NFL Picks: Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Denver Broncos

Jason Lake

Tuesday, October 8, 2013 9:29 PM GMT

Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013 9:29 PM GMT

You could spend an entire lifetime waiting for an NFL point spread as big as this Sunday’s line between the Denver Broncos and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Which side of the line do you want to be on with your NFL picks?

Jason’s record on his final NFL picks for 2013, up to October 8 inclusive:

13-13-1 ATS

1-1 ML (+0.71 units)

3-4 Totals

[gameodds]16/226955/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

You may have noticed the Denver Broncos are laying a lot of points to the Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS). How many touchdowns? Not one, not two, not three… but four converted TDs when the Week 6 betting lines first opened. That ties the record for the largest NFL point spread in history; the Gold Sheet says the Baltimore Colts were 28-point favorites against the Atlanta Falcons back in 1966. Baltimore won 19-7. Now there’s a football betting trend for you.

Unfortunately for history buffs, the official NFL odds might not measure up at the close. Although the Broncos are getting roughly 55 percent support according to our consensus reports, the sharps are dipping deep into their pockets, putting 78 percent of the early action on the Jaguars. The average bet size at press time was $92 for Jacksonville and $21 for Denver. That was enough pressure to drive Sunday’s spread down to a much more manageable 26.5 points.

Also Check out our:

NFL Picks: Week 6 Value Picks

NFL Picks: Week 6 Fades & Games to Avoid

Chalkeaters of the World Unite

Sharp NFL bettors rarely see a double-digit dog that they don’t like. Speaking of trends with small sample sizes, the Jaguars were 3-0 ATS last year when getting at least two touchdowns. They lost all three of those games, but the winning margin was kept to single digits every time. But those were last year’s Jaguars. This year’s model seems bent on losing as definitively as possible; the 2013 Jags are 0-5 SU and ATS and have already coughed up the cash as 19.5-point road dogs against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 3.

Meanwhile, the Broncos were 3-1 ATS last year as double-digit faves, and they’re at it again in 2013, going 5-0 SU and 3-1-1 ATS with a push at –16 versus the Oakland Raiders and a win at –10.5 versus the Philadelphia Eagles. According to the efficiency numbers at Football Outsiders, Denver ranks No. 9 overall through Week 5 since 1989, while Jacksonville was hands-down the worst team on record after five games. Yes, even worse than the 2008 Detroit Lions. Sweet baby corn.

Follow the Buzzards

Let’s be frank about this: There’s no way to accurately forecast this game. We’ve got two teams at either extreme of the performance bell curve, putting up numbers that we’ve almost never seen before. But that doesn’t mean we can’t make a smart decision with our sports picks – even if it’s just to go along with the sharps and take all those points.

There are some mitigating circumstances in Jacksonville’s favor. Week 5 was the season debut for studly WR Justin Blackmon, who had five catches for 136 yards and a TD against the St. Louis Rams. And the Jaguars will be starting Chad Henne at QB instead of Blaine Gabbert, who injured his hamstring last week and could be out for a while. Perhaps forever.

Follow our continuing NFL coverage with Daily NFL Week 6 Betting Odds Report!

Thou Shalt Not Teal

Let’s compare how these two men have performed in Jacksonville colors:

Henne: 54.3 percent completions, 13 TDs, 13 INTs, 72.4 passer rating

Gabbert: 53.3 percent, 22 TDs, 24 INTs, 66.4 passer rating

Not a huge difference there, but definitely an advantage for Henne. It’s even more obvious when you look at the passing DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) stats at Football Outsiders through Week 5:

Henne: minus-30.1 percent (No. 33 of 35)

Gabbert: minus-85.3 (No. 35)

We also have to consider the fact that Denver just gave up 48 points to the Dallas Cowboys (+7.5 away), who still managed to lose the game 51-48. The Broncos have allowed at least 20 points to each of their five opponents this year. There’s a good chance they completely blow out Jacksonville this week, but I’ll take the points anyway.

NFL Pick: Take the Jaguars +27 at Bodog
[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":226955, "sportsbooksIds":[43], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]
comment here