Jacksonville Jaguars (2-7 SU, 4-5 ATS) vs. Detroit Lions (5-4 SU, 5-4 ATS)
NFL Week 11
November 20th 2016 /Time: 1 PM EST
Where: Ford Field Jacksonville, FL
by Jason Green, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Lions -6.5
Over/Under Total: 47
The Jaguars only have two wins and they have lost 4 games in a row, but they actually been decent the last two games with each being close. That is saying something since their last 2 opponents both have winning records. Still, Jax only has 1 road win this season and they do not rank in the top 25 in the league in rushing yards per game, overall points per game, and opponentsí points per game.
Some team has to win the NFC North right? Well, it is a logjam in the division right now with the Lions and Vikings tied for the top spot. It looked as if the Vikes and Packers would battle for the division yet again, but the Vikes have lost 4 straight, the Pack have llost 3 in a row, and the Lions have gotten back in the race winning 4 of their last 5 games. Not only are the Lions at home in this game, but they are rested after coming off a bye week.
The Jags are coming off a 24-21 loss to the Houston Texans where they outgained them 327 yards to 273 yards, but committed 2 costly turnovers. They have 2 close games in the row and the turnover has killed them with 6 in those 2 games. Pretty simple, as if they hold onto the rock they can win and in their last 2 losses in a row they have outgained their opponent both times.
Blake Bortles has had to carry the Jacksonville offense for most of the season with a lack of a rushing game. He has put up some good numbers, but his mistakes have hurt the team, especially in the loss to the Texans where he was responsible for the turnovers with an INT and a fumble. It would help if the rushing offense would get some yards, but in the Houston game T.J. Yeldon only had 32 yards and Chris Ivory only had 31 and neither averaged over 3.6 yards per carry.
Bortles and company will be up against a Detroit defense that ranks 18th in the league against the pass and 17th against the run. Not great rankings, but at least they have balance. They are coming off a 22-16 OT win over the Minnesota Vikings where they held them to 337 total yards.
The Lions were outgained in the win over Minnesota, but Matt Prater kicked a 58-yard FG as time expired to send the game to OT and then Golden Tate scored a TD in the extra period. Mathew Stafford did not have a big game passing for 219 yards with 2 TD and an INT, but he came through on the game trying drive and the scoring pass in OT.
The Lions still have some issues at the RB position and while Theo Riddick has been decent and had 70 yards in the win over Minnesota 42 of them came on 1 run. Jax has been Jekyll and Hyde on defense this season ranking a solid 4th in the league defending the pass, but only 28th defending the run. They gave up 181 rushing yards in their loss to the Texans in their last game.
The Lions could use a win in this game facing a 2-7 Jax team, as their remaining schedule is a tough one with games against the Vikings, Saints, Giants, Cowboys, and Packers. Detroit is a solid 3-1 this season at home.
The Jags have covered the spread in 2 of their last 3 games on the road. The Lions are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games, 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall, and the favorite has covered the spread in the last 5 games between these 2 non-conference teams.
The Jags have kept it close the last 2 games, but I donít see that happening in this game. Stafford will light them up and Bortles will continue to make mistakes. Those things add up to a Lions win and they will also cover the spread.
Jasonís Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Lions -6.5
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