Atlanta Falcons vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Atlanta Falcons look to continue their push for a spot in the playoffs as they host the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday Night Football. The Falcons are -10.5 point favorites over the Jaguars with an over/under point total set at 42.5.
The Atlanta Falcons looked to be headed in the wrong direction and fading from the NFC playoff race but they appear to have righted the ship and control their own destiny when it comes to playing in the post season. The Falcons still have their share of holes and issues and they will be going on the road if they do make the playoffs but this is clearly the best run in the history of the franchise. Matt Ryan has completed 60.1 percent of his passes for 3,474 yards with 23 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Michael Turner is averaging 4.2 yards per carry for 1,068 yards and eight touchdowns. Roddy White has racked up 75 catches and six touchdowns, Tony Gonzalez has 73 catches and seven touchdowns, and Julio Jones and Harry Douglas have 37 catches each. Defensively Atlanta has 25 sacks, nine fumble recoveries, and 13 interceptions and a plus one turnover ratio while they are allowing 336.5 yards and 20.5 points per game. Curtis Lofton has 116 tackles, Sean Weather spoon has 105 tackles, and Thomas DeCoud has 67 tackles and three interceptions. The Falcons follow up this game with a road game against the Saints and then at home against the Buccaneers.
Though it seems like the Jacksonville Jaguars have been rebuilding for years they are about to enter a full rebuilding mode and revamping of the franchise. With a new Head Coach on the way and rumors of moving the team swirling these last three games of the season will serve as job auditions for many members of the Jaguars’ roster. Blaine Gabbert has looked very much like a rookie completing 50.3 percent of his passes with 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Maurice Jones-Drew is looking like a possible future Hall of Famer as despite being almost the only option offensively he is averaging 4.4 yards per carry for 1,222 yards and seven touchdowns while catching 35 passes for another three touchdowns. Mike Thomas has 40 catches and Marcedes Lewis has 32 catches but it’s clear the Jaguars are in need of receivers. The Jacksonville defense has 26 sacks, 16 fumble recoveries, and 13 interceptions and a plus five turnover ratio and they allow 302.3 yards and 19.4 points per game. Paul Posluszny has 102 tackles, Daryl Smith has 91 tackles, and Dawan Landry has 76 tackles as the Jags defense is one of the better units in the NFL. One thing we saw out of Jacksonville in week 14 is that they are going to play hard until the end as they batter the Bucs.
Atlanta is 20-8-1 against the spread against a team with a losing record, 1-3-1 against the spread in their last five games overall, and 1-3-1 against the spread as a home favorite. Jacksonville is 2-5-1 against the spread in their last eight road games, 4-11-1 against the spread against a team with a winning record, and 1-5-1 against the spread as a road underdog.
The total in this one is set at 42 and there isn’t anything that indicates that this one has the offense or lack of defense to get it there so my pick here is on the total and it is under 42.