Green Bay Packers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Betting Preview
Where: EverBank Field, Jacksonville
When: Sunday, September 11, 2016, 1:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: FOX
Writer’s Pick: Packers (-4.5)
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Betting on the Green Bay Packers (-4.5)
Most of Rodgers’ troubles can be attributed to Green Bay’s embattled offense, with top wideout Jordy Nelson missing the entire season due to injury and running back Eddie Lacy ballooning up in size and hampering the running game. Now, with both Nelson and Lacy in tip-top shape, the Packers are set to light up scoreboards with consistency once more, and that’s also why Rodgers is currently deemed as the (+500) frontrunner for the regular-season MVP award this early on.
There’s no question that Green Bay’s offense appears to be in fantastic shape heading into Week 1, but can they contain the Jaguars’ prolific passing attack this Sunday? Not many people may have noticed, but the Packers actually had the 6th-best passing defense in the league last season (227.6 passing yards allowed per game).
Sam Shields and Ha Ha Clinton Dix (gotta love that name!) are tremendous assets in the team’s secondary, and the team will also benefit from having standout linebacker Clay Matthews shift back to his normal slot in the edge of the team’s front seven to threaten opposing QBs as he has done so well in the past. Having said that, we don’t expect the Packers to limp out of the gate this season even if they’re facing an inspired and youthful Jaguars team to kick things off.
Betting on the Jacksonville Jaguars (+4.5)
The futility of the Jacksonville Jaguars has to end some time, and that time could very well be this upcoming season. Jacksonville has not had a winning season for five-straight seasons, but that could change given the team’s deft maneuvering this offseason and the continued development of its rising stars. As such, the Jaguars are pegged to be in the hunt for their first division title since 1999 with a sound price of +220 at that.
The team’s success hinges on the chemistry between third-year QB Blake Bortles and his pair of top-flight in Allens Robinson and Hurns again. Bortles had a banner sophomore campaign last year, throwing for 4,428 passing yards to go with 35 TDs. However, the product out of UCF also got picked off 18 times to end up with a rather humble 88.2 passer rating for the season. But that’s where the value of Robinson and Hurns come in, as each of them had thousand-yard receiving seasons for a combined 2,431 yards and 24 touchdowns by turning short-yardage receptions to huge gains time and again.
As much as we’d love to jump aboard the Jacksonville bandwagon in Week 1’s showdown against the Packers based on their offense alone, there’s still not much to be desired about the team’s defense, though. The Jaguars had the fifth-worst passing defense last season (268.2 passing yards allowed per contest), and that does not bode well with Aaron Rodgers and Co. coming in to town. Then again, prized rookie Jalen Ramsey might provide the spark that Jacksonville’s secondary desperately needed last year as early as this weekend.
But if there’s one telling statistic that the Jags are in for another opening-week letdown, it’s that they have lost all five of their previous Week 1 contests. And with that, it’s hard for us to really imagine that the young cats from the Keys will pull off the upset over the much-experienced Packers this Sunday.
The Packers (-4.5) handle the Jaguars with relative ease, 34-19.
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