Jacksonville Jaguars -3 vs. New York Giants Game Pick
Jacksonville Jaguars (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. New York Giants (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
NFL Week 1
Date/Time: Sunday, September 9tht 2018 –1:00 PM ET
Where: MetLife Stadium – East Rutherford, NJ
By: Keith Franks, NFL Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Jacksonville -3 / New York +3
Over/Under Total: 43.5
Editor’s Note: Handicapper Keith Allen goes against Franks here with his Jags vs Giants Pick. Read both angles before betting this game!
The Jacksonville Jaguars and the New York Giants will square off in an AFC vs. NFC clash when the South meets the East at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey for week 1. The festivities will commence at 1:00 PM ET. The two teams last met in 2014 where the Jaguars came back from three-scores down to defeat the Giants in a thrilling comeback win in the Sunshine State. The final score 25-24, Jags. The Jags have covered in the last three meetings between both parties dating back to 2006.
2017 was an all-time low in recent history for Big Blue as it finished with a grisly 3-13 record on the season. Amidst the tumult within the G-Men organization, incumbent Head Coach Ben McAdoo was ultimately shown the door after failing to start franchise quarterback Eli Manning in a meaningless game which led to the end of Manning’s streak of consecutive starts for the Giants. The move generated a bunch of uproar and led to a bitter ending to an already disappointing campaign.
After what was considered a successful 2018 draft anchored by the selection of former Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, the Giants offense seems to be in position to be potent in 2018. The G-Men return their star receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. at full health along side an emerging playmaker tight end Evan Engram, and their sidekick Sterling Shepard. However, the offensive line is the biggest question that needs to be answered. After the regime change, there is also an inquiry as to whether new skipper Pat Shurmur gets his offense firing on all cylinders as New York looks to erase the woes of 2017.
Jacksonville was the feel-good story of the NFL in 2017 when the traditionally nominal franchise found itself as the AFC South Champion and runner up for the conference title when it made it as far the AFC Conference Championship where it fell to New England. The manner in which the Jags fell was one of heartbreak and from many vantages one of questionable calls by officials throughout the course of the contest. The fact remains Jacksonville was undoubtedly the overachiever of the league in 2017 as it finished with a remarkable record of 12-7.
By many accounts this team is regarded as a popular choice to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, this season. Many have called 2017 a coming-out party for the Jaguars. Now that it has a year of experience in the post-season under its belt, this campaign can be the one where Jacksonville takes another step forward to play for the Lombardi Trophy. However, what may be overlooked here is that Jacksonville had little competition in its divisional race. Fellow constituents Houston and Indianapolis were marred by injuries to impact players on both sides of the football which allowed the Jaguars to get through the South with far less resistance than usual. With a tougher schedule both inside the division and in the AFC due to their finish last year, 2018 is a true litmus test to determine the verity of this outfit.
The fact remains that the Jaguars will likely enter this contest with a chip on their shoulder. Lest us forget, the last time we saw this team was in the aforementioned heartbreak in the AFC Championship Game. Those players will be looking to take out the frustration from the bitter defeat on someone. Unfortunately, that team is the New York Giants.
For those that need a reminder of how good this Jacksonville defense was in 2017, this was a team that was flirting with the possibility of becoming the defense in NFL history to win the “triple crown”. The Jaguars defense finished second in sacks (55), total defense (286.1 ypg), and points per game (16.8 ppg). This team also had 33 total takeaways and led the league in passing defense and defensive touchdowns (7). Many have called this unit, historically good. Now this squad is back with all of the parts that made this defense that prolific, including Calais Campbell, Malik Jackson, A.J Bouye, Barry Church, and Jalen Ramsey. Not only can Jacksonville cover, it can probably get very ugly as the Giants offense will have no way to slow down the onslaught of the Jaguars defensive line or mitigate their vaunted secondary.
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