Jacksonville opened up as 12-point favorites on the sportsbook, but the spread shrunk by a full point (at press), while still maintaining their double digit status. The Jaguars haven’t enjoyed such a spread since 2007, but they’re a big favorite for a good reason, going 9-4 straight up and 8-5 against the spread on the season and 5-2 ATS over their last seven meetings.
Jacksonville is also the current favorite to win the AFC South division, the fourth pick to win the AFC Championship, and looking respectable with a +1500 to win the Super Bowl.
The Houston Texans lost 26-16 as 1-point home favorites to the 49ers in Week 14, leaving them with a record of 4-9 SU and 7-6 ATS on the year. Can they at least keep this one closer that the sportsbook predicts as they visit the Jaguars at EverBank Field.
Betting Preview for the Houston Texans vs Jacksonville Jaguars NFL Week 15 Game on December 17 2017
Where: EverBank Field, Jacksonville
When: Sunday, December 17, 1:00 PM EST
Line: Houston Texans (+11) vs Jacksonville Jaguars (-11) – view all 2017 NFL lines
TV Broadcast: Fox
Betting on the Houston Texans (4-9)
It is not that long ago that the Texans were viable but ever since they lost Deshaun Watson to injury the team has fallen apart. Defensive losses have hurt too for sure. With Tom Savage at the hell the offense just hasn’t gone anywhere. He suffered a concussion last week and might not even play this week. T.J. Yates outplayed him last week anyway.
Yates is hardly a household name but he is not a rookie either. He will have some weapons around him but lets not get too excited. If he was going to be a regular in this league it would have happened already. It is encouraging that he developed a quick rapport with DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins had a huge game against San Francisco with 11 catches but nobody else caught more than three balls so it is pretty easy to know who you have to cover. It would be nice if the running game would start performing but we have been saying that most of the season. Hard to expect much from that area against a team with a good defense like Jacksonville.
The Houston defense came into the season looking like one of the best in the league. First they lose JJ Watt, maybe the most impactful defensive player in the game and then Whitney Mercilus, another high level defender. As a result the defense has slid really far in performance. They are 30th in points allowed. Jadeveon Clowney is just not enough to build a really good defense around. They are shorthanded.
The injuries are what they are with this team. Given the absences we are aware of there is no realistic expectation that this group is all of a sudden get a lot better. They are especially bad against the pass.
Betting on the Jacksonville Jaguars (9-4)
There is every reason to doubt the Jags because we are just not used to seeing them having this kind of success. Last week was a natural spot to doubt them against a good but depleted Seattle team but they got the win and cover. Blake Bortles is considered the weak link on this team. That might be true but he was certainly not on the weekend. He was brilliant against Seattle and it is not the first time he has been a difference maker for this team.
When you see Leonard Fournette at his best you are tantalized. However, his consistency as a rookie has been frustrating. He should be able to run against the Texans thought. Sometimes the criticism of Bortles is unfair. Have you seen who his receivers are. Keelen Cole played at Kentucky Wesleyan last year and he was their top receiver last week.
The Jags defense is tops in the league in points allowed. They were able to force Russell Wilson into three interceptions a season high. This is a game that should help with their numbers. They held the Texans to just seven points in the opener, before Houston decided Tom Savage was a non starter.
This is a super chalky pick but I just don’t see the Texans being able to mount much more offense than they did in the opener. I actually can see this number growing as it is kind of dead at the moment, but maybe it goes down due to some formula betting.
Admittedly, it is hard to think of Jacksonville as being a dominant team. They can dominate this matchup though. Pick: Jaguars (-11)
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