Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Sunday, 9/7/14, 1:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread: Philadelphia -11
Current Betting Line: Philadelphia -11
Opening Total: 52
Current Total: 51.5
Odds Courtesy of 5Dimes
Jacksonville selected UCF quarterback Blake Bortles with the third overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft, but he won’t be thrown into the fire in this one, as veteran Chad Henne will lead the offense in the opener. The Jaguars have some weapons on the perimeter that are capable of making explosive plays, but they’ll be without former Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon, who continues to deal with substance abuse. With Ace Sanders also taking a leave of absence from the team, the starting two spots come down to Marqise Lee, Allen Robinson and Cecil Shorts. Jacksonville is 0-5 ATS in its last five September affairs.
The Jaguars have had one of the worst pass rushes over the past five seasons—finishing last in the NFL in sacks in 2013 and 2012. Jacksonville has taken some jajor steps in trying to improve in this all-important statistical category, with the signing of defensive end Chris Clemons and linebacker Dekoda Watson. On the other side of the ball, the franchise has just one of five spots decided on its offensive line, but many believe that Luke Joeckel will assume the left tackle spot after being the No. 2 pick in 2013.
Philadelphia regained its perch atop the NFC East division in Chip Kelly’s first season, as it finished the year with a flourish by winning seven of its last eight contests. The Eagles will be led by signal-caller Nick Foles, who tossed a remarkable 27 touchdowns and just two interceptions in his first full year under center. Foles led the league with a 119.2 passer rating in 2013, which was helped by being balanced with running back LeSean McCoy, and those numbers may get even better with the addition of former San Diego and New Orleans star Darren Sproles. Philadelphia is 6-21-1 ATS in its last 28 home games.
The Eagles have plenty of perimeter weapons at Foles’ disposal, but they won’t have Desean Jackson, who is now a member of the Washington Redskins. Philadelphia has Brent Celek running routes in the middle of the field, while Riley Cooper will be helped on the outside by the return of wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, who missed all of 2013 with a knee injury.
Sports bettors will likely play the total, as the UNDER is 6-2 in the Eagles’ last eight games at Lincoln Financial Field.
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