Seattle Seahawks (8-4 SU, 5-6-1 ATS) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-4 SU, 7-5 ATS)
NFL Football Week 14
Date/Time: Sunday December 10th, 2017. 4:25PM (EST)
Where: EverBank Field Jacksonville, F.L.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: SEA +3/JAX -3
Over/Under Total: 39.5
The Seattle Seahawks scored a much needed and impressive victory last weekend with a 24-10 decision over the Philadelphia Eagles. The victory significantly helped the Seahawks playoff chances by keeping them in the wildcard spot at 8-4 SU. Still, Seattle needs a strong finish to keep their playoffs destination intact and things will not be easy this Sunday when they travel to meet the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. The Jaguars have won 5 of their last 6 games and have emerged as a legitimate threat in the AFC. At 8-4 SU, the Jaguars are tied with the Titans for 1st place in the AFC South making these last few weeks equally important to Jacksonvilles postseason destination.
I dont believe anyone would argue against either the Seahawks or Jaguars potential. Despite several defensive injuries most notably the losses of Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman, the Seahawks defense has remained fairly strong. Obviously the offense still has quarterback Russell Wilson and a host of talented receivers that are dangerous on any given week. Meanwhile, Jacksonville has proved that they have turned into a legitimate threat in the AFC backed by the NFLs best defense. The Jaguars have been incredible against the pass holding teams to just 167 yards per game which is by far the best in the NFL. In total, they also lead the league in total yards (282) and points (14.8) allowed per game.
I personally believe Head Coach Doug Marrone should be given an extraordinary amount of credit for what he has been able to do in a short period in Jacksonville. This team went out to secure rookie Leonard Fournette with their first pick in the draft along with several other solid selections and offseason changes to the staff. Despite a few injury setbacks, Fournette is a dynamic threat when healthy and has racked up 822 yards with 7 touchdowns on the year. More importantly the entire Jaguars team plays tougher and more physical than they have in years past. This team was just 3-13 a year ago and the head office from Tom Coughlin all the way down has done a great job of turning things around. As a result, this Jaguars team is in close reach of making their first postseason appearance since 2007.
Obviously both the Seahawks and Jaguars need wins this weekend to keep a strong grasp on their postseason hopes. With that being said, what should we expect? Well as most games in the NFL, this comes down to the matchups on the field. I am going to ignore the fact that the Seahawks are typically more vulnerable on the road. I am also going to ignore the fact the Jaguars are 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games and 5-1 SU in their last 6 at home. I am even going to ignore the fact that West Coast teams playing on the East Coast in afternoon games have won just a little over 35% of the games outright since 2003.
Instead I am going to focus on the matchups along with the strengths and weaknesses for each team. In my opinion, this game sets up superbly for the Jaguars from a matchup standpoint. The Jaguars only potential weakness on defense is against the run where the Seahawks have absolutely no run game. Seattle also has a lot of concerns along the offensive line. Luckily, Seattle has survived the offensive line troubles with Russell Wilson rolling outside of the pocket and extending plays. I dont expect that to happen this week against a speedy Jaguars pass rush that has racked up 45 sacks on the year and has the secondary capable of matching up well against guys like Doug Baldwin and Jimmy Graham. In fact, I believe Seattle will be overwhelmed by this defense and that is a pretty bold prediction for an offense that has so many weapons.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Again, I really like Jacksonville in this spot and in this matchup. Barring any special teams or turnover collapse, take the Jaguars with confidence. Take Jacksonville -3 - Bet your pick for this game using your credit card at an online bookie where it WILL work for deposits and where you’ll receive a generous 50% signup bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $250! (Example: Deposit $250 and they’ll give you an extra $250 FREE!) Find this great offer at Bovada Sportsbook.