National Football League: AFC Championship JAX vs. NE
Jacksonville Jaguars (10-6, 4-4 away) at New England Patriots (13-3, 6-2 home)
January 21, 2018- 3:05 PM ET (TV CBS) Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA
NFL Championship weekend will kick it off in the AFC as the “surprising” Jacksonville Jaguars will have their hands full with a trip into Foxboro Stadium to try to upset the defending champion New England Patriots in a matchup that has the following betting lines from our best sportsbooks;
Best Jags Lines: MyBookie Spread (+7.5) ML +275
Best Pats Lines: 5Dimes Spread (-7.5) ML -335
Over/Under: XBet 45.5
As more than a full touchdown underdog (-7.5), the Jaguars behind their offensive leader in QB Jake Bortles and their defense will seek to pull off a major upset when they head into what will be a ‘mild’ partly cloudy Gillette Stadium to try to do what no other team can do come the postseason and that is finding an answer in defeating the NFL’s best in the Patriots.
Not giving much chance around the NFL world, Jacksonville will plenty of momentum and confidence heading in after winning their first two playoff games; a 10-3 dogfight victory at home over the Buffalo, followed by a dramatic 45-42 road win at Pittsburgh last week.
For the Patriots behind Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick, they are just that… the Patriots. Proven winners year in and year out, all odds point to the Pats winning another Super Bowl, but with the Jaguars heading in with not much of a chance, the Patriots are taking nothing for granted as they expect to be heavily challenged in this AFC title game.
Despite a player or two feeling out loud that his Jags will take care of business at New England, the Patriots to a man are not giving Jacksonville any bulletin board material. The Patriots easily defeated the Tennessee Titans 35-14 last week.
The quarterback comparison will feature Bortles with 3,687 yards thrown on the season with 21 touchdowns and 13 picks going against Brady, who has tossed for 4,577 yards with 32 touchdowns and just eight interceptions.
Jacksonville will rely heavily on a balanced attack with the passing game and RB Leonard Fournette (1040 yds., 9 TDs) to try to offset the Pats defense, while the stout defense of the Jags will need to put heavy pressure on Brady on every play to try to disrupt his flow.
If not, Brady will simply sit back in the pocket and pick you apart; something the Jags can ill-afford as they must keep this game close to give them a chance. Does Jacksonville still have some postseason magic left in them? For sports betting purposes for our US players, 5Dimes is favoring NE (-7.5) points over JAX with an over/under of 45.5 total game points scored from XBet.
Liking the feel of Jacksonville in this one, I will favor the Jags PLUS the points (+7.5) to cover the spread against New England as my best betting pick.