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Free NFL AFC Conference Championship Picks: Jacksonville Jaguars vs New England Patriots Predictions 01/21/2018

The Jacksonville Jaguars will be going to the Gillette Stadium to face the New England Patriots at home next Sunday at 3:05 PM EST in the AFC Conference Championship. The lines opened with an 8.5 point spread for the Patriots to cover and a posted total of 47 points. Since then, the spread has climbed by half a point while the posted total has dropped by half a point. The betting is definitely not going in favor of the Patriots, however; with only 39% of the bettors backing them to cover the spread and 61% against them in favor of the Jaguars.

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The Jaguars are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games on field-turf, 12-5 in their last 17 games vs. AFC, and 2-5 in their last 7 playoff road games. Their O/U trends are 4-1-1 in their last 6 playoff road games, 1-4 in their last 5 January games, and 5-0 in their last 5 games following a win. They also stand 1-5 ATS in their last 6 meetings with the Patriots when playing in New England.

The Patriots are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 playoff home games, 6-0 in their last 6 games on field-turf, and 2-6 in their last 8 Conference Championship games. Their O/U trends are 4-0 in their last 4 January games, 7-0 in their last 7 playoff home games, and 2-5 in their last 7 Conference Championship games. They also stand 6-2 ATS in their last 8 meetings with the Jaguars.

The Jaguars had quite the explosive AFC Divisional game last Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers which ended with them winning 45-42. Blake Bortles completed 14 of 26 passes for 214 yards and a score while T.J. Yeldon led the receivers with 3 catches for 57 yards and RB Leonard Fournette stole the show with 25 carries for 109 rushing yards and 3 scores. New England won their game as well against the Titans 35-14 with Tom Brady connecting on 35 of 53 throws for 337 yards and 3 scores. Dion Lewis led the ground with 15 carries for 62 yards and Danny Amendola led the receivers with 11 catches for 112 yards.

Our Free NFL Pick: The Steelers-Jaguars game was indeed an exciting one that went down to the wire in the final quarter and if it was not for some bad decisions in the final two and a half minutes, it could have very well been the Steelers walking away with the victory there. Nevertheless, the Jaguars defence played phenomenally, scoring a touchdown with a fumble return and an interception in Pittsburgh’s red zone that led to another score on the very next play. Following that, in the final two minutes and thirty seconds when the Steelers were 7 points behind, they instead decided to kick an on-side kick and failed to recover it which then allowed Jacksonville to score a field goal. It got worse from there in the final forty seconds as they used up their play time to score a touchdown on their 4th down while still being 3 points down and then burning up the play-clock at kickoff. On the other side, the Patriots’ game was quite a one-sided beating for the Titans but one that had quite a few controversial penalties called against Tennessee. The Titans suffered 10 penalties for 62 yards in that game versus New England’s 4 for 37 yards and at least 3 of the Titans’ penalties looked very controversial as many watchers and even the commentators had difficulty seeing the calls. With the penalties working against them, the Titans struggled both offensively and defensively and in the end, the Patriots won the game. Coming into this game, however, I don’t know if the Patriots will have such an easy go of things. The Jaguars’ defence has been playing amazingly, their pass-rush and cornerbacks in particular. Brady has never been known to run much in the pocket to keep plays alive so coming into this game, if Jacksonville’s defence plays like last week, I’d say they can win it. Well, providing the penalties aren’t suspicious anyway.

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