Bet 'Over' in High-Scoring Jaguars vs. Lions NFL Preseason

Jordan Sharp

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 6:22 PM UTC

Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014 6:22 PM UTC

It’s Cat Battle time in the NFL preseason, as the Jaguars and Lions hook up in Week 3. Join us while we explore the odds and find betting value in this exciting game!

The NFL Odds have the Lions as a -3 home favorite, with a total of 44 ½ points. These to teams won a combined ten games last season, but there is room for optimism with both teams.

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Bortles Looks Good, To Play With Starters
So far one of the bigger stories in the NFL preseason has been the play of Blake Bortles, and how is quickly moving up the depth chart. Although he has done most of his damage against the second and third string defenses of Jags’ opponents, he is going to get a chance to face a first string Lions defense this Friday night.

According to a report from Pro Football Talk, Bortles will get about a quarter of work with the first team offensive starters this Friday night. Even though he will enter the game after Chad Henne, he is still likely going to have most of his snaps come against the Lions’ first stringers.

This is probably the biggest test to date for the young quarterback, and if he plays well in his time against the Lions, it’s going to be a very tough choice on when to start Bortles in the regular season. His performance in this game against the Lions will likely either shorten or extend the leash on Henne this upcoming regular season. According to Peter King, the Jaguars are “giving Blake every chance to make the decision super-hard.” Look for Bortles to once again play well in this game.


Lions’ Starters
Matt Stafford only played three series in the Lions’ second preseason game, but he hit one of his two touchdowns to Golden Tate, which is a great sign for anyone hoping for a big year from Calvin Johnson. After leading the Lions to two scores in three drives in Week 2, it remains to be seen whether head coach, Jim Caldwell will play Stafford more this week.

Even though Caldwell has yet to release the amount of time his starters will play in this game, I can imagine that it will be for most of the first half. That includes Stafford, and if he can get five or six series in the first half, the score in this one is going to be high.


The Sharp Pick
With Stafford likely to play more than three full series in Week 3, and with the quarterback battle going on in Jacksonville, this should be a higher scoring game. At 44 ½, the total is substantially lower than what it should be. The Lions’ defense gave up 27 points to the Raiders last week, and as long as Jacksonville can score two or three times, the over looks like the play.

Last week saw some very high scoring games. 12 preseason games had totals of at least 39 points last week, and 10 had totals of 40 or more. Neither one of these teams have great starting defenses, so take the over as one of your NFL picks for Friday night.
Free NFL Pick: OVER 44 ½ at Pinnacle

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