New England Patriots (1-0) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0)
Last week, I said I was not that eager to bet on the Patriots early in the season because of all the new players and because they are without Julian Edelman for the first 4 games of the season. I still took the Patriots because I thought there was value with them as just 6 point home favorites against the Texans. There must not be as much public action early in the year on the Patriots as normal because of all the negatively surrounding their off-season because once again we are getting a good line with the Patriots, who are just 1 point favorites here in Jacksonville.
The Patriots have been pretty close to automatic as underdogs or favorites of fewer than 3 with Tom Brady under center, going 49-21 ATS in Brady’s career. This game is on the road, but the Patriots have been the best road team in the league in the past few years, going 24-7 straight up in regular season road games since 2014, including 14-1 SU (and 11-4 ATS) since 2016. A lot has been made of what the Patriots have lost on offense since the last time these two teams met in the AFC Championship, but their offensive line exceeded expectations in a tough matchup last week against the Texans and their defense is much improved from a year ago.
The Jaguars, who have lost #1 receiver Marqise Lee with injury and now could be without top running back Leonard Fournette after he didn’t practice all week with a hamstring injury, should have a tough time moving the ball in this one, which should allow the Patriots to pull out the victory even if it isn’t pretty. Any time Brady just needs to win a game to cover, he’s close to an autobet. As long as this line is under 3, the Patriots can be bet confidently this week.
New England Patriots 23 Jacksonville Jaguars 16
Pick against the spread: New England -1