When it comes to handicapping the NFL, no other single factor influences the lines as much as injuries. Before making your bets at the sportsbook, always check the latest player updates for injury news. Knowing who’s on the field and who’s on the bench makes the difference between winning and losing.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are field-goal favorites against state rival Miami Dolphins on prime-time Thursday Night Football.
|Game: Miami (0-2) at Jacksonville (1-1)
Location: TIAA Bank Stadium
Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
Already thin in the secondary, the Dolphins lost starting corner Byron Jones, who pulled his groin in Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills. He is out for Thursday, having missed all practice on a short week. Backup corner Clayton Fejedelem is still doubtful after limiting practice for his pectoral injury, and his season debut will likely not be Week 3.
Starting DE Shaq Lawson injured his hip and was limited in practice, but fully participated Wednesday and is listed as good to go. A possible upgrade behind him might also be a go, as starting linebacker Elandon Roberts has cleared concussion protocol and is back to full practice.
Starting WR DeVante Parker will play. While he has been nursing his hamstring, he practiced fully on Wednesday, and the team removed his injury designation.
It’s difficult to downgrade the Miami defense any further after it gave up a jaw-dropping 8.9(!) yards per play to the Bills last week. Other starters limited early in the week like OLB Kyle Van Noy or WR DeVante Parker all put in a full day on Wednesday and are expected to start.
Thanks to a surprise mid-week hip injury, kicker Josh Lambo lands on the IR, while Brandon Wright gets promoted from the practice squad to take his place.
Losing your starting center is never good, but for most of the second half of last week’s game, backup offensive tackle Tyler Shatley smoothly replaced Brandon Linder who messed up his knee. The team has confirmed Shatley will start, giving the veteran rest on a short week.
The Jaguars had a couple of other surprises on their practice report as well this week: Backup safety Brandon Watson and backup tight end Tyler Davis were both limited, but are cleared after a full practice Wednesday.
Jags’ starting wide receiver D.J. Chark took a hit in the chest late in Sunday’s game that had him limited in practice this short week. He’s listed questionable and likely won’t play.
Advantage Miami here comparing the injury losses the teams carry into Week 3. Counting their loss in the secondary, the Dolphins return a number of defensive starters and star wide-out DeVante Parker should see full playing time. On the other side, the Jags will be breaking in a new kicker and holding the O-line in place with a backup center.
Listed as a pick ‘em before last week’s games, the Jaguars opened as low as -2 and were bet up to -3 before the practice week ended. It’s compelling to take the field goal with the Dolphins, imagining Ryan Fitzpatrick chucking the ball downfield late in the game for even a garbage cover.
Early money sniffed out both teams’ defensive issues and injuries, and pushed the total up more than a field goal to 49. A 17-10 final isn’t out of play here, but the only way to bet this is the over. Unfortunately, the line has now climbed to 49 and while it is possible some buy-back money could show up closer to game time for the under, the injury profile here doesn’t fit that, and we’d expect the total to stay put.