Best NFL player props for TNF Jacksonville Jaguars vs Cincinnati Bengals: Lawrence to make his mark

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) rolls out to throw a pass in the first quarter of a preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.

Week 4 kicks us off with a Thursday night clash between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cincinnati Bengals. At the forefront will be the last two No. 1 overall picks, Joe Burrow and Trevor Lawrence. Both players will be eager to show out on national television, and give their respective fanbases hope for the future. Before I get to my favorite prop of the game, make sure to check out our expert picks for the game sides and totals.

My pick for this Thursday night matchup does involve one of the quarterbacks. Specifically, I’m looking at the one team that’s more likely to be forced into passing situations, to keep up with their opponent.

Trevor Lawrence (JAX) over 21.5 completions (-120)

Line available at time of publishing.

To say it’s been a turbulent start to the season for the Jaguars rookie signal-caller might be an understatement. Through his first 3 outings, Lawrence is 64-of-118 for 669 yards, 5 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions. As with any first-year starting quarterback, struggles were anticipated–especially on a team that won all of 1 game last season.

Lawrence has cleared this prop in 2 of his 3 games. Even in the rare instance where the Jaguars had a 9-point lead late into the 3rd quarter last week, Lawrence still reeled off 22 completions. He ranks 22nd in the NFL in yards per completion (10.5 yards), and 16th in air yards per completion (6.3 air yards). While he’s taken some deep shots, the Jaguars best chance in the passing game relies on the short and intermediate throws. This is going to be especially important against the Bengals.

The matchup

The Bengals defense has done two things well thus far:  stop the run, and keep the ball in front of them in the passing game. Against the ground attack, Cincinnati currently ranks 5th in fewest rush yards per attempt (3.3). That’s a stellar number, even more so when you consider it was against the likes of Dalvin Cook, David Montgomery, and Najee Harris. The Jaguars finally let James Robinson run free last week, but he and Carlos Hyde will find it tough against the defensive front of Cincinnati.

In 2 of their 3 matchups, Cincinnati surrendered 36 and 38 completions to opposing quarterbacks. However, through a mixture of pass rush and coverage, the Bengals are only allowing 8 yards per completion, which is the lowest mark in the league. They’ve yet to surrender a 40-yard pass play, and seem content to quarterbacks checking down (as exhibited by Harris’ 14 catches last week). The Bengals’ defensive average depth of target is 4.9 yards, second lowest in the NFL. Not only is this conducive to completion quantity, but I also don’t see Lawrence having much luck with his deep attempts.


It’s never a given, but the most likely scenario sees the Jaguars playing from behind in this game, given the 7.5-point spread. A negative game-script will, of course, force the Jaguars into more passing situations.

Plus, the time of possession projections align nicely as well. The Bengals are allowing their opponents the fourth highest time of possession (55 percent) through three games. With the Jaguars allowing 9.3 yards per attempt through the air (3rd highest), Joe Burrow should have no issue gaining chunk yardage on passing plays. The quicker the Bengals drive, the more opportunity for Lawrence.


The main risks with this play are with game-script and Lawrence’s potential ineffectiveness. I don’t see the Jaguars running up the score in this one (even though we saw glimpses of it last week). And Cincinnati’s defense has shown their cards with soft coverage on the underneath routes.

An implied 38 pass attempts by most sportsbooks translates to Lawrence only needing to complete 58 percent of his throws. With my expectation of the shorter passing game coming into play, I have Lawrence projected closer to 24 completions in this one.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Jacksonville Jaguars vs Cincinnati Bengals

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