A pair of Florida teams square off against one another this Thursday night with the Jacksonville Jaguars going on the road to Raymond James Stadium to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.
Jacksonville exceeded everyone’s expectations last season with an AFC South Division title and a run all the way to the conference title game. The bar has been raised even higher this season as a clear favorite to repeat as division champs in a quest to win the Super Bowl. The Jaguars have gone 2-1 both straight-up and against the spread this preseason with the total staying UNDER in their last two games on BetAnySports’ closing line.
In last Saturday’s 17-6 victory against Atlanta as a four-point home favorite, Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles completed 17-of-23 passing attempts for 204 yards, but he also threw a pair of interceptions. Look for Cody Kessler to get the bulk of the playing time on Thursday as his backup. Leonard Fournette ran the ball 10 times for 57 yards and a score in last week’s game.
The Buccaneers were last in the NFC South last season at 5-11 SU, but they had a 6-9-1 record ATS after covering BetAnySports’ closing line in their last three games. They started this preseason with SU victories against Miami and Tennessee on the road as underdogs before losing to Detroit 33-30 last Friday as 2.5-point favorites at home. The total went OVER in all three games with Tampa Bay averaging 28.7 points per game.
A foursome of quarterbacks threw for 254 yards on 21 completions against the Lions while the Bucs added another 79 yards on the ground. With Jameis Winston set to start serving his three-game league suspension next week, veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick is expected to take his place. Rookie running back Ronald Jones II struggled against Detroit with seven yards rushing on six carries, but Peyton Barber looked sharp with 34 yards and a score on five rushing attempts.
Jacksonville has quickly established itself as the best NFL team in Florida heading into the 2018 regular season, but I am going with Tampa Bay to win this in-state matchup both SU and ATS.