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Atlanta Falcons vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Betting Odds from BetOnline

NFL Betting Spread: Falcons +3 (-120) Jaguars -3 (+100)

Moneyline: Jaguars (-140) Falcons (+120)

Total: 35.5


The Atlanta Falcons were the top seed going into the playoffs last year, but they failed to win a game when it mattered most. Matt Ryan and the Falcons are on a mission to prove that they can finish the deal this year. The Jacksonville Jaguars were an inconsistent team last year, and they finished at 8-8. Jack Del Rio is starting to get on the hot seat, and this is a team that needs to show some improvement in 2011.

The story of the offseason for the Atlanta Falcons was the pickup of Julio Jones in the NFL Draft. The team has extremely high expectations for Jones, and he will give Matt Ryan another great weapon on the outside. Ryan already has a star in Roddy White. Don’t forget Tony Gonzalez will be running down the middle of the field as well. Ryan has some terrific targets to throw the football to. Jacquizz Rodgers isn’t getting a lot of press, but he was a good pick by the Falcons as well. Michael Turner is a powerful back, and Rodgers should provide the Falcons with a great change of pace. The offensive line is one of the best in the league. Defensively, the Falcons use their speed to get to the football quickly. This isn’t a great defense, but they hold their own.

Jacksonville was up and down all of last season, and last week’s 47-12 blowout loss to the New England Patriots couldn’t have made Jack Del Rio happy at all. The Patriots rolled up 47 points despite the fact that Tom Brady didn’t even play. Maurice Jones-Drew is still a star, and he’ll be looking to prove that he can still be great after surgery to repair a torn meniscus last year. The problem for the Jaguars offense is they really don’t have any reliable receivers on the outside. David Garrard might not play in this one, but we’ll see plenty of rookie Blaine Gabbert. The Jaguars were terrible against the pass last year, and they were riddled last week by the Patriots. Can this secondary get its act together?

Falcons vs. Jaguars Free NFL Pick: Over 35.5

The Falcons second and third stringers allowed Miami to roll up the yards last week, and the Jaguars defense was awful the entire game against New England. The posted total is low here because preseason games generally don’t see too many points, but I think the offenses will have an advantage in this one once the first team defenses sit down. I like the over.

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