Thursday Night Betting Preview Cincinnati Bengals vs Jacksonville Jaguars

by | Sep 30, 2021

Joe Burrow and Trevor Lawrence meet again — and their first duel in the pros will make for a very rare event.

When the Bengals host the Jaguars on Thursday night, it’ll be just the second time in NFL history that the last two No. 1-overall picks face off at quarterback.

Their last clash: When Burrow handed Lawrence the first loss of his football career in the 2020 College Football Playoff title game.

  • Burrow’s five-TD performance led LSU to a 42-25 win, capping off his Heisman-winning final season in which he set the single-season TD record (60).
  • He was drafted first in 2020 and signed a four-year, $36.2 million contract with a $24M signing bonus.
  • Lawrence, who won the 2019 CFP championship, recorded his worst passer rating against Burrow but finished his career 34-2.
  • He was taken first in 2021 and inked a near-identical four-year, $37 million deal with a $24M signing bonus.

Despite their similarities, Lawrence and Burrow have traced totally different trajectories through three weeks: Burrow has the Bengals at 2-1, just a season after a devastating knee injury, while Lawrence is 0-3.

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It’s no surprise Cincinnati is favored by 7.5* points, but Lawrence could always follow in the footsteps of Kyler Murray.

The only previous time a pair of consecutive No. 1 QBs met in the NFL, Murray, the 2019 No. 1 pick, defeated Baker Mayfield, the 2018 top selection.

If the Blue Jays manage to emerge from a ridiculous four-team battle for the AL Wild Card spots, it will be obvious why.

In a massive win over the Yankees — propelled by two Bo Bichette homers and one from Marcus Semien — Toronto set several new power-hitting precedents for the franchise.

  • For the first time, the Jays have four players with 100+ RBI (Teoscar Hernandez, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Semien, and Bichette); the Braves were the last in 2003.
  • All four hit the century mark for the first time in their careers.
  • Semien’s 44th dinger surpassed Davey Johnson’s 43 (1973) for the MLB single-season record by a second baseman. 
  • Bichettte’s 28th set the all-time franchise mark for a shortstop.

The Jays lead MLB with 251 bombs on the season — an exceptional return on a relatively modest investment. Their four leading home run hitters are all on one-year deals (Semien $18M; Hernandez $4.3M; Guerrero $605,000; Bichette, $587,000).

With four games remaining, the Jays are a game behind the Red Sox for the second Wild Card and two games behind New York for the first — who they host for one more game tonight.

Toronto currently has a 22.8% chance of making the playoffs, per FanGraphs.

AL Cy Young candidate Robbie Ray (13-6, 2.68 ERA) will take the mound in a critical matchup with the Yankees’ Corey Kluber (5-3, 3.82) in Toronto on Thursday.


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