It is somewhat unusual to see a home team as an underdog in NFL preseason betting but that will be the case on Saturday as Tampa Bay hosts Jacksonville.
The Bucs will be without their starting quarterback Josh Freeman and bettors really don’t want to take a shot with the Bucs in NFL preseason odds even though they are at home.
NFL preseason betting at the Sbg global sportsbook lists the Jaguars as three-point road favorites with the total at 36.5. The Jaguars are 0-2 in the preseason but both of their losses were only by one point. The Bucs are 1-1 but Tampa Bay is just not an impressive team.
Hard to Like Tampa: It is really hard to make a case for the Bucs without their starting quarterback. Freeman is not great but he will be starting the season for Tampa. The backups for Tampa Bay are Josh Johnson and Rudy Carpenter.
They are not that bad but in the third preseason game they will be up against the starters for Jacksonville for the first half. That doesn’t help their chances of having a good game. The Bucs will be without starting tight end Kellen Winslow on Saturday.
Jaguars Look to have Solid Play: It is never easy laying points on the road in NFL preseason odds but Tampa Bay is expected to be one of the worst teams in the NFL this season. They have no incentive to play well this week since their starting quarterback is out.
They know Freeman will be back for the opener so this is a showcase for the backups. On the other side, Jacksonville would really like to get a win. Teams don’t want to head into the regular season after a winless preseason. The numbers simply don’t favor teams that go 0-4 in the preseason to have much regular season success.
Next week’s game is a toss-up since starters rarely play much in the final preseason tune up so the Jaguars need to win this game. Jacksonville has a solid one-two quarterback rotation with David Garrard the starter and Josh McCown the backup.
The Jaguars should give more work this week to running back Maurice Jones-Drew who had just four carries last week.