The Green Bay Packers will visit the Jacksonville Jaguars at a sold out EverBank Field on Sunday September 11th. Many more fans who bet on NFL will surely be watching the regular season opener on Fox. The odds for the game are the following:
Packers -4½ (-110) 48 (-110)
Jaguars +4½ (-110) 48 (-110)
The Jaguars are the obvious underdogs at football betting sites, and with plenty of reason. They finished third in the AFC South division in 2015 with a 5-11 record, and failed to reach the postseason for the eighth consecutive season. However, as Brandon Lee said in The Crow, it can’t rain all the time. All those years of mediocre results have allowed the Jags to select from the top five picks in the first round of the draft since 2010.
Jacksonville now has a wealth of young, promising players, especially on offense. For instance, there’s third-year QB Blake Bortles and his favorite targets wide receivers Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. Bortles – a first round, third pick – had a breakout season in 2015, completing 355 passes of 606 attempts (58.6%) for 4428 yards and 35 TDs.
Meanwhile, Robinson set a franchise record for most receiving touchdowns in 2015 with 14; he had 80 receptions for 1400 yards. And Hurns posted 64 receptions for 1031 yards and 10 TDs. And we’d be remiss not to mention running back T.J. Yeldon, who has a lot of potential. Now, all of this is not going to automatically change the minds of many people who bet on NFL, but it will certainly pose a challenge to the highly touted Green Bay Packers defense.
CBs Sam Shields and Demarious Randall, SSs Morgan Burnett and Micah Hyde, and free safeties Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix (a favorite of Nelson Muntz) and Chris ‘Dueling’ Banjo will have the responsibility of neutralizing Allen & Allen. On the other hand, the Jaguars’ defense (which includes Dante Fowler, whom newly-arrived defensive tackle Malik Jackson has called “Von-esque”) will also have their hands full with Aaron Rodgers, a returning Jordy Nelson, and a slimmed-down – and possibly short-haired – Eddie Lacy.
Fans who bet on NFL might remember that the last time the Packers played the Jags was in week 8 of the 2012 season on October 28th at Lambeau Field. On that occasion, Green Bay defeated Jacksonville 24-15. Rodgers hit the now-retired wide receiver Donald Driver with a 4-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. Rodgers threw for another TD earlier, a 9-yard pass to James Jones in the third quarter. It was an ugly win for the Packers, in which the Jaguars had a chance of pulling an upset right down to the bitter end.
That right there could turn out to be a pretty accurate forecast of what the first game of the 2016 regular season will be like for these two teams. The Jags last beat the Packers in week 15 of the 2008 season on December 14th at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. The 20-16 loss meant that Green Bay was out of playoffs contention.