Bet Jaguars +6 vs. Redskins for Week 2 NFL Picks

Jason Lake

Tuesday, September 9, 2014 6:18 PM GMT

For 30 minutes, the Jacksonville Jaguars looked like the best team in the NFL. Then they played another 30 minutes. Perhaps they’ll do better this Sunday against a Washington team that couldn’t beat the Week 1 NFL lines, either.

It seems like just last week when we were telling you that double-digit underdogs were 11-4 ATS in Week 1 since 1997. You can file that one under Early Prehistory: Double-digit dogs are now 11-5 ATS after the Jacksonville Jaguars (+10 away) honked their 2014 season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles. Perhaps you were on the Jags this game, in which case, we feel your pain. For those of you who missed it, Jacksonville was up 17-0 at the half before turning to dust and losing 34-17. FAIL.

You know the NFL betting public doesn’t think much of you when you open as a 7-point road dog to… ugh… Washington (3-13 SU, 5-11 ATS last year). At least Jacksonville looked good for 30 minutes. Washington fumbled the ball twice inside the red zone and had both a punt and an extra point blocked in a 17-6 loss to the Houston Texans (–3 at home). So who’s up for another NFL pick on the Jaguars?

 

They’re Not Saying Who, They’re Saying Hu-rns
The sharps are along for the ride. As we go to press, the Jags have moved to +6 on the NFL odds, with about two-thirds consensus in early betting. There are even some books out there with the spread at 5.5 points. Having said that, Jacksonville did open at +7 (–135), so the football lines really haven’t moved that much. The early action is nevertheless on the visitors in Sunday afternoon’s matchup (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS).

Let’s do the glass-half-full thing for a moment. The Jaguars defense did a fantastic job against the Eagles in the first quarter, forcing a pair of Nick Foles turnovers in Philadelphia territory. Chad Henne took advantage of the short field and delivered a pair of touchdown strikes to WR Allen Hurns. Those were the first two catches of Hurns’ NFL career; he went undrafted this year out of Miami, but Hurns looked relatively comfortable out there. It helps that new Jaguars offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch held the same post at Miami for two of Hurns’ four seasons there.

 

Third-and-Crap
Sadly, we can’t ignore the empty half of the glass. Jacksonville’s defense had no gas left when it came out of the dressing room. RB Darren Sproles put Philadelphia on the board with a 49-yard burst through the Jaguars’ soft underbelly, the longest run of Sproles’ career. Things quickly fell apart from there. But perhaps we should point the fickle finger of blame at the absence of breakout safety Johnathan Cyprien, who left the game late in the first half with a concussion, and will presumably have to clear league protocol before playing in Week 2.

Without the benefit of field position, Jacksonville’s offense produced zero points in the second half. Actually, it produced minus-6 points. Henne was strip-sacked with 1:23 left to go as Fletcher Cox rumbled in from 17 yards to complete the matador cover. The Jaguars only managed to convert two of their 14 third-down attempts on the day, which is unusually poor even for the Jaguars. Hurns had a pair of dropped passes to go with his two touchdowns; Jacksonville had six dropped passes in all.

Good thing the next opponent is Washington. We’ve got the Jags ahead in four of the five key categories in our football betting strategy, and Washington ahead in the other. Four minus one leaves three if our math is correct, so we’re making this a 3-star pick on Jacksonville. Three stars! Offers like this won’t come around too often.

 

The Five Stars
Injuries/Suspensions/Travel/Rest: WAS

Defense/Special Teams: JAX

Coaching: JAX

Market Bias: JAX

Betting Line Value: JAX

Verdict: 3-star pick on JAX

Free NFL Pick: Put 5.5 units on the Jaguars +6 at Bookmaker

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