With a big victory over a fellow conference contender the Seattle Seahawks took one step closer to a sixth straight playoff berth. The Jacksonville Jaguars, on the other hand, are questing for their first playoff berth in a decade. Jacksonville is a standard home-field advantage favorite for an interesting matchup with Seattle on Sunday afternoon.
NFL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 30.4-12.6 Jaguars (NFL picks on every game)
Why the Seahawks can cover the spread
The Seahawks just picked up a key victory in the NFC playoff race, beating Philadelphia on Sunday night 24-10. Seattle, as a six-point home 'dog, grabbed a 10-0 first-quarter lead, let the Eagles get within 17-10 early in the fourth quarter but iced the game with an immediate touchdown drive, snapping Philly's nine-game winning streak.
On the night the Seahawks got outgained 425-310 but won the turnover battle 2-0, which basically resulted in a plus-14 point differential. Seattle now ranks fifth in the league in turnover margin at plus-7.
Sunday's victory, combined with losses by Atlanta and Carolina, lifted the Seahawks into the No. 5 spot in the NFC playoff standings. They also only trail the 9-3 Rams by one game for the lead in the NFC West, and they beat Los Angeles earlier this season.
Why the Jaguars can cover the spread
The Jaguars pounced back from that loss at Arizona two weeks ago to beat Indianapolis last week 30-10. Jacksonville used a fake punt to extend its opening possession of the game, resulting in a touchdown. It led 16-3 at the half, then drove its opening possession of the second half 67 yards to another touchdown, on its way toward covering a 10-point spread.
The Jags outgained the Colts 426-289, held a 34-26 advantage in time of possession and won the turnover battle 2-0. Jacksonville has now outgained six of its last seven opponents, outrushed six of its last eight foes and ranks second in turnover margin at a healthy plus-12.
At 8-4 overall Jacksonville would be the No. 5 seed in the AFC if the playoffs started today.
Seattle is coming off a big effort at home last week, flying cross-country and potentially ripe for a trap, with a showdown against the Rams slated for next week. Meanwhile, Jacksonville will take this as a chance at making some cred, taking down a Super Bowl contender. Smart money plays the Jags.
NFL betting trends
The Seahawks are 4-1 SU and ATS in their last five games against the Jaguars.
The total has gone over in four of the Seahawks' last five games against the Jaguars.
The Jaguars are 4-18 ATS in their last 22 games in the late afternoon.
All NFL odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.