NFL Preseason Week 2 Picks: Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Chicago Bears
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Chicago Bears
Thursday, 8/14/14, 8:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread: Chicago -6
Current Betting Line: Chicago -4
Opening Total: 38.5
Current Total: 39
Odds Courtesy of 5Dimes
Jacksonville picked up a 16-10 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as 2.5-point home favorites in their preseason opener, which is important to consider when making your NFL betting picks Thursday night. The Jaguars were impressed by first-round selection Blake Bortles, but the former UCF signal-caller will still be listed No. 2 on the depth chart—completing 7 of 11 passes for 117 yards. Offensively, the team is hoping to get better consistency out of wide receiver Marqise Lee, as he wasn’t even targeted in the passing game.
The Jaguars first-team defense was very impressive, as they held the Buccaneers to just a single first down, with linebacker Paul Posluszny giving a lot of the credit to the defensive line play. Jacksonville made some serious upgrades at that particular position during the offseason, which can’t be ignored when looking over the pro football odds page. It’s important to keep a watchful eye on the injury report this week, as there’s an outside chance that running back Toby Gerhart could see some action, but he’s been out for 10 days due to a hip flexor.
Chicago also opened up in the win column to start its second year under head coach Marc Trestman—improving to 3-2 SU and 2-3 ATS over that span. The Bears’ quarterbacks combined to complete 29 of 44 passes for 399 yards and four touchdowns with a passer rating of 106.9 in last week’s 34-28 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles as one-point home underdogs. The performance was markedly different from the squad’s 2013 preseason opener at Carolina, but that’s too be expected now that the roster is comfortable with the system on both sides of the ball.
The Bears need to be a bit concerned about the running game in this matchup, as they gained just 16 yards on 12 carries with starters and second-team players on the field. Chicago has better depth throughout the roster than last year, but that’s starting to wear down, especially on the offensive line.
Sports bettors will likely back the Jaguars due to the Bears being 1-11 SUATS in preseason home games when coming off such a contest a week earlier.
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