With the NFL preseason winding down and the regular season right around the corner, the Jacksonville Jaguars will head on the road to Mercedes-Benz Stadium to take on the Atlanta Falcons.
Both of these teams are in the midst of a rebuild, and in the preseason finale, both teams’ starters will likely play the first quarter or potentially even less. This is a chance for guys on the fringe of making the roster to make their last impressions to earn a spot.
Jacksonville took part in this year’s Hall of Fame game, so this will be their fourth preseason game. Although they’ve lost all three games, there have been glimpses of promise — specifically from the first-team offense.
Atlanta beat the Detroit Lions in their preseason opener and jumped out to a 16-0 first-half lead against the Jets, but allowed 24 unanswered points and lost, 24-16. The Falcons managed just 34 total yards in the second half and had a sack-fumble returned for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Read below for the best Jacksonville vs Atlanta odds, bets, and predictions.
Jaguars vs Falcons Odds
The Falcons opened as one-point favorites at home against the Jaguars but that line quickly moved to four, as is reflected in our NFL Odds. The Over/Under is set at 37.5 total points, which is about the average total for preseason games.
Jaguars vs Falcons Implied Score
Falcons 20.75, Jaguars 16.75
Oddsmakers were expecting a classic preseason game — close and low-scoring. Early bettors poured in on the Falcons and moved the line through the key numbers of 3 and 3.5, all the way to a four-point favorite.
Neither team will likely play their starters much, especially veterans, so we’re looking at the depth in key positions.
Jaguars vs Falcons Pick of the Day
Read more on this Jaguars vs Falcons bet below.
Jaguars vs Falcons Matchup
Jacksonville has lost both preseason games, but the first-team offense has performed well, especially against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Trevor Lawrence led the Jaguars to four drives into Steelers territory but produced just six points after a missed field goal and a turnover on downs.
Christian Kirk, who the Jaguars signed to a four-year, 72 million dollar deal this offseason, caught five passes for 54 yards in his Jaguars debut.
Atlanta has a solid amount of depth at the quarterback position after signing Marcus Mariota and taking Desmond Ridder in the third round this offseason.
They just don’t have any weapons.
Outside of Kyle Pitts and first-round pick Drake London — both will play limited snaps in the preseason finale — the Falcons have limited to no depth in terms of playmakers.
Jaguars vs Falcons Prediction
Falcons 24, Jaguars 17
The Jaguars’ first-team offense has been solid throughout the preseason, but the second- and third-team units have struggled to move the ball, let alone score points.
Jacksonville will play Lawrence for the first couple of drives, and then hand the ball to veteran C.J. Beathard who — outside of a bad pick-six against the Browns — has been a solid option.
Behind Beathard, it’s a major falloff with E.J. Perry, Jake Luton, and Kyle Sloter competing for the third-string job. Those three have combined to put together just one scoring drive — Sloter throwing a garbage-time touchdown in the Hall of Fame Game.
The Falcons’ defense struggled in the second half against the Jets but should fair better against the Jaguars — no matter whichever of the three is on the field in the second half.
Mariota will start off for the Falcons at quarterback, and he led two 70-plus yard scoring drives in the first quarter against the Jets. Mariota is getting a second chance as an NFL starter and has looked the part through the opening two games.
If the first two preseason games are any indication, the Falcons hit on their third-round pick in Ridder. Through the first two preseason games, Ridder has completed 20-of-35 attempts for 243 yards and two touchdowns, while also extending plays with his legs.
Jacksonville has especially struggled to stop the pass this preseason, especially the second- and third-team. The quarterback depth of the Falcons gives this team a lot of problems, and the Falcons are able to move the ball all game long on their way to a convincing win.
Jaguars vs Falcons Bet Tips
Jacksonville has lost all three of their preseason games so far and the total going Over in two of those three games. The Jaguars are 1-5 in the preseason across the last two seasons.
Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson is 8-11 in the preseason, dating back to his time in Philadelphia.
The Falcons are 1-1 this preseason and the total went Over in both. Arthur Smith and the Falcons are 1-4 in the preseason over the last two seasons.
Jaguars vs Falcons Best Bets
Falcons -4 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
The Falcons offense has effectively moved the ball with Ridder and Mariota at the helm and continues to do so against a Jaguars defense that has struggled to stop the pass.
Jacksonville’s third-string unit has scored just one touchdown this preseason, and with them expected to play a majority of the game, I’m comfortable laying the points with the Falcons at home.
Atlanta avoids the big turnover that cost them the game against the Jets and covers as a four-point in the NFL pick of the day.