Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Chicago Bears Preview
Where: Soldier Field — Chicago, IL
When: Sunday, October 16, 2016, 1:00 PM ET
Line: Jacksonville Jaguars (+2.5) at Chicago Bears (-2.5); total: 47.0 – view all NFL lines
TV Broadcast: CBS
Writer’s Pick: Chicago Bears (-2.5)
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Betting on the Jacksonville Jaguars (+2.5)
The Jacksonville Jaguars have found most of their success through the air this season. That doesn’t really come as a surprise when you’re a team loaded with a bunch of young, capable pass-catchers like Allen Hurns, Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee and Julius Thomas, all of whom have each harvested 11 or more catches and at least 148 yards receiving this season.
However, this team kicked off the new season losing its first three games before finally barging into the win column in Week 4 against the Colts. Playing a big part to this slow start has been the Jacksonville defense, which is giving up 27.8 points, and Blake Bortles’ inefficiency. He currently leads the NFL in multiple-interception outings since entering the league two years ago.
Well, the quarterback’s mistake-free effort in the win over Indy was encouraging to see. Bortles went 19-of-33 for 207 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions. Repeating this success against a much-better Chicago defense (346.0 total yards allowed) that sacked Andrew Luck five times yesterday will be easier said than done to say the least.
If the passing game falters, the Jags can still cause some trouble on the ground by feeding either T.J. Yeldon or Chris Ivory. The former leads the team in carries (48) and yards rushing (155), but has only reached the end zone once thus far.
Jacksonville is 1-9 SU and 4-5-1 ATS in its last 10 road games.
Betting on the Chicago Bears (-2.5)
Brian Hoyer continues to do a reasonable job in his third-straight start for the Chicago Bears, passing for nearly 400 yards with two touchdowns and zero picks in the sorry loss to Indy on Sunday, 23-29. It was the Bears fourth loss of the season and the second one with Hoyer as the starting quarterback.
With the way the former Texan QB is performing, it’s safe to say that the starting gig will remain his even if Jay Cutler is available to return in this weekend’s encounter with the visiting Jaguars. Hoyer’s played smart, efficient and turnover-free football in the last three games despite winning just once during that stretch.
Yes, Hoyer’s current play has stabilized the situation on offense in Chicago, but the team badly needs Alshon Jeffery to stop being invisible. The 26-year-old has been limited in the past three weeks, hauling in only 13 catches for 193 yards. He’s also yet to get his first touchdown of the season.
Meanwhile, rookie running back Jordan Howard has been a very bright spot for the Bears. He’s made them a dangerous threat on the ground, rumbling for at least 111 or more yards in the first two starts of his NFL career. Expect him to continue getting more and more touches moving forward.
Chicago is 2-8 SU and 3-7 ATS in its last 10 home games.
Bears (-2.5) win it, 29-27.
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