Jacksonville at New England Best Bet 1/2/22
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-13 SU, 4-11 ATS) vs. New England Patriots (9-6 SU, 9-6 ATS)
Week 17 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, January 2, 2022 at 1PM EST
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts
Point Spread: JAC +15.5/NE -15.5 (Betanysports – Bet on games at -105 instead of -110! Making the switch to discounted odds will save you THOUSANDS of dollars!)
Over/Under Total: 41.5
The Jacksonville Jaguars take on the New England Patriots in Foxborough on Sunday. Neither team had a great time of it on Sunday. The Jaguars continued to melt away, this time in a 26-21 loss to the Jets. It was their 7th loss in a row. They now take to the road against an irritated Patriots team that fell on Sunday in a key divisional matchup against the Bills. 33-21. Again at home this week, they look to atone for that setback in what appears to be a cushy spot. Who can get the cover on Sunday?
Justifying a Position on Jacksonville
At this point, getting on the Jaguars isn’t easy. The team seems literally broken. And with James Robinson going down early with an Achilles on Sunday, their misfortune continues to mount. Trevor Lawrence is going to be thrown against a good defense this week with little to protect him or bail him out. In as good a spot as you can get against one of the worst secondary-units seen in this league in years last week against the Jets, Lawrence could manage 280 yards and no TDs. It doesn’t get easier this week against New England and those who take the Jags have to brace for offensive ineptitude.
If looking for an angle, however, one could just accept that the Jags are horrible and focus more on the other side of the equation. With diminishing returns from New England QB Mac Jones in recent weeks, two straight losses following a 7-game winning streak, and the fact that they’re laying a big number in this one, maybe Jacksonville isn’t such a bad choice. Maybe the Patriots have hit a wall at an inopportune time, having little left after completely reversing form in such a dramatic way. Then again, losing to a Colts team that has been hot and the Bills doesn’t really mean they’re less-viable in games like this, which is about as soft a landing-spot as a team can get.
Good Get-Well Spot for the Patriots?
A lot of things don’t shake out well for the Jaguars here and I don’t think the Pats’ recent form bolsters Jacksonville’s chances as much as it makes New England more on-point than they’d otherwise be. With the Pats, we see a team rising above certain conditions. They have a rookie quarterback who doesn’t have the best stuff around him. There aren’t any stars on this offense. Sure, the line is better, as is the overall talent. And perhaps they’ve had more breaks in the injury department. But you see a Patriots team doing a lot with what they have.
On the other sideline, you see a Jags team totally squandering Lawrence’s first season. They have had zero answers for any of the adversity that has come their way this season. When they lose a piece, that piece just stays lost. No one steps up to fill the void. A high-profile head coach didn’t last the season and there has been zero mojo you sometimes see when a coach who wasn’t loved flies the coup. There is no innovation from the coaching, as they stay firmly transfixed in this downward-spiral.
You’d almost rather see the Jags against another bad team or even a good one whose playoff-situation is more-cemented. Against the Pats on the heels of a two-game slide that now threatens to undo the massive work they did to right the ship after a 2-4 start, it’s downright hard to envision a ton of good things happening for the Jaguars this week. The differentials here are too much to buck, whether it’s the gap in urgency, available talent, or the coaching quality gap.
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Real Issues of Concern for the Pats
While this game seems easy enough, it’s an important crossroads for the Patriots where they want to see the things they were doing so well start working again. Against the Colts, they got the ball run down their throats, a somewhat understandable result with Jonathan Taylor running wild on everyone. Last week, it was Josh Allen’s aerial flair that muffled the New England defense, again, an acceptable result on some levels. More troubling is the Patriots’ offensive response. Against Indy, a lot of aerial production went wasted and against Buffalo when playing from behind, all they could get was good runs from Damien Harris, with Mac Jones going flat aerially.
It would be easy to explain away the recent New England failings as a result of the opponent they were playing. But against Buffalo two weeks before, the Pats gave up just ten points and that was in Buffalo. Allowing very little was what allowed them to get to this spot. Sure, the offense was playing better, but weeks and weeks of super-low point totals from the opponent made the Pats a real X-factor. Losing that edge doesn’t only put a dent in the Pats’ overall hopes this season, but it also has to make them a bit more-dicey in the role of large home favorite even in what seems to be a far-better position such as this week.
Lay the Big Number
It’s not a great feeling laying a jumbo numeral on a team that has dropped two in a row, is losing its defensive edge, and doesn’t typically have an explosive offense. If the Jags an throw up a few scores on a New England defense that doesn’t seem as on-target as it was, it could be tough on a Pats’ offense that now has to score well into the thirties in a game that might not be close enough to arouse their ire. But what’s the alternative, to take a dysfunctional Jags’ team in a late-season crunch time spot for the Pats and just hope the roof doesn’t cave in? I see the Patriots getting enough separation this week and getting out of week 17 with the win and cover.
Loot’s Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the New England Patriots minus 15.5 points. Bet your Week 17 NFL picks for FREE by taking advantage of a 100% real cash bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $1000 at Betnow Sportsbook! It’s the BEST sportsbook bonus on the internet!
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