Jacksonville is aiming at that slim shot for home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs, while San Francisco is getting ready for the 2018 NFL Draft. So you probably expect the Jaguars to run away with this one. But the 49ers have just won three in a row and have claimed four of their last five. Pride and momentum may have them messing with Jacksonville’s mojo here in Week 16, but you’ve got to think that upper management is telling San Fran to take the foot off the gas so that they can better position themselves in the aforementioned draft. Plus, the Jags have been a tough road team this year, having covered in seven of their last nine when landing on foreign turf.
TopBet bettors (at press) are putting their money behind the superior squad here, with nearly 85 percent taking the Jaguars.
Betting Preview for the Jacksonville Jaguars vs San Francisco 49ers NFL Week 16 Game on December 24 2017
Where: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara
When: Sunday, December 24, 4:05 PM EST
Line: Jacksonville Jaguars (-4.5) vs San Francisco 49ers (+4.5) – view all 2017 NFL lines
TV Broadcast: CBS
Betting on the Jacksonville Jaguars (10-4)
If you took away the history and didn’t look at the players you could make a case that the Jags are the best team in the league. They are tops in scoring defense and 5th in scoring offense. The are also first in rushing giving them one of the most balanced offense in the league. Sure that is in part to a less than dynamic passing attack but this kind of football can win in the playoffs, especially on the road.
Blake Bortles will never escape his reputation but he has been really good of late, rattling off three straight game with a rating of 119 or better. He knows what he has to do and can’t do with this team right now. Leonard Fournette is questionable for this one but his absence did not prevent the Jags from running it right at Houston last week. They are fully committed to it which is refreshing. Keelan Cole has become the new favourite target for Bortles. He is a big play waiting to happen, averaging 19ypc. He has touchdowns in back to back to back week after not scoring previously.
It is the Jaguars defense that makes them no joke this season. They are first in points and first against the pass. They will punish you too. They put a lot of heat on the quarterback and force mistakes. There might not have been a better free agent acquisition Calais Campbell. He has a career high 14.5 sacks and has made second year DE Yannick Ngakoue even more dangerous. The two of them are creating so much havoc up front that the defensive backs don’t have to cover as much and can take chances. Five Jags have three or more interceptions. That creates a lot of opportunities for the offense.
Betting on the San Francisco 49ers (4-10)
The 49ers may be playing out the string but they are giving hope to their fans too. They have won three in a row. It might have killed their draft a little but they once they got that one win they were never going to be first, right? Jimmy Garoppolo is certainly looking the part of a starting QB. The numbers on their own have been good but even more important he is leading the team to wins. As they improve around him San Fran can return to contender status.
I would expect the 49ers to try and improve at running back and on the offensive line. They are not doing Jimmy G any favours with Carlos Hyde. The receivers could use an upgrade too but having a real quarterback makes all the difference there. Marquise Goodwin has finally been able to show off more than his speed. He is dangerous with the ball and deep and Jacksonville will focus their attention in his direction.
Improvements on offense have made things easier for the defense too. They do not have the talent of Jacksonville though. There are no real standouts in this group.As a result they may get run over, literally by the Jags. In their recent run of wins they have not faced any really good offense in my opinion.
49er fans are right to be encouraged but this Jacksonville team is really good by almost every measure. Unless you think the Jags are going to have a letdown you have to back them on the road. I was surprised the number was this small. Even if it is tight for a few quarters the Jags are the way more likely team to bust this one open. You can kinda count on these guys now. Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars (-4.5)
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