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Dolphins vs. Jaguars odds, prediction, betting trends for NFL’s ‘Thursday Night Football’ game

When the Dolphins travel to play the Jaguars in Jacksonville on ‘Thursday Night Football’ to open Week 3 of the 2020 NFL season (8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network), it will be an all-Florida affair. The Dolphins (0-2) are coming off two division losses against the Patriots and Bills, while the Jaguars (1-1) have split their AFC South games against the Colts and Titans.

The Jaguars’ youth movement is in full force, led by QB Gardner Minshew, undrafted rookie running back James Robinson and young first-round pass rusher Josh Allen. The Dolphins are headed in that direction, but are still keeping rookie first-round QB Tua Tagovailoa on the bench in favor of veteran bridge Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Here’s how Sporting News sees the less-than-marquee matchup of two rebuilding Sunshine State teams playing out, including the betting information you need to know:

MORE: Get the latest NFL odds at Sports Insider

Dolphins vs. Jaguards oodds for “Thursday Night Football”

  • Spread: Jaguars by 2.5
  • Over/under: 48
  • Point spread odds: Dolphins +106, Jaguars -126

The Jaguars have been floating around field-goal favorites with a slight home-field advantage, which says the Dolphins would be slight favorites on a neutral field. Jacksonville and Miami both have shown life despite their talent limitations, complicating the game prediction further.

Complete Week 3 NFL picks: Straight up | Against the spread

Dolphins vs. Jaguars all-time series

The Jaguars hold a one-game edge in the series, 5-4, dating back to 1998. Their biggest win against the Dolphins came during the playoffs in 2000, when they dispatched Dan Marino’s team 62-7. The Jaguars have won two in a row, the meetings in 2015 and 2018. Before then, from 2009 through 2014, the Dolphins had won three in a row.

Three trends to know

— 61 percent of bettors like the Jaguars to win the game by more than 3 points to cover the small home number in their favor.

— 62 percent of bettors like the game to go over what’s a rather reasonable point total.

— 59 percent of bettors, despite the small spread, believe the Jaguars will easily take the game outright on the moneyline.

Three things to watch

No Byron Jones

The Dolphins’ pricey free-agent cornerback addition is battling a couple of injuries and is headed to miss the game. Last week, the Bills roasted the Dolphins’ cornerbacks with Stefon Diggs and John Brown, despite their other expensive corner, Xavien Howard being in the game. That’s great news for D.J. Chark and Keelan Cole, who have been Minshew’s clear-cut go-to guys over the first two weeks.

Robinson vs. the Dolphins’ run defense

Robinson made Leonard Fournette expendable with a strong training camp and is backing that up with stellar running, receiving and scoring early in his first NFL season. The Dolphins can be exploited badly on the ground between the tackles, although the Jaguars are dealing with a injury to center Brandon Linder. Jay Gruden and Doug Marrone will have no problems feeding Robinson often to control the game and set up Minshew for big pass plays downfield.

Fitzmagic or Fitztragic?

Fitzpatrick was terrible in throwing interceptions against a tough Patriots pass defense in Week 1. He rebounded with a strong Week 2, deploying wide receiver DeVante Parker and tight end MIke Gesicki well for his benefit in a Chan Gailey offense he knows inside-out. Will the streaky bearded one stay hot in a good matchup, or go cold again, calling for a great push for Tagovailoa? The Jaguars would love to force the issue there with Allen and others.

Stat that matters

110.0. That is Minshew’s passer rating in September, dating back to when he took over for an injured Nick Foles as a rookie last season. He’s completed 71.5 percent of his passes during the month for 7.6 yards per attempt with 13 TD passes to only 3 INTs. He’s been red-hot to start 2020 and Miami doesn’t offer much resistance, especially with him comfortable at home.

Dolphins vs. Jaguars prediction

Minshew has gone from maniacal, magical phenom to legitimate solid starting quarterback in the NFL, rewarding his team for sticking with him into Year 2 and growing around him. He has more help from the running game in Robinson with a deep cadre of weapons. Fitzpatrick has some flashy players, including Parker, Gesicki and second-year back Myles Gaskin, but the Jaguars have more around Minshew to control the game and make fewer mistakes on both sides of the ball.

Jaguars 24, Dolphins 20

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