Jaguars vs. Patriots Prediction
The defending Super Bowl champion Patriots return to action for the first time in the 2017 preseason as they host the Jaguars. Will New England cover the number?
Oddsmaker Bovada.lv has set the Patriots as a 3.5-point favorite with the over-under put at 40.5. The line has dropped after opening with New Englandas a 5.5-point favorite, while the over-under has remained steady from where it opened.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: A new head coach takes over for the Jaguars in Doug Marrone, who has previous college and pro head coaching experience. He inherits a team that has a slew of young talent, especially after what was widely considered a successful NFL Draft by experts as Jacksonville selected a lot of high upside players including a powerful running back in Leonard Fournett with the fourth overall pick. The biggest question mark is at quarterback, where Blake Bortles was largely disappointing a year ago after showing a lot of promise in his second season in 2015.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: What glowing compliment hasn’t already been said about the Patriots? This is the benchmark franchise in the NFL and still the team to beat as evidenced by the Super Bowl Trophy won in dramatic come-from-behind fashion in February. While New England is not concerned about preseason wins, there is plenty of talent to evaluate on the roster and this game will certainly be taken seriously in front of the home faithful. Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and new weapon Brandin Cooks are among the Patriots starters on offense not expected to see action Thursday.
OUR PREDICTION: Even with New England being short-handed, it’s the better-coached team here and those coaches aren’t about to let the players treat this as unimportant. The Patriots went 3-1 in last year’s preseason, including a 34-22 win over the Saints in week one. Even with a bunch of starts out, the hosts should be able to start the new campaign with a bang.
THURSDAY NIGHT NFL PREDICTION: NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS -3.5