Could Sunday’s Texans-Jaguars matchup be the start of a terrific AFC rivalry between Houston quarterback CJ Stroud and Jacksonville counterpart Trevor Lawrence? They were certainly two of the better college QBs in recent years at Ohio State and Clemson, respectively, and were Top 2 picks in the draft. The Jaguars are 8-point favorites, and a few trends point to fading Lawrence big time.
There was a lot of action this offseason on Lawrence to become the first Jaguars player to win NFL MVP – no Jacksonville player has ever gotten a single vote – after the former No. 1 overall pick really broke out the second half of last season. However, even with the addition of Pro Bowl receiver Calvin Ridley, the Jags are struggling. Their nine points scored last week against Kansas City were the fewest of any team in Week 2 – the loss snapped the Jags’ six-game regular-season win streak -- and Jacksonville is averaging only 20.0 points and 306.5 total yards.
Believe it or not, Lawrence has never covered the spread as a home favorite. Granted, the #DUUUVAL have only been home favorites five times previously under him. Their only straight up win among those five was as 6-point favorites in Week 18 last season against Tennessee. Jacksonville won 20-16 to clinch the AFC South. Sunday is the biggest the Jags have been favored under Lawrence. Overall, he is just 3-5 SU as a betting favorite. Lawrence is 8-14 ATS in his career off a loss.
In addition, he is 1-3 SU in his career vs. the Texans with three TDs and six picks. The Jaguars were favored by at least three points in all three losses, making Lawrence is the second quarterback since the 1970 merger to be upset by one team three times within his first two seasons. He struggles against bad teams for some reason as Lawrence is 4-10 ATS vs. teams under .500.
Houston has won five straight games as the road team in the series, the longest such streak by an opponent in Jags history. That does include a 2019 game in London, where Jacksonville plays once every year and will again in Week 4. The #WeAreTexans haven’t won a game anywhere in September since 2021.