This Sunday the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0) will host the New England Patriots (1-0) in a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship Game. Kickoff is set for 4:25 EST at TIAA Bank Field and will be televised locally on CBS.
Oddsmakers opened this game up with the Patriots as a slim 1-point road favorite and that’s where it still sits at most books. The total for this matchup is 45 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 2 NFL odds and for more links to our individual game previews.
Jags vs Pats Vegas Odds & Game Preview
New England comes into this one off a solid 27-20 win at home over the Texans. The Patriots were in control the entire way, as they never trailed after taking a 7-0 lead in the first 5 minutes of the 1st quarter. Those that bet NE early got a push at -7, but everyone who waited was rewarded with a win, as the line dropped to 6.5.
Jacksonville went on the road and defeated what everyone is expecting to be a much improved Giants team 20-15, covering as a slim 3-point favorite. The Jaguars didn’t get much out of the offense, but the defense was spectacular and the biggest play came on that side of the ball, as Myles Jack had a pick six in the 4th quarter to put the game out of reach.
In last year’s AFC Championship Game, the Jaguars blew a 20-10 lead in the final 10 minutes to lose 20-24, but did easily cover as a 9-point dog. It was New England’s 8th straight win in the series. Jacksonville’s last win over the Patriots was all the way back in 1999.
Free NFL Betting Prediction: Jaguars +1
Love or hate them, the Patriots are one of the biggest publicly bet teams each and every week. The public is going to flock to lay less than a field goal with New England in this one. The fact that the books are willing to take that kind of action on the Patriots, knowing they need Jacksonville to win this game outright, tells me they are confident in the Jaguars doing just that.
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I just get the feeling that people aren’t buying what Jacksonville did last year, despite the fact that this team is loaded with talent. A lot of that stems from how bad this team had been prior to their breakout season. I think it’s a big mistake to underestimate this team and there’s not a game on the schedule they want to win more than this one against New England.
Sure, there’s concerns with Blake Bortles and the Jaguars offense, but I actually think Bortles has come a long way and he torched New England last year for 293 yards on 23 of 36 passing. I know the defense looked good for the Pats in Week 1 against the Texans, but I think some of that was Houston just not playing well.
Either way, I think the Jags will win this game with their defense, which is once again going to be one of the best in the league. This also feels like a great time for Jacksonville to catch the Patriots. New England won’t have their top wide out in Julian Edelman until Week 5 and they are dangerously thin at running back with Jeremy Hill going on IR and Rex Burkhead and Sony Michel both questionable to play. I also think that offensive line could struggle and when Brady is under pressure, this offense just isn’t the same.
Another factor here that I think will work in favor of the Jaguars is that this game is kicking off in the middle of the afternoon on what is going to be a hot and humid day in Jacksonville. Temperatures are expected to be in the 90s with the heat index much higher with the humidity. The Jaguars are much more accustomed to those conditions and I could see that NE defense wearing down in the 2nd half. Give me Jacksonville +1