How will the Jaguars respond after losing an overtime heartbreaker in Indianapolis? It's time to analyze the NFL odds to see if we can gain an edge for Week 5.
As of now, we see the Buccaneers favored by 2.5 points at all of the major sportsbooks, with some sites having 3 available for the taking.
It's no surprise to see one of the lowest totals on the board here, as neither of these offenses has been all that reliable. The O/U is currently trading at 42 points, down from an opening number of 43.5.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs are 1-3 through four games, with losses to Tennessee, Houston and Carolina and a lone win over New Orleans on the road in Week 2. Last week Tampa Bay made a lot of mistakes on their way to a 37-23 loss at home to Cam Newton and the Panthers.
A good deal of those mistakes were made by number one overall pick Jameis Winston, as he was 26-of-43 for 287 yards while throwing two times as many interceptions (four) as touchdown passes (two). Doug Martin (20 carries for 106 yards, five catches for 37 yards and a score) and Vincent Jackson, who recorded 10 receptions for 147 yards and a touchdown, both had productive individual efforts, but the mistakes by Winson and a poor defensively play proved too much to overcome.
Needless to say, Tampa Bay's got some work to do still, and they'd love to see improvement out of Winston sooner rather than later. All things considered, this is actually a talented offense, with the likes of Martin, Jackson and Mike Evans, but we've still yet to see a complete effort in all three phases from the Bucs. Will that come against Jacksonville this weekend?
Following a 51-17 beatdown at the hands of the Patriots on the road, the Jaguars acquitted themselves in a much better fashion in Week 4. They gave Indianapolis everything they could handle and had their chances of pulling off the win, only to lose to an Adam Vinatieri field goal in overtime.
In the loss, Blake Bortles ended up throwing for 298 yards and a touchdown (with no picks) while also scampering for 31 yards, while T.J. Yeldown eclipsed the 100-rushing-yard mark. Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson combined for 15 catches for 196 yards and a score, and generally speaking the Jags defense did some good things against a Colts team that was without star quarterback Andrew Luck.
Despite hanging around, Jacksonville couldn't pull it off, and now they're at 1-3 just like Tampa Bay. The Jaguars are ranked dead last in points per game (15.5) and haven't been all that much better defensively, allowing 26.8 points per contest, which ranks them 25th in the NFL.
The NFL betting lines seem awfully fair here, and we're going to jump on the line of 2.5 before it moves back past the three-point threshold.
Okay, it's not like we're in the love with the thought of backing either one of these teams, but at the end day we do believe Tampa Bay will do just enough to scrape out the win at home. The Bucs have disappointed in each of their first two games on their own field this season, but we're expecting the third time to be a charm against a very beatable Jags team.
You've got to like the fight Jacksonville has shown at times, but let's face the facts: they've still got a long way to go, and a lot more losing is in the cards as the season wears on. It's not going to be prettty, but we're adding the Bucs to our NFL picks for Week 5.
NFL Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2.5) at 5Dimes