NFL: Hobbled Bills favoured over fading Jags at Wembley
Daniel Coyle, American Sports Correspondent | October 24, 2015
Wembley a second home for Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars return to London on Sunday for a third straight year, playing host to Buffalo Bills as 3.5-point underdogs in NFL betting with Coral.
The Jaguars have made Wembley Stadium their second home in each of the past two seasons, playing one game there per year, with the NFL announcing this week that they will extend that arrangement through the 2020 season.
That should give the Jags plenty of time to find ways to win, something that they have struggled to do this season.
Since shocking the Miami Dolphins in Week 2 with a 23-20 road victory as 5.5-point underdogs, the Jaguars have suffered four consecutive straight up losses, and travel to London with a 1-5 SU record.
After getting blown out 51-17 by the undefeated New England Patriots, the Jags put a scare into the struggling Indianapolis Colts in a close 16-13 loss, but disappointed as home favourites last week, dropping a 31-20 decision to Houston as 2.5-point chalk.
Jacksonville’s offense has shown signs of improvement, averaging 350.7 total yards per game, with quarterback Blake Bortles’ 1630 passing yards good for seventh among passers in the NFL. But the club remains dismal on defence, surrendering 29.3 points per game, third worst in the league, and owns the NFL’s 21st-ranked pass defence.
Buffalo are walking wounded
Fortunately for the Jaguars, the Bills arrive at Wembley hobbled by injuries, including pivot Tyrod Taylor and receiver Sammy Watkins, who both remain doubtful for Sunday’s contest.
Bills’ injury woes compound other issues, including inconsistency on the field and controversy in the dressing room.
Receiver Percy Harvin unexpectedly left the team this week after suffering a hip injury, placing his future in doubt, while Watkins has been quite vocal about his displeasure with his infrequent use as a target.
The team has also failed to string together consecutive wins since last season, alternating between SU and ATS wins and losses all year, and are winless in their last three as betting favourites.
However, Buffalo are undefeated in their last two against the Jaguars, going 4-3 SU in their last seven meetings, 5-2 ATS.
New England Patriots v New York Jets
In other NFL week 7 action, the Patriots will be gunning for their ninth straight victory when they take on the division rival New York Jets as 7-point favourites.
Patriots have been dominant this season, cruising to a 5-0 SU record with a league-leading 36.6 points per game, but face a Jets squad that owns the league’s best defense and can take control of top spot in the AFC East with a SU victory.
Jets have won six of their last eight, and are an impressive 9-3 ATS in their last 12, but have just one SU win in their last eight against New England, while covering the spread in four of the last six.
Panthers and Giants tipped to beat Eagles and Cowboys
Carolina Panthers will also try to stay undefeated when they host the Philadelphia Eagles as 3.5-point favourites.
They moved to 6-0 with a stunning 27-23 win in Seattle last week, thumping the Seahawks as 7-point underdogs, while the Eagles look to have turned the corner following a sluggish start with their decisive 27-7 win over the New York Giants last weekend.
Meanwhile, the Giants welcome Dallas Cowboys as 3.5-point favourites in American football betting, while the Colts take on the New Orleans Saints as 3.5-point chalk, and the Dolphins are favoured by 3 over the Texans.
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