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‘Monday Night Football’ odds, picks

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Jacksonville’s first hosting of “Monday Night Football” in 12 years serves as an enticing matchup against a Bengals group taking steep tumbles in the AFC standings.

Cincinnati is one game below .500, but its playoff chances were virtually over once Joe Burrow’s season concluded with a wrist injury two weeks ago.

Since Jake Browning stepped in, the Bengals have dropped two games and their offense has regressed to a shell of its potential.

Bengals vs. Jaguars prediction

(8:15 p.m. ET. ESPN)

In the meantime, the Jaguars are hunting the No. 1 seed in the conference and Trevor Lawrence is spreading the wealth to a well-balanced offense.

The Jags have won seven of their last eight, with four players seeing at least four targets a week.

The subtle comeback campaign of the 2023 NFL season has been that of Evan Engram, who plateaued with the Giants before another down first season in Jacksonville last year.

Trevor Lawrence of the Jacksonville Jaguars looks to smash the reeling Bengals defense. Getty Images

Engram has yet to haul in a touchdown, but he gets a nice slice of the pie by managing a career-high 5.8 receptions from Lawrence. He owns a 22.2 percent target share — half of those launching toward him from within the red zone.

The 6-foot-3 flex tight end juices 29.2 yards after catch per game. He’s been able to juice the extra ground by powering through defenders with the best juke rate at his position.

Lawrence keeps using Engram as a trusty downfield safety net — Engram has led the deep Jags receiving corps through the eight-game hot window with 46 total catches.

Betting on the NFL?

Cincinnati’s stumbling secondary should invite him to pile on more production. It has been friendly to tight ends, yielding 6.4 receptions for 70.8 yards.

The Bengals’ defense is even worse at stopping the run, but Lawrence should waste no time moving the ball through the air and washing Cincinnati out early on in this one.

I like the upside on both Engram’s reception and yardage props, but I’ll take the edge in value on his catches given the high volume of targets that vary in distances.

THE PLAY: Evan Engram Over 4.5 receptions (-150 at BetMGM)

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