Bet On Buccaneers Jaguars –Jags Get Back On Track In Sunshine State Clash
Online betting players should keep an eye on Sunday’s matchup in Jacksonville as the Jaguars host Tampa Bay in a meeting of stumbling Florida teams, and the Jags are the smart play at home as they can control the ball with their ground game against a terrible Tampa Bay run defense.
What: NFL Betting
When: Sunday, December 11th, 1:00 PM ET
Where: EverBank Stadium, Jacksonville, FL
Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars
Why Bet On Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-8 SU, 4-8 ATS)
The Bucs were beating all over the field in a 38-19 loss to Carolina at home, and they couldn’t get the running game (78 yards on 27 carries) going due to an early 14-0 deficit, which would have taken the pressure off Josh Johnson, who performed admirably by going 16-of-27 for 229 yards, a touchdown and a pick. He also played through some pain as he hurt his shoulder, and Johnson has earned another start if Josh Freeman can’t go this week. But the defense was no help as the Bucs allowed the Panthers to score on all five of their trips to the red zone, and they gave Carolina four first downs due to penalties. For all of the discussion about Freeman’s sophomore struggles, the Bucs are ranked 30th in the league defensively and their 29th-ranked run defense allowed the Panthers to score four touchdowns on the ground (three by quarterback Cam Newton).
Freeman (shoulder) will test his injury in practice this week, so watch the injury reports but if he can’t play, Johnson will step in. Cornerback Aqib Talib (hamstring) didn’t return to the Carolina game and he’ll have an MRI this week. The Bucs have now dropped six in a row after many NFL betting players picked them as a darkhorse in the NFC South; they’ve been the worse team in the division and have never looked like bouncing back. Right now, there are a lot of players playing for next year’s job and head coach Raheem Morris may be on the chopping block as well.
Why Bet On Jacksonville Jaguars (3-9 SU, 4-8 ATS)
The Jaguars were embarrassed 38-14 at home by San Diego on Monday night, even though they got 188 total yards and a score from Maurice Jones-Drew, their lone offensive weapon. Blaine Gabbert was 19-of-33 for 195 yards, a pair of touchdowns and a pick, but the Jaguars aren’t letting him throw more than 10 yards at a time down the field. A lack of receiving help has something to do with that, and the Jaguars have to go after some receivers in the draft so they can get a fair assessment of Gabbert’s abilities; it would also open the field more for Jones-Drew. Philip Rivers carved the Jacksonville defense up as he was deadly efficient, and the Chargers also averaged 5.3 yards en route to a 139-yard night on the ground. Jacksonville’s defense has been the factor in the Jaguars avoiding many blowouts this season, but they ran into a buzzsaw on Monday night and of course, their offense couldn’t keep up with a San Diego team that appeared to be on a mission.
Defensive lineman John Chick (knee) will likely miss the rest of the season, but his absence won’t make a huge difference for the Jaguars, who are in a similar situation to the Bucs in that they’re not playing for anything except pride and next year’s jobs; the only exception is that the Jaguars expected to struggle and the firing of head coach Jack Del Rio last week didn’t help matters. Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker takes over on an interim basis and that may be a reason why the defense struggled as he had to take over those responsibilities, although the Jaguars should know what they’re doing by now. With a state rival coming into town this weekend, the stakes are relatively high in Jacksonville.
How It Will Play Out
The NFL betting line for this game hasn’t been released yet as oddsmakers are waiting to see if Freeman will be available, but the Jaguars should be the slightest of favorites at home, where they are 2-0 SU and 1-1 ATS in their two meetings with Tampa Bay, one in 1998 and again in 2003. The Bucs are 2-3 ATS on the road this season, while Jacksonville is 2-4 ATS at home.
We’re tipping Jacksonville to bounce back as their defense will improve and Jones-Drew should have a field day with an awful Tampa Bay run defense, and that allows the Jaguars to keep the Bucs’ offense on the sidelines, although that unit certainly shouldn’t scare anyone. Go with the Jaguars to cover when the sports betting spread is released this weekend.
Buccaneers Jaguars Betting Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars