Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3 SU, 2-2 ATS) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3 SU, 1-3 ATS)
College Football Week 6
Date/Time: Sunday, October 11th, 1:00 PM EST
Where: Raymond James Stadium
by Mike M., Pro Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Jax +3 / TB -3
Over/Under Total: 42
The Jacksonville Jaguars head three hours south to Tampa Bay to take on the Buccaneers in a showdown of 1-3 teams attempting to turn their seasons around.
The hometown Bucs are coming off a 37-23 loss to Carolina that saw their 2015 first round pick Jameis Winston struggle mightily with turnovers, throwing four interceptions along with a lost fumble that resulted in 27 points for the Panthers. Carolina defensive back Josh Forman was so confident that he could take advantage of the rookies poor play that he planned his touchdown celebration in advance and checked with league officials before the game to make sure his dance routine was legal. Sure enough, Forman picked off Jameis first pass of the game and returned it for a touchdown. Winstons turnover problems should come as no surprise as he has consistently had issues giving the ball away last year at Florida State despite being surrounded by a plethora of talent and playing games against a weak ACC conference. But hey, at least he hasnt sexually assaulted anybody yet this year, so he is ahead of the curve on that one.
Winston isnt the only rookie for Tampa to predictably perform poorly as kicker Kyle Brindza has been a near disaster thus far. After making under 60% (14/23) of his kicks as a senior at Notre Dame last year Brindza has continued right where he left off, hitting just 6 of 12 field goals so far this year along with two missed extra points on just eight attempts. The Pittsburgh Steelers already cut kicker Josh Scobee this year after he cost them their game last week against Baltimore and its easy to imagine Brindza joining him sooner than later if he cant fix his accuracy issues.
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The loss to Carolina wasnt all bad as two Buccaneer skill players had their best games of the season, wide receiver Vincent Jackson along with running back and fantasy football poison Doug Martin. After only nine catches through the teams first three games Jackson recorded 10 catches for 147 yards and a touchdown while Martin ran for over 100 yards in a game for just the third time since what many thought to be his breakout season of 2012.
Jacksonville enters the game after suffering a tough 16-13 loss at Indianapolis last week that saw their rookie kicker also get a case of the chokes, as he missed what would have been a game winning field with just a second left in regulation and than missed another chance at victory in overtime when his 48 yard attempt sailed wide left. The Jaguars have to feel confident in their offense though with the core of youth they have in quarterback Blake Bortles, rookie running back T.J Yeldon and a pair of second year wide receivers, Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson, though their big free agent signing of tight end Julius Thomas from the Broncos has yet to pay dividends as Thomas has yet to suit up for a game this year and it looks doubtful to be in action this weekend for the Tampa game. Its been that sort of start for the Jags, as they also lost first rounder and third pick in the draft Dante Fowler before the year even started to a fluke injury in training camp. Despite the preseason bad luck and the 1-3 record the team and coaches are confident in what is building in Jacksonville and if they continue to pick well and avoid recent disasters like Blaine Gabbert and Justin Blackmon they should continue to improve.
The Buccaneers opened as a three-point favorite and the line has held steady since. Tampa Bay hasnt performed well as of late when favored or playing in front of their home crowd, going 0-4 against the spread the last four times they have been giving points at home and have covered just 15 times in their last 53 games in Tampa. Jacksonville has been much better against the line of late, going 5-0 vs. the spread in their last five games following a loss and have covered in their last four against teams with a losing record. Its not often easy to pick a game involving two bad teams but this week Ill be taking the points and going with a Jacksonville team that seems less terrible than Tampa.
Mikes Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Jacksonville +3
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