The Jacksonville Jaguars are favored by three points this weekend against the New York Giants. (You can find odds and more at DraftKings Sportsbook.)
In addition, ESPN’s model implies the spread should be closer to a full touchdown.
The Jaguars have a 72.5% chance to win against the Giants according to ESPN’s matchup predictor.— Jordan de Lugo (@jordandelugo) October 18, 2022
I mean I know the analytics favor the Jags, but idk how to make that make sense.
The 2-4 Jaguars are coming off three consecutive loses, most recently to woeful division rivals Houston and Indianapolis. Meanwhile, the 5-1 Giants are fresh off three straight wins, most recently over perennial contenders Green Bay and Baltimore.
So why is Jacksonville expected to beat New York in Week 7?
The primary reason is fourth quarter performance. Here's some evidence via “the analytics.”
Updated blended 4th Quarter win probabilities vs actual season long wins. ie. which teams are winning more than they should based on cumulative win probabilities in the 4th quarter this year (lucky?) and which teams are not (unlucky?) pic.twitter.com/peQhZYdFfI— Clevta (@Clevta) October 19, 2022
This season, Jacksonville has been tied or leading in every fourth quarter but one (in hurricane conditions against the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles). But the Jaguars are 0-4 in one-score games.
New York has been tied or trailing in every fourth quarter but one (a road win over the 2-4 Chicago Bears). Yet they hold a 5-1 record in one-score games.
Here’s a similar synopsis from Rich Hribar of Sharp Football Analysis.
The Giants have led for just 23.3% of their offensive snaps, the lowest rate of all teams with a winning record and 25th in the NFL altogether.
Jacksonville has led for 40.3% of their offensive snaps (ninth in the league), the highest rate of all teams with a losing record.
Long story short, the Giants are winning close games and the Jaguars are not -- and that’s despite the latter doing a better job of being in a position to win through three quarters.
History tells us to expect New York to attempt a fourth-quarter comeback in Jacksonville on Sunday. And math, not to mention common sense, tells us it’s gonna be hard for the Giants to continue pulling it off.
You can find the odds for this game and all NFL games with our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook.