NFL Football Betting Preview
Jacksonville Jaguars (7-7) at New England Patriots (9-5)
Sunday December 27th, 1:00PM Eastern
Betus.com betting line – New England -8, 43 ½ O/U
The New England Patriots have not been that dynamic over powering force that most would expect them to be at this point in the season. After back to back losses to New Orleans and Miami; the Patriots just narrowly breezed by Carolina and Buffalo. However, New England still can lock down the AFC East Division crown with a win this Sunday when they host the Jacksonville Jaguars who are also fighting for a postseason possibility.
The Jaguars at 7-7 are in the midst of a bunch of teams with the same record fighting for a wildcard spot. However, the Jaguars may be sitting better than any of those teams considering they have the best conference record of any 7-7 team. Still, even if they can surprisingly win out they will need help from losses from Baltimore and Denver to get the postseason opportunity. The Jaguars will attempt to keep those postseason chances alive this Sunday when they battle with the Patriots.
The Jaguars roll into Foxboro following a hard fought loss to the Indianapolis Colts 35-31. Jacksonville actually appeared to be in control the entire game, but the Colts were to score a late touchdown to steal the victory. However, the Jaguars should still feel strong about the efforts considering no other team has looked that good against Indianapolis. Running back Maurice Jones-Drew carried the ball 27 times for 110 yards to increase his season total to an NFL 3rd best 1,246 yards. Jones-Drew may be the guy that sets the tone for the Jaguars this Sunday considering New England is allowing 4.4 yards per rush attempt.
However, David Garrard is also throwing the football well. Garrard completed 23 of 40 passes for 223 yards with 3 touchdowns and 1 pick in their loss to the Colts. WR Mike Sims-Walker is the guy really coming along in the passing game with 822 yards this year. Sims-Walker caught 6 passes for 64 yards to lead the Jaguars last week and he will be needed again this Sunday. Still, the Jaguars will only contend if their defense allows them to contend. The Patriots have one of the most difficult passing offenses to defend even though their offense has been less potent in recent weeks. However, they still got the firepower to rack up points quickly.
Patriots QB Tom Brady was banged up a bit in last week’s 17-10 victory over the Buffalo Bills. Brady was just 11 of 23 for a season low 115 yards passing last week. Brady also suffered a rib and right shoulder injury that caused him to miss some practice time this week, but is still expected to start come Sunday. The Jacksonville secondary has given up 244 yards per game against the pass this season so the Patriots offense will definitely attack through the air as they do against every opponent. Wide receivers Wes Welker and Randy Moss are the most dangerous duo in the NFL posting over 1,100 receiving yards each. The two have combined for 14 of Brady’s 24 touchdowns this year. Moss received some criticism about his effort a few weeks back after a poor performance against Carolina. Moss did come back to catch 5 passes for 70 yards last week and the Patriots will definitely need their big play guy to be a big factor again this week if they are to stifle the Jaguars defense.
Pick – Turnovers may tell the story here. If Garrard can have a solid performance, the Jaguars should come in to this game with a lot of determination catching a Patriots team that has been sleepwalking through the past few games. The points are plus. Take Jacksonville +8