Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11) at Atlanta Falcons (8-8)
NFL Football: Thursday, September 1, 2016 at 7:00 pm (Georgia Dome)
The Line: Atlanta Falcons -3 -- Over/Under: 40 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Jacksonville Jaguars look to build on their preseason hype as they play their last exhibition game on the road against the Atlanta Falcons.
The Jaguars came into this preseason as a team on the rise in the AFC South as a successful draft and an overhaul via free agency has them as one of the dark horse teams to emerge out of the AFC this season, and while they have some holes they are certainly much better than they have been over the last few seasons. Jacksonville is led by Blake Bortles behind center and he will have Allen Robinson at his disposal who is emerging as one of the best wide outs in the NFL and with Chris Ivory in to shore up the run game they are looking like a dangerous team that should keep them in a lot more football games. The defense though is what people are excited to see as they brought in Malik Jackson in the offseason and drafted both Myles Jack and Jalen Ramsey who should both see time as rookies this season. As for tonight’s game we will see a decently extensive showing from the top line on both sides of the ball and that could be a nightmare scenario for a Falcons team people are still trying to figure out.
Atlanta certainly has some elite playmakers on the offensive side of the ball but putting everything together looks like the biggest challenge for them as they are very thin at receiver behind Julio Jones and while Devonta Freeman broke out as one of last year’s top scoring running backs he has company in a second year Tevin Coleman. The Dirty Birds weren’t great in the NFC South last season and will have to compete with the reigning NFC champions from Carolina, a high octane Saints team that should have an explosive offense, and a Jameis Winston led Bucs side that is getting better every day. Atlanta looked ugly last week and things don’t get much easier here as they face the Jags at home in a game both sides will be looking to use as a jumping off point for their respective season openers.
The Jags are 9-23 ATS in their last 32 games in September, 1-4-1 ATS in their last six overall, and have played to the OVER in six of their last seven in September while the Falcons are 5-1 ATS in their last six Thursday games, 4-1 ATS in their last five in September, and 1-5 ATS in their last six home games. Jacksonville is looking good while the Falcons not so much and I like the Jags first units to do more than enough to get them a cover.