Bengals vs. Jaguars Expert Pick – December 4, 2023
BENGALS VS. JAGUARS EXPERT PICK – DECEMBER 4, 2023 – The Cincinnati Bengals (5-6) travel to face the Jacksonville Jaguars (8-3) for a Monday Night showdown between teams heading in opposite directions. The Jaguars have hit their stride winning the last two games and going 7-1 since a 1-2 start to the season. The Bengals are reeling after losing their last three games and the last two since losing quarterback Joe Burrow to season-ending wrist surgery.
(5-6 SU, 4-6-1 ATS)
(8-3 SU, 8-3 ATS)
When: Monday, December 4, 2023 at 8:15 PM ET
Where: EverBank Stadium – Jacksonville, FL
Case of the Mondays
A few weeks ago, this would have been one hell of a Monday night matchup featuring two elite young quarterbacks jockeying for playoff position. After the injury to Burrow, this is now a game that only has interest in Jacksonville and Cincinnati, unless of course you have action on the game. Let’s help with that!
The Jaguars are now favored by ten points in what should be a low scoring affair. The Bengals are the worst rushing team in the NFL, averaging 75.8 yards per game. Backup quarterback Jake Browning was serviceable last week in his first start against the Pittsburgh Steelers, going 19 – of – 26 for 227 yards, one touchdown and one interception. The Bengals are in desperation mode as they are still contenders for a wild-card playoff spot.
For the first time since 2011, the Jaguars host a Monday Night Football game. With a win tonight Jacksonville would be tied for the best record in the AFC and keep a two-game lead in the AFC South. This is a must-win primetime matchup against a team that is lost without its captain.
Bengals – Keys to Victory
The Bengals are built for the passing game with receivers Ja’Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins causing matchup nightmares for opposing defenses. They must find ways to get their playmakers involved early in the game to open the rushing attack, not vice versa.
Chase has 914 receiving yards and six touchdowns on 75 receptions. He is a constant threat and Browning found ways to get him the ball last week against the Steelers with four receptions and 81 yards.
Getting Joe Mixon involved in the passing game is crucial as he has 10 games with over 60 scrimmage yards, tied for the most among running backs. Exploiting the Jaguars 28th ranked pass defense is the key to victory for the Bengals.
Jaguars – Keys to Victory
The Jaguars received good news as running back Travis Etienne is expected to start after leaving the game last week with a chest injury. This bodes well for quarterback Trevor Lawrence and the offense which relies on balance to move the ball.
Wide receiver Calvin Ridley will be looking for his third game in a row with five-plus catches, 85 or more receiving yards and one touchdown.
Tight end Evan Engram has eight games with five-plus receptions and is becoming one of Lawrence’s favorite targets.
The Bengals offense revolves around the quarterback position. With a lackluster offensive line, it was the quick decision-making from Burrow that masked the problems in the running game and with pass-protection.
It’s hard to fathom that Browning can fill this role and lead this team to a road Monday night victory. It would take multiple turnovers from the Jaguars to rekindle the Bengals season and lead them to victory. Jacksonville’s win streak extends to three games with a 20-7 victory over the Bengals.