NFL Picks: Jaguars vs. Seahawks in Week 3

Doug Upstone

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 3:46 PM UTC

Wednesday, Sep. 18, 2013 3:46 PM UTC

It not every year we have a 20-point underdog in September and it’s not every year we find a team which appears as inept as Jacksonville.

Follow our continuing NFL odds coverage! Check out our NFL Week 3 Betting Odds Report!

Even the Jaguars new gold front helmets do not look professional. And their playing, well....

The Numbers Tell the Story for Jacksonville

Thus far, the Jaguars have scored one touchdown, kicked one field goal and forced on safety, making it Pepsi Clear why they are last in scoring in the NFL at 5.5 points a game.

This number is easily supported with the NFL-worst offense which is averaging 213 yards per contest. (For the sake of comparison, Aaron Rodgers is averaging 406 passing yards a game) The offensive line does not get any push which is why the running game is totaling 52 rushing yards an outing and Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne are not accurate throwers, tossing footballs to pass receivers who run poor routes and the passing offense is 28th in the league at 160.2 yards a game.

The defense is also doing its part to add to the mediocrity with the 31st rated run defense which is being bowled over for 173.5 yards on average.

New Coach Making Little Difference

David Caldwell was hired to be the general manager for Jacksonville and among the first items on his agenda was firing Mike Mularkey as the head coach after a 2-14 campaign, since he was hired by the previous general manager.

Caldwell brought in his choice Gus Bradley to coach. While two games is a sonnet and not a novel, Bradley is working with a roster lacking much ability, however, as the person running the team, he can stress fundamentals, discipline and teach them to give full effort. Yet the Jaguars have committed 15 penalties, the careless mistakes are running rampant and the effort is not visible.

Oh, for the Jack Del Rio Days!

Seahawks Better than Starbucks

If I was Peter Carroll, I would be smiling too if I had his collection of football players. Seattle is beginning to look similar to Carroll’s USC teams which were thoroughly dominant, loved the big stage and the bigger the game the better they played.

In smothering San Francisco 29-3, we witnessed the Seahawks short-circuit a powerful 49ers offense, with a stout front four and ginormous defense backs which are just as fast as their counterparts, but much stronger to eliminate completed passes.

The Seattle offense line took the play to San Francisco and won the majority of the skirmishes. This is a loaded and talented team who desires success.

Check out my article on this week's NFL Value Picks!

Matchup Numbers

Seattle began as 16.5-point favorite in the NFL odds and blew up like Robin Thicke’s popularity to -20. The Seahawks are 4-2 SU and ATS lifetime against Jacksonville, winning and covering both in Coffee Town. (The last was 41-0 in 2009 as a two-point sports betting favorite) On the last point, the total has remained solid at 41.


What to Watch For

Let’s dismiss the notion that Jacksonville can win and consider how they can cover.

The Jaguars figured it was better to stay on the West Coast another week than to make three more cross-country flights. This should help the players and it also helps the organization avoid all the negative talk which is swelling around them.

Having Maurice Jones-Drew and tight end Mercedes Lewis in the lineup can only improve the offense with Henne as the starter. It is not a stretch to think Seattle will not bring their A-game, which could allow Jacksonville to move the ball better than they have all season (which is not saying much).

Because of the coverage Seattle likes to play, taking several shots down the field is at least worth the effort and if Lewis is the tight end or whomever fills that position can move away the safety, opportunities could be available with proper execution.

On the presumption the Seahawks just show up, a workman-like performance should be good enough. This means ground and pound with Marshawn Lynch to soften the Jaguars middle, followed by deep in-routes to the weak side which should have less coverage available.

With Russell Wilson off to consecutive slow starts, Seattle might come out throwing short passes to bring him into the flow quickly before resuming running.

Final Outcome 

This is in my other article –NFL Week 3 Fades & Games to Avoid– here at SBR Forum. While I have a difficult time making a case for Jacksonville, giving this many points in an NFL game in the first quarter of the season seems preposterous and would have to support (barely) the enormous underdog. So, unbelievably, consider the Jags for your NFL betting picks this week.

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NFL Pick: Bet the Jacksonville's +19 point spread at Bet365

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