Prior to the start of the 2017 NFL campaign oddsmakers set the season win total for Jacksonville at 6-1/2. When the Jaguars take the field Sunday in the 12/17 NFL free pick, they can notch their 10th win of the season with two to play. Not only that, a victory puts the Jaguars into the playoffs for the first time in a decade. In that span from 2007 to 2017 the Jags lost 102 of 144 games – but this is a different #Sacksonville team.
Houston had playoff expectations for this season but that isn’t going to happen as they’ve fallen to 4-9 on the year. Oddsmakers have given the Texans +10.5 points in the 12/17 NFL free pick – but can their offense even score against this Jaguars defense?
Is +10.5 Points Enough For Houston Backers?
The Texans turn to T.J Yates at quarterback for the 12/17 NFL free pick as starter Tom Savage is in concussion protocol after last week’s controversial exchange. The third stringer Yates might actually be an upgrade considering he led Houston on both of their TD drives after replacing Savage in last week’s 16-26 loss to the 49ers. Yates finished 14/26 for 175 yards and 2 TD. Any new roster rotation is worth a shot as the Texans have scored 16+ points in just one of the last six games.
Make no mistake, the Jacksonville defense is licking their chops at the chance to go up against the Houston offense. The Jags notched 10 sacks against the Texans offensive line in the season opener Jacksonville leads the NFL with 47 sacks and is also tops with 30 takeaways. The Jaguars defense is also #1 in points allowed as well as the top team in the league against the pass. It might be a rough day for the Houston offense.
@suuma810 thoughts on the Texans v jags today? Yates is an upgrade from savage, in my opinion. But still think that D swallows him
— Justin Buffett (@theoriginaljbk) December 17, 2017
Is Jacksonville in a Letdown Spot?
The Jaguars are the more talented team in the 12/17 NFL free pick but they have to avoid a letdown. Last week the Jaguars roughed up Seattle 30-24 in a game that wasn’t as close as the final indicated. The much maligned Jacksonville offense has scored 30+ points in back to back games at home where they are 4-2 this season. Conversely, Houston is just 1-5 on the road this year.
The Jags offense will be without top rusher Leonard Fournette on Sunday as he’s been battling a quadriceps issue. Jacksonville had boasted the #1 rushing offense in the league but should still have success against Houston’s #20 total defense. Plus, quarterback Blake Bortles has been delivering in the passing game throwing for 268 and 309 yards the last two games with 4TD vs 0 INT. The Texans give up the 3rd most points in the league at 25.8.
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) December 15, 2017
12/17 NFL Free Pick – Betting
Jacksonville should be able to avoid a letdown, mostly because there’s a considerable buzz in town. The Jags can make the playoffs with a win, and they’ll want to do it in their last home game of the regular season. Instead of #Sacksonville, you can call this team the “Swaguars” because they proved last week against Seattle that they weren’t going to be pushed around. Houston doesn’t have a lot to play for and Yates is going to be totally overmatched against the Jags front line. 10.5 is a lot of points in the NFL and just 52% like Jacksonville, but the Texans might not score.
Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars -10.5