NFL Week 1 Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, August 1, 2017 10:40 PM UTC

Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017 10:40 PM UTC

The Doug Marrone Era officially begins for Jacksonville on Sunday as the sad-sack franchise opens the season at two-time AFC South champion Houston, a city that could use some positive news after the terrible flooding.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (-5, 40)

If I call Jacksonville Cleveland South is that an insult to northeast Ohio? I only mean from a pro football perspective. The Jags also have lost six straight and 11 of their past 13 to Houston. Survivor Pick: Texans.

Can Coach Doug Marrone turn the Jaguars around? They haven’t finished with a winning record since 2007 or with more than five wins since 2010. Marrone took over on an interim role for the fired Gus Bradley in the final two games last season and went 1-1. New boss Tom Coughlin apparently saw enough for Marrone to get the full-time job. He did go 9-7 as Buffalo’s coach in 2014. Two of the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year betting favorites for this season will be at NRG Stadium on Sunday, but just one should play: Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette. The No. 4 overall pick was limited this preseason due to injury, but the offense should focus around him. Blake Bortles remains Jacksonville’s starting QB, although he was demoted after the second preseason game. Backup Chad Henne started the third and was outplayed by Bortles. Marrone wasted no time re-naming Bortles his guy and has raved about Bortles since then. Yeah right. Meanwhile, Tom Savage beat out rookie Deshaun Watson for Houston’s QB job but it’s only a matter of time for Watson as the Texans gave up a lot to trade up to No. 12 overall and select the former Clemson star.

  • Jaguars are 7-19 ATS in their last 26 games in September.
  • Jaguars are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games in Week 1.
  • Texans are 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 vs. AFC South.
Free NFL Pick: Jaugars +4Best Line Offered: BetDSI

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Hard to have much faith in Bortles here considering he leads the NFL with 63 turnovers since his debut in 2014 and has been picked off a whopping 51 times – 11 returned for scores. Fournette might not be 100 percent and Jaguars No. 2 receiver Marqise Lee is working his way back from a right high-ankle sprain he suffered Aug. 13. The Texans will be down two receivers in Will Fuller, who will miss the first few months with a broken collarbone, and Jaelen Strong, who is suspended one game. I don’t have much more faith in Savage than I do in Bortles – and now Savage is missing two pass-catchers. Jacksonville’s defense is very talented, and Houston’s was No. 1 in the NFL last year despite having three-time Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt for only three games due to back surgery. He’s healthy now. This is one of the lowest totals on the board, but I’m still liking the ‘under’ and expect the lowest-scoring game of Sunday.

  • Under is 4-0-1 in Texans last 5 games in September.
  • Under is 9-4 in Texans last 13 home games.
Free NFL Pick: ‘Under’ 40Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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