Oakland Raiders(6-6 SU,6-6 ATS) at Jacksonville Jaguars (7-5 SU, 8-4 ATS), Week 14 NFL, SundayDecember 12th, 1:00 PM Eastern, Everbank Field (Natural Grass),Jacksonville Florida TV: CBS
By Jeff Hochman of JHSportsline.com
Betting Odds: Oak +5 /Jax -5
Over/Under Total: 43
The Jacksonville Jaguars will look to win itsfifth game in six trieswhen they host the Oakland Raiders in this week fourteenearly afternoon tilt.
Last Sunday, Jacksonville defeated the Titans 17-6 as 3-point road underdogs. The Jags are one of your better ATS teams this season at 8-4. MauriceJones-Drew turned in the NFL’s second-best rushing effort ofthis seasonwith 186 yards on 31 carries, and Rashad Jennings and David Garrard each ran for a touchdown. Jacksonville out-gained Tennessee 377-220 andaccumulated 23 First-Downswhile Tenn. had just 11. Maurice Jones-Drew had his fifth straight game with at least 100 yards rushing and after starting slow, the UCLA graduate hasbeenawesome this season.
The Oakland Raiders got back on the winning track with a 28-13 shocker over the Chargers in San Diego. Oakland went into the game as 13-point underdogs and played like they were 13-point favorites. The Raiders jumped out to 14-0 1st quarter lead and never looked back. Jason Campbell accounted for two touchdowns and did not make any mistakes, while Darren McFadden continued his “breakout” season with another 97 rushingyards and a score. The Raiders had 13 penalties for 105 yards and still won by 15 points, which shows you how much they wanted to win thatgame. Oakland out-gained SD 368-286 and held the ball for about 17 minutes more than the Chargers.
Both of these teams have very similar stats across the board, but the one area that the Raiders have a slight edge is Special Teams. Jacksonville is ranked No. 14 which is not bad, while the Raiders are ranked No. 10 so far this season. Oakland is one of your better tackling special teams in all of football. They usually win the field position battle which plays to their strength. Jacksonville also plays a very similar style of football. Both teams like to run the ball early and often which helps set up Play-action later in the contest. It will be interesting to see which running game will have success. My guess is that both teams will put the 8th man in the box and try to stop each others running game. That does not always work!
Jacksonville has the edge because of their rushing defense when playing at home. They “only” allow 95.5 yards per game, while the Raiders tend to struggle on the road with their run defense. They are allowing 123 road rushing yards but do seem to playing better than those stats would indicate. The Raiders are much better at defending the pass than Jacksonville. In fact, the Jags are allowing 8.1 yards per pass, which ranks dead last out of all the winning teams.
The Sportsbooks have this lined juiced up a bit mostly because a West Coast team will be playing an Early 1:00 PM EST game, which of course feels like 10:00 AM to the traveling team. I will caution, if you use that system or angle it’s been known to work better in the first 10 weeks of the season. I feel this line should be more around 3 or 4 points.
Jacksonville is 3-1 SU and 3-1 ATS in this series. These teams have not played each other since 2007. The Jags destroyed Oakland 49-11, as 14-point home chalk.
The MRI of Raiders RCB Nnamdi Asomugha’s ankle came back negative. Check his status later in the week. If he plays that makes this pick much stronger. Jacksonville is 7-22 ATS in their last 29 home games when favored by at least 3.5 points. Early forecast calls for a verywindy day in Jacksonville. If that happens than look for the underdog and theunder to be stronger selections.
Jeff’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Oakland Raiders +5 & Under 43.
I just feel this line is a couple of points too high, and the Raiders’ head coach was with the team when they lost 49-11 to Jacksonville in 2007. He is very good at motivating his players. Don’t believe the hype about the West Coast team traveling to the East for an early game. It’s over-rated this time of year!