NFL Picks: Chiefs vs. Jaguars Betting Odds Preview

David Lawrence

Thursday, September 5, 2013 3:12 PM GMT

The Kansas City Chiefs begin a new era this Sunday in the northern part of Florida. A new head coach, a new general manager, and a new starting quarterback have been awaiting this day.

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The Chiefs can win because…

They have the better team, or perhaps because the Jaguars are the worse team. People making their NFL picks know that this game will not be decided so much by the Chiefs’ excellence as it will be decided by the Jaguars’ lack of quality.

Jacksonville has undergone a staggering makeover, a near-total rebuild in 2013. Of the 53 slots on the Jaguars’ roster, 27 –just over half– are new when compared to last year. That’s just too much change on a team, a team that needs to be able to work together and function cohesively on offense, defense, and special teams.

Jacksonville quarterback Blaine Gabbert got slightly injured in the preseason, and he should not be expected to perform at a high level in this game or at any point in 2013. Gabbert is seen as one of the weaker quarterbacks in the NFL, and unless or until he proves that he’s capable of a lot more, it will be wise to question him from a betting standpoint.

The Jaguars just don’t have the weapons needed to hurt any team in the league. Kansas City’s offense might not be spectacular, but the Chiefs –who have a really good chance of finishing second in the AFC West behind the Denver Broncos– figure to have enough resources to outscore the Jaguars in what should be a defense-first game.

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The Jaguars can win because…

Their opponent has been remade in its own right and could be unsure of itself. The Jaguars don’t have a particularly formidable team, but they could benefit from the uncertainty surrounding the Chiefs. Kansas City probably feels optimistic right now, but there’s only so much an internal feeling can do for a team. When the Chiefs take the field, they might not trust themselves, and that sense of optimism might fade.

Alex Smith made tangible forward strides as a quarterback in San Francisco under the direction of Jim Harbaugh. It is hardly a given that he will respond well to the coaching of Andy Reid. Moreover, Reid –after a decade and a half at one place in Philadelphia– might need at least a little bit of time to get used to his new situation in Kansas City.

Maybe the Chiefs will be a good team at the end of the season, but it’s entirely possible that they won’t be very good in week one, and that’s the issue currently on the table. The Jaguars could ambush the Chiefs simply because Kansas City has not yet been able to see what it is made of on the field. If you’re backing the Jags with your sports picks, you have to believe that the Chiefs might need some time to mesh as a collective whole.

Outlook & NFL Football Betting Prediction:

The verdict here is a simple one: Kansas City is not a great team, but Jacksonville truly is horrible. The Chiefs might not dominate this game, but the Jaguars figure to find ways to lose it. Take the Chiefs to cover on the NFL odds.

[gameodds]16/226873/?r3=349-43-192-19/dec&r-1=349-43-192-19/us[/gameodds]

NFL Pick: Bet the Chiefs at -1.5 on the spread at William Hill

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