This game is sneakily one of the best on the Week 8 slate. While a Russell Wilson-led Seahawks team might be seven-point favorites against the Jaguars, this current Geno Smith-led squad is only favored by 3.5 points, per our NFL gameday odds.
The Jaguars snapped their winless streak in London against the Dolphins in Week 6 and will be looking to continue that momentum off a bye against a Seahawks team that doesn’t have its best player.
Neither of these teams is in the position they wanted to be at the start of the season, but there is still plenty of football to be played.
The Jaguars have been dealing with a lot of off-field drama, but they have one of the highest-rated rookies at quarterback this year. Meanwhile, the Seahawks will be leaning on veteran leadership in this one. It’s going to be a classic battle between youth and experience.
Let’s dive into our best bets for this matchup in the latest installment of our NFL pick of the day series. All odds and lines are current as of 9 AM EST on Friday, October 29.
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Jaguars vs Seahawks Predictions
Something this Seattle team has really been missing is its running game.
Classically, the Seahawks are known for having a talented, physical backfield with the likes of Marshawn Lynch and Shaun Alexander giving opposing linebackers nightmares for so many years.
Chris Carson has been a great player for this team over the last couple of seasons, but has definitely struggled to stay healthy. Ever since he was diagnosed with that chronic neck injury earlier in the year, the Seahawks have really struggled to move the ball down the field.
Beyond that, the Geno Smith experience hasn’t been fun. While he did come in and play really well at the end of that Rams game on Thursday Night Football, his two starts since then haven’t been pretty.
This Jaguars’ defense is fairly soft and considering some of the worst offenses in the league have been able to move the ball down the field against Jacksonville, I do have some hope Geno can turn things around.
Getting star receivers DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett more involved in this game would certainly help. This is obviously one of the most talented wide receiver duos in the league and their lack of involvement in the offense needs to change ASAP.
Metcalf started out last week with an 84-yard touchdown catch and then had just a single catch the rest of the day on four more targets. That is absolutely unacceptable.
Additionally, Lockett’s production has fallen off a cliff since Smith took over at quarterback. In the two full games without Wilson, Lockett has put up a pair of two-catch performances for a total of 47 yards.
This Jaguars’ secondary is a mess and Seattle desperately needs to take advantage of that.
Prediction: Seahawks 24, Jaguars 21
Jaguars vs. Seahawks Best Bets
Best Bet: Over 44 Total Points (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
With a 3.5-point spread, this game feels ripe for a 24-21 result which lines up great for the over here. This handicap is fairly simple, play the over when you have two bad defenses.
It’s a bit tougher when you have good name value with teams like the Seahawks but frankly, that defense hasn’t impressed anyone so far this season.
The Jaguars have been successful moving the ball down the field this year, but have been limited on the scoreboard because they struggle to convert in the red zone and have had their fair share of turnovers. If they can correct those mistakes and actually convert long drives into points, then this is over should be very live.
It’s a little weird that I’m actually more worried about the Seahawks getting the job done, but considering that the Broncos, Dolphins, and Texans have all put up 20+ points against the Jaguars, Geno should be able to step up to the table. This Seahawks offense is way too talented to be struggling against the Jaguars.
The Seahawks have been in some tough spots with Smith under center, having played their last two games against a pair of top-12 scoring defenses in the Steelers and Rams. These Jaguars, who rank near the bottom of the league in points per game allowed (28.7), should feel significantly easier.
At 2-5, the Seahawks are battling for their lives in the tough NFC West and will need to score some points on Sunday.
Best Bet: Jaguars +3.5 (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
This is one of those situations where the spread pick correlates to the total.
My logic for picking the over was that both teams should have success moving the ball down the field against each other’s lackluster defense. When just looking at the offensive side of the ball, I actually give Trevor Lawrence, the 2021 No. 1 overall pick, a bit of an edge over Geno Smith.
Over the last couple of weeks, Lawrence has looked more comfortable and shown flashes of why he was seen as a generational prospect and selected with the top pick in the draft. We’ve already acknowledged the turnovers have been significant, but if Jacksonville can continue to limit them and win that battle then I think they can cover the game and potentially get the win.
The spread pick is much safer, though, giving us wiggle room for even a field-goal defeat.