Off the Record (OTR)

Packers favored by 16 facing Jacksonville?

Sheesh, you don’t see this too often. The Green Bay Packers are hosting the Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday and they should win relatively handily. But, that said, it’s not everyday – even in these situations – that a team is favored by 16 points. That’s a ton.

But, maybe it won’t be that easy. Maybe, just maybe, if you’re thinking of doing some NFL gambling the Jaguars could be a good play.

First of all, let’s admit that the Jaguars are a pretty lousy team. It’s not looking good that Blaine Gabbert is the answer for them at quarterback, despite the team using a first-round pick on him last year. Oh, and he’s hurt. He has a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder, so it’s possible that he could play through the pain and be even worse than normal.

If not, Chad Henne gets the call and he’s a turnover machine. Yes, he’s shown at times that he can play well, but he doesn’t do it consistently. Doesn’t mean he can’t have one decent game though, right?

Also, the Jaguars are without Maurice Jones-Drew. He’s one of the only players worth a damn on offense and he’s out for the foreseeable future, ie this game against the Packers.

So let’s look at the Packers and why they might not be able to cover. The nightmare season continues for wide receiver Greg Jennings, who has been diagnosed with a sports hernia and will require surgery that will keep him out an additional six weeks. He insists that it’s not season-threatening, but that’s still a long time he’ll be out.

But, the Packers are deep at wide receiver, right? Well, yeah. But, now there is another receiver on the injury report. Jordy Nelson hasn’t practiced all week with a hamstring issue and he missed practice again on Thursday. The Green Bay Press-Gazette says that it “sounds a little worse than first thought.” They still have Randall Cobb and Donald Driver, but they are getting awfully thin. Nelson could be headed for the dreaded “game-time” decision tag.

When you add these things up, that point spread starts to get pretty big and Jacksonville could be a good play. Yes, they are a bad team on the road, but Green Bay will hardly hit them with everything they’ve got. Also consider that the Packers don’t run the ball very well and that once high-powered offense is hindered quite a bit.

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