CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 25: Blaine Gabbert #11 of the Jacksonville Jaguars runs with the ball against the Carolina Panthers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 25, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
The Jacksonville Jaguars opened up as 6 point dogs to the New Orleans Saints, which is actually lower than I expected. The line has since moved to 7 and even 7 1/2 point dogs at some places, so the betting public clearly thinks the Saints are going to cover the spread and win by more than a touchdown.
One of the key factors if the Jaguars can stay in the game, let alone cover the spread, is their ability to score points. I've been told they practiced a lot of short yardage and redzone drills this week, I guess in hopes that they'll actually get into the redzone being that they've been there all of one time the whole season. Defensively, the Jaguars just need to slow down New Orleans and force a turnover or two. They also will need to shore up whatever is wrong on special teams and fast. Darren Sproles isn't someone I want to go against while special teams coverage is an issue.
Here's what OddsShark.com has to say about the game:
New Orleans has scored 104 points in three games this season, while the Jacksonville Jaguars have scored a grand total of 29 for the year. Small wonder the Saints come in as heavy road chalk (-7) as they visit the Jags in Week 4 NFL betting action.This situation hasn't been kind to either team as New Orleans is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games on the road and the Jags are 1-5 ATS in their past 6 overall.The road team has never won in four lifetime meetings.
As for my prediction of the game?
It of course is all predicated on how the Jaguars play offense. If they let Blaine Gabbert play quarterback instead of a pretty looking hand off machine, I think they can keep it close. If they turn him into a hand off machine again and put him in obvious passing situations, it could get ugly for the Jaguars. I don't see them winning either way, barring a turnover fest by the Saints. The Jaguars just don't have the firepower to keep up and I'm not sure there's a defense in the league that can actually "stop" the Saints.
My official prediction: Saints 28, Jaguars 20