Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0-1 (0-1 ATS) at Jacksonville Jaguars 1-0 (1-0 ATS)
When and Where: Thursday, August 17, Everbank Field, Jacksonville, Fla. 8:00pm EDT (ESPN)
Spread: Jacksonville -1.5
It is a Sunshine State Showdown on Thursday night when the Buccaneers make the short trek to Jacksonville to take on their in-state rivals. The Jaguars shocked a lot of people last weekend by taking down the defending Super Bowl Champion Patriots on the road in Massachusetts. Tampa Bay took to the road as well, but did not find as much success. The Bucs would fall in Cincinnati, 23-12 to the Bengals, and are looking to get back on track in the River City on the First Coast in Thursday’s battle.
Tampa Bay Allover Television
The Buccaneers are the featured team on this year’s version of HBO’s Hard Knocks. I will go as far as to say that as a University of Florida alum, the show has actually made me begin to warm up to Jameis Winston, but at the end of the day, he is still a Florida State guy that has a questionable past. DeSean Jackson has joined the team and will play opposite of Mike Evans. Despite finishing with a 9-7 overall record, the squad was the first to be left out of the NFC’s playoffs. This season the team has more weapons than in years and looks to be a real threat to be a postseason contender.
In their first contest in the Buckeye State, the Tampa Bay had some success behind the arm of Winston in the first two series. The FSU alum threw for 99 yards on 9-of-13 passing and helped put together a 92-yard opening drive that resulted in a Robert Aguayo 20-yard field goal. Aguayo, who also attended the Florida State University, was cut this week after a tough rookie season and missing an extra point in the first week of this year’s preseason. Evans was the team’s leading receiver on the evening, hauling in four receptions for 47 yards. The defense only allowed 176 total yards, but it was not enough to pull out a victory on the evening.
Jags Just Trying to Survive
Jacksonville is a franchise that has been in turmoil for years. There have been talks of them moving to Los Angeles (that is clearly not happening now), and even London. They were bought by a Muslim immigrant (Shahid Khan) that also owns Fulham, a professional soccer team in England. They play a “home” game overseas every year, and they are also perennially one of the worst teams in the National Football League. The Jaguars have to use tarps in the upper decks of their home stadium so as to avoid local blackouts. The point is, that any good news is welcome, even a preseason win over the New England Patriots.
Jacksonville took a seven-point lead into the locker rooms in Foxboro and held on for the 31-24 win over the Pats in the first week of preseason. Back-up quarterback Chad Henne hit Keelan Cole on a 97-yard scoring strike, and third-stringer Brandon Allen threw a 42-yard touchdown pass to Dede Westbrook. Running back Corey Grant did his part with a 79-yard scamper to the end zone. Westbrook would end up carrying the ball eight times for 120 yards on the evening.
Tampa Bay is:
- 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games.
- 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games on grass.
- 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games overall
The Jaguars will come in riding high after their big victory last week, while the Buccaneers will be itching to show that they are better than how they looked in week 1 of the preseason. There is also the extra-added pressure of being featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks. Look for this to be a low-scoring tight affair with the Pirates from the Bay coming out on top in the end.
With it being an ESPN game and the nation tuning in to watch these two teams from the Sunshine state, it looks as if there will be a lot of people making a play on this game. If you want to put your money on the over/under of a Thursday night preseason game, then so be it. My advice is if you’re going to do that, then put your hard earned Ducats on the under. Tampa Bay’s offense did not exactly impress a week ago, and what Jacksonville did should most certainly be considered an anomaly.