Remember when the 2017 Jacksonville Jaguars reached the AFC Championship Game? When the 2020 team takes the field Sunday as an 8-point home underdog vs. the Indianapolis Colts, the Jags team will look nothing like that very good club. A total of 16 rookies made the 53-man Week 1 roster as Jacksonville goes in full rebuild mode -- will Coach Doug Marrone even last the season?
The Jaguars were one of the big winners of the 2020 NFL schedule release. Why? Because the team will have its full allotment of eight regular-season games for the first time since 2012. Jacksonville had been playing one game per season in London -- team owner Shahid Khan also owns English soccer club Fulham and there are rumors the team will move to London eventually -- and was scheduled for two overseas in 2020. However, the coronavirus pandemic changed all that.
So while two extra home games surely will be met with positive reactions from the Jaguars players and their local fans, Khan is probably ticked off because the Jaguars make approximately 1.75 times as much for a London home game as they do for one in Jacksonville (per ESPN).
The Jags have been one of the NFL's most anonymous teams for years so it's not a surprise they weren't given a Sunday or Monday night game yet again. Jacksonville hasn't played on Sunday night since 2008 or Monday since 2011. Those are the longest active streaks in the NFL. The Jags do get a Thursday night game, but for once it's not vs. Tennessee but rather vs. Miami.
Just one set of back-to-back home games for the Jags and on set on the road. Potentially two cold-weather road games: Week 10 at Green Bay and Week 15 in Baltimore.
Former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles signed a four-year, $88 million deal to be the team's starting quarterback in 2019, then broke his collarbone after throwing eight passes in a 40-26 loss to Kansas City in Week 1. Rookie Gardner Minshew took over, and the Jags lost by a point to Houston before beating Tennessee and Denver to start 3-1 ATS.
From there, they went 4-8 SU and ATS, and during a five-game losing stretch they became the first team since the 1986 Tampa Bay Buccaneers to lose five in a row by three possessions or more. Foles was traded to the Bears in the offseason.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS BETTING PROFILE
2019 record: 6-10 (last, AFC South)
2019 against the spread: 7-9 ATS
2019 ATS margin: -3.8
2019 Over-Under: 8-8 O-U
2020 strength of schedule: 22nd-toughest; Jaguars opponents combined for a .494 winning percentage last year (126-129-1).
WILLIAM HILL 2020 JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS FUTURES ODDS
Win total: 4.5 (Over -130)
To make playoffs: No -1400, yes +800
Division: +1200 to win AFC South
Conference: +10000 to win AFC
Super Bowl: +20000 to win SB 55
MVP: QB Gardner Minshew +15000
Defensive POY: DE Yannick Ngakoue +4000
Offensive ROY: WR Laviska Shenault Jr. +3300
Coach of the Year: Doug Marrone +7500
Defensive ROY: CB C.J. Henderson +2500, DE K'Lavon Chaisson +2500, DT Davon Hamilton +10000
SportsLine Model's projection: 5 wins (Pick is Over)
Week 1 vs. Indianapolis, 1 PM ET: The Jags have won five in a row in the home series, going 5-0 ATS and winning three times as an underdog.
Week 2 at Tennessee, 1 PM ET: The Jaguars are 6-3 SU (6-2-1 ATS) in the past nine at home, and the teams have scored 42 total points over the past two combined.
Week 3 vs. Miami, 8:20 PM ET (Thursday): The Under is 6-2 in all-time meetings, and the Jags have won five in a row (4-1 ATS) at home against AFC East teams.
Week 4 at Cincinnati, 1 PM ET: The Jaguars are 35-25-3 ATS (58 percent) in conference games over the past five years.
Week 5 at Houston, 1 PM ET: Houston has won eight of the past 10 at home against the Jags (6-4 ATS), and the Under is 4-1 in the past five.
Week 6 vs. Detroit, 1 PM ET: The Jags are 2-8 SU but 5-5 ATS in the past 10 games against the NFC North.
Week 7 BYE: Jacksonville in 7-2-1 after its week off over the past 10 seasons.
Week 8 at LA Chargers, 4:05 PM ET: The Chargers are 8-3 SU and 9-2 ATS in the all-time series, covering in the past eight games.
Week 9 vs. Houston, 1 PM ET: The Texans are 7-2 SU and ATS in the past nine matchups in Jacksonville.
Week 10 at Green Bay, 1 PM ET: Jacksonville is 3-17 ATS in non-conference games over the past five seasons.
Week 11 vs. Pittsburgh, 1 PM ET: The Under has hit in seven straight in AFC North home matchups, and the Jags are 4-2-1 ATS.
Week 12 vs. Cleveland, 1 PM ET: The Jags are 10-5 SU and 8-6-1 ATS in the all-time series.
Week 13 at Minnesota, 1 PM ET: The Vikings are 5-1 SU and 4-2 against the spread in the all-time series.
Week 14 vs. Tennessee, 1 PM ET: The Under is 8-2 in the past 10 meetings, with the total at 36 or less in seven.
Week 15 at Baltimore, 1 PM ET: The Jags have covered ATS in five straight meetings (3-2 SU), and the Under hit in six straight before a 44-7 Jacksonville win in 2017.
Week 16 vs. Chicago, 1 PM ET: The Jaguars are 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS in the last six at home against NFC North teams.
Week 17 at Indianapolis, 1 PM ET: The Colts are 6-1 SU (3-3-1 ATS) in the past seven in Indy, and the Over is 2-5, hitting in the two most recent meetings.
EXPERT PICK FROM FORMER VEGAS BOOKMAKER MICAH ROBERTS: Over 4.5 wins (-130).
This looks like one of the better win totals to bet on with lots of upside betting the over despite the appearance of getting rid of most key players from the 2017 team that was one game away from the Super Bowl. Minshew proved he could win games and also proved to have a clutch gene in his DNA. He's got one of the best groups of WRs in the league. They won't compete for the division, but they can certainly win more than six games as they did in 2019.
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