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Early pick against the spread for Chargers-Jaguars Wild Card game in 2023 NFL playoffs

We give our early pick against the spread as odds open for Chargers and Jaguars in 2023 NFL Wild Card Round.

Tennessee Titans v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images

The first nightcap of the Wild Card weekend will feature the Los Angeles Chargers traveling to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday night from TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. The game will kick off at 8:15 p.m. ET and air on NBC.

Los Angeles (10-7) is in the playoffs for the first time since 2018 as the top Wild Card team in the AFC. The Chargers won four games in a row before a loss to the Denver Broncos in the Wild Card round in a game Los Angeles didn’t try to win. They lost three of four games prior to the winning streak that sent the Chargers into the postseason.

Jacksonville (9-8) hasn’t been a playoff team since 2017, and this has been an incredible turn around for the Jags in Year 1 of the Doug Pederson era, taking over for the disaster that was Urban Meyer. The Jaguars fought for their playoff lives down the stretch and closed out the regular season on a five-game winning streak to win the AFC South.

Opening point spread: Chargers -2.5
Opening point total: 46.5
Opening moneyline: Chargers -140, Jaguars +120

Early pick ATS: Jaguars +2.5

This line doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, and I would’ve expected the Jags to be favored on Saturday night. Jacksonville is playing at home, and ranks higher in many important team statistical categories. The Chargers rank in the bottom half of the league in yards per play on both ends of the field including a defense that will go into the playoffs that checks in at 29th defensively in yards per play (5.9). Los Angeles is especially bad in the trenches where it is 30th in yards per rush attempt offensively (3.8) and dead last in stopping the run per attempt (5.4). Take the Jaguars to advance to the divisional round especially if this spread gets to three.