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Patriots’ Recent Road Record Could Spell Trouble for Jaguars

Patriots vs Jaguars Betting Odds September 16 2018

In a rematch of the AFC title game in January, the New England Patriots and Jacksonville Jaguars will lock horns in a battle of no-talk vs trash-talk. The Patriots handled a respectable Texans defense in Week 1 but the Jags defense is a different beast as Sacksonville has won six straight games at home (including playoffs) and limited teams to 17 points per game last season at EverBank Field. The Patriots opened as 2-point favorites to move to 2-0 with the total opening at 45.

SHARK BITES
  • The Patriots are 14-1 SU and 12-3 ATS in their last 15 games on the road.
  • The Jaguars allowed only 17 points per game at home last season.
  • The UNDER has hit in six of the Patriots’ last seven road games (avg. combined score 41.2 points per game).

Patriots vs Jaguars Game Center

Should the Patriots Be a Larger Favorite?

Being a favorite on the road is nothing new for New England. The Patriots haven’t been an underdog on the road since Week 1 of the 2016 season, when they covered by upsetting the Cardinals. Since then, they have gone 14-1 SU and 12-3 ATS in 15 road games (all as a fave), with the wins coming by an average of 12.6 points. So, why are they only favored by 2 points?

Well, it’s mainly because they don’t have as many offensive weapons to exploit the Jaguars’ explosive defense. Outside of TE Rob Gronkowski and WR Phillip Dorsett, the Patriots passing game looked a little out of sync vs Houston as those two combined for 189 yards receiving while the rest of their wideouts only managed 17 yards total. The Pats are the best in the biz at adjusting their game plan to manipulate opposing defenses. Where they may find the edge could be in the screen/run game with running backs Rex Burkhead and James White as Jacksonville allowed over 100 yards rushing to Giants RB Saquon Barkley in his NFL debut.

Jaguars Not to Be Dismissed at Home

The recent memory of the AFC title game in January had to be on oddsmakers’ minds when setting the line for this matchup. The Jaguars throttled the Patriots for three quarters in that game and looked to be on their way to the Super Bowl until Tom Brady did Tom Brady things and orchestrated the comeback.  

The key factor from that game was it was at Gillette Stadium whereas this rematch is at EverBank Field, a place where the Jags are stomping teams. Jacksonville has won six straight games at home (including playoffs) with its defense limiting teams to only 17 points per game at EverBank Field last season. 

Now, this is where conflicting trends come in and can make this a tricky game to cap. The Patriots are so consistent on the road (evidenced by their ATS record) and averaged 27.8 points per away game last season. Will Josh McDaniels be able to scheme up a gimmicky offense to keep their opponent’s pass rushers at bay? Or will Sacksonville ruin the Pats and make a statement vs the AFC favorite? Based on history alone, it’s hard to fade the Patriots considering that near-impeccable road record so I’m leaning to New England to win and cover.

Totals Bettors Should Wager on the UNDER

Oddsmakers have opened the total in this matchup at 45 points and this contest could be a nice UNDER wager. The Jags defense limits teams offensively at home as mentioned above and the UNDER has hit in four of their last five games (including playoffs) with an average combined score of 40.8 points per game. Once you look deeper into the Patriots’ road games and see the UNDER has hit in six of their last seven away from Foxborough (average combined score 41.2), it could be a tightly contested battle between two of the AFC’s best.

The Pick Is in!

I’m going with the Patriots to cover and win in Jacksonville. Their ability to adapt to any type of defense being thrown at them along with their propensity for covering road spreads as a favorite is too hard to bet against. Expect a close game with the Patriots eventually winning in the fourth quarter.  

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