 4-0 ATS in those games.
With a top-10 offense going up against a bottom-3 defense and the fact that Miami will play without CB Byron Jones, the ‘Stache is likely to outplay his bearded opponent.
At home, Jacksonville gets the win and the cover to make it five in a row on Thursday night.
Dolphins Jaguars Free Pick: Jacksonville -3
Pick by Coach Rick