By: Jason Green
Jacksonville Jaguars (12-6 SU 10-8 ATS) vs. New England Patriots (14-3 SU 12-5 ATS)
While many were predicting a Steelers vs. Patriots rematch in the AFC title Game the Jaguars threw a wreNCh in that beating Pittsburgh in their house in a barnburner last week. The Jags put up 45 points in the Game against a legit Steelers defense after only scoring 10 in their previous playoff Game. They are a double-digit road underdog facing the defending Super Bowl champions, who they have not met since the 2015 season when they were throttled.
At 5 dimes sportsbook the Patriots are the 10-point favorite with a total of 46.5.
Hey, big shock the Patriots are back in the AFC title Game. They were held scoreless in the first quarter in their last Game giving up a TD against the Titans, but outscored them 21-0 in the 2nd quarter and were up 35-7 before giving up a late TD. Obviously, Brady and company have been here before, many times, and they are at home where they have covered the spread in their last five playoff Games.
This season the Jaguars are 5-4 on the road and the Patriots are 7-2 at home.
The Patriots are 5-2 ATS in their last seven Games facing the Jaguars and are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Games facing them at home.
The Jaguars were on the road in their last Game and they stunned the Pittsburgh Steelers winning 45-42. They jumped out to a 21-0 lead and they won the Game even though they were out-GAined 545 yards to 378 yards, but did force two turnovers while not committing any. Blake Bortles had a solid Game passing for 214 yards with a TD and no picks and he was not sacked and rushed for 35 yards. He3 does not have a great WR corps, but got it done when it counted and was 5.6 in the 4th quarter. Leonard Fournette rushed for 109 yards with three TD with most of the yards coming in the first half before he injured his ankle. He will go in this Game and has to play well for the Jags to have any chance.
The Jags have their work cut out for them this Sunday and while the Pats only rank 29th in the league in overall defense they only GAve up 267 yards in the win over the Titans and held them to only 65 rushing yards.
The Patriots overcame a 7-0 first quarter deficit to crushed the Tennessee Titans 35-14 in their last Game where New England was impressive on both sides of the ball. They had 438 total yards, 101 rushing yards, and did not commit any turnovers. Brady had a Brady-like playoff Game passing for 337 yards with three TD and no INT and Danny Amendola led three players with at least 79 receiving yards with 112. One key stat in the Game was Brady was not sacked oNCe and the Jags have to get to the GOAT to win this Game. Dion Lewis led the Pats with 62 rushing yards averaging 4.1 yards per carry and faces a solid Jacksonville run D that held the Steelers to 83 rushing yards last week.
The Jags have the league’s 2nd ranked defense, but they did give up 42 points and 462 passing yards and five TD to the Steelers. Overall, they looked pretty good on D, but they GAve up Four TD passes than were all at least 19 yards and facing Brady they cannot let that happen again.
The Jaguars are 12-5 ATS in their last 17 Games facing teams from the AFC, 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Games after scoring more than 30 points in their previous Game, and in their last 5 Games after a win they have an Over record of 5-0.
The Patriots are 27-11-2 ATS in their last 40 Games facing a team with a winning record, 20-6 ATS in their last 26 Games after an ATS win, and in their last 11 home Games they have an Over record of 8-3.
Jason’s Pick: Not only have the Patriots covered the spread in their last five playoff home Games, but have covered in their last Four playoff Games overall. Those trends will continue in this Game. The Steelers were overconfident and it came back to bite them, but the Pats will not have that problem. They will be prepared and not give up the big early lead like Pittsburgh did. Jacksonville will put up a valiant effort, but the Patriots will still win and cover the spread heading back to the Super Bowl.
Bettorsworld Pick – There was a time earlier in the season where I thought that maybe this Jags defense was going to be something special. But when you take a closer look, you see that the Jags Schedule was kind of weak and when they and did step up in class, their opponents had no trouble putting points on the board.
Furthermore, one need only look at last weeks Game with the Steelers along with the Xmas Eve Game against the 49ers, where the Jags GAve up 40+ points, to realize that this defense has plenty of holes and that Belichick and company WILL put points on the board.
So the question here is, can the Jags also put points on the board and keep this Game close and perhaps even pull of the upset? Believe it or not, I think the answer is, yes, they can.
The Jags offensive yards per point number is 13.7 which is exactly the same as the Pats. Remember, the yards per point stat shows us how efficient an offense or defense is. But even more glaring is the Jags offensive yards per point number ON THE ROAD. That number is 12.1 and folks, that’s very good.
Look for the Jags to shorten this Game by utilizing their very good running Game and look for them to take this Game deep into the 4th quarter with the spread result in doubt all the way.
In that type of a setup, we have to take the +7.5. Jaguars +7.5