New Orleans Saints vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Point Spread – Pick Against the Spread

New Orleans Saints (2-1 SU, 2-1 ATS) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS), Week 4 NFL, Sunday October 2nd, 1:00 PM Eastern, Everbank Field (Natural Grass), Jacksonville Florida
By Jeff Hochman, Professional NFL Handicapper, JH-Sportsline

Point Spread: NO -6.5/Jax +6.5
Over/Under Total: 46.5

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The New Orleans Saints take to the road and play the Jacksonville Jaguars for just the fifth time ever in this week four matchup.

The road team is coming off a sloppy win at home as they were out-gained for the first time this season. Drew Brees was intercepted twice, but made up for it with 370 yards passing and three second-half touchdown passes. Jimmy Graham is an emerging star at tight end, and had 4 catches for 100 yards with a touchdown. The defense gave up 473 yards to the Texans, but should have an easier time of it going up against a shaky offense. Jacksonville is averaging 280 yards of offense good for 9 points per game. This from a team that released its starting quarterback just before the start of the regular season.

Jacksonville is coming off a hard-fought 16-10 loss at Carolina last week. With that straight up and against-the-spread loss the Jags fell to 1-9 ATS last ten games, including preseason and dating back to last year. Blaine Gabbert, making his first career start, completed 12 of 21 passes and had three fumbled snaps which the Jags recovered all of them. They could only muster 257 yards of offense and had eight critical penalties.

This game is not too difficult to handicap for the square players. They will look at the quarterbacks and make the assumption that Brees will have a huge advantage going up against a rookie, who makes just his second career start. I like him. He can make all the throws and has poise in the pocket. But, he is a rookie and that means plenty of growing pains. New Orleans is coming off three marque games against Green Bay, Chicago, and Houston. This game marks the first of three straight road games for the Super Bowl champs of two seasons ago.

M. Jones-Drew has 307 rushing yards in three games and a nifty 4.7 yards per carry average. He will be going against a Saints’ defense that allowed 4.4 yards per rush last week. On the flip side, the Jaguars are allowing only 83 rushing yards per game. I really believe the Jags will be able to put some points on the board in this game at home. They can’t go the whole season averaging just 9 points per game on offense. Just saying! Jacksonville also brings in the better defense by over 90 yards and 9 points.

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As I mentioned before, this will be the fifth meeting between these teams and each team has won twice. The Saints are 3-1 ATS though and the last victory was in November of 2007. New Orleans won 41-24 as 3.5-point home favorites. The QB’s in that game were Quinn Grey and Drew Brees. Brees threw for 445 yards and three touchdowns. Marques Colston had 10 receptions for 157 yards and has no chance at a repeat performance. He is OUT until at least week six.

Something has to give in this one. New Orleans is 1-9 ATS last ten vs. teams with a losing record. Jacksonville is 2-9 ATS vs. teams with a winning record. On the bright side, Jacksonville is 4-1 ATS last five home games while New Orleans is 1-5 ATS last six road games.

Jeff’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: New Orleans Saints -6.5 (lean)

To be honest I have been going back and fourth on this game so maybe you should pass. I lean slightly to the road chalk, but it would not shock me to see a back door cover by the home team. The Saints are obviously the more talented team but that doesn’t always get you the cover.

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