Spread: Patriots by 2
Money line: Jaguars +115; Patriots -135
The New England Patriots looked like what they always look like last week against the Houston Texans. Tom Brady threw for three touchdowns, Rob Gronkowski had over 100-yards receiving, and the defense played well enough to contain Deshaun Watson in his first game back from injury.
However, they got very little out of their wide receivers, and the run game wasn’t very effective either (3.9 yards/carry).
Jacksonville played a lot like they did last season. The defense made life hard on Eli Manning. If it weren’t for a late 68-yard run, they would have held Saquon Barkley to a pedestrian debut.
On the offensive side of the ball, Blake Bortles was Blake Bortles. He wasn’t spectacular, but he wasn’t terrible either. Losing Leonard Fournette to an early injury was a serious blow to the offense. But the Jags have a capable backup in T.J. Yeldon (69 total yards and one touchdown).
Jacksonville would love to exact a little revenge on the Patriots for last season’s AFC Championship game loss. But do they have the personnel to do it? Or will Tom Brady work his magic and pull another win out of thin air?
So– who’s going to win?
The Patriots need to get more out of their vertical passing game if they are going to beat the Jaguars. But they don’t have the personnel for it right now. To win, Rob Gronkowski is going to have to make Jalen Ramsey eat his words.
Don’t count on it happening.
Take Jacksonville to win. New England will not cover the spread. As for the score, expect it to be low, so take the under.