The Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0) will have revenge on their minds Sunday when they host the defending AFC champion New England Patriots (1-0) as a two-point home underdog at sportsbooks. The Patriots edged the Jaguars 24-20 in last year's conference title game but fell short of covering as eight-point home favorites.
Why the Patriots can cover the spread
New England seemingly has a mental edge over most opponents thanks to head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady, who rallied his team against the Jags by throwing a four-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Danny Amendola with just under three minutes remaining for the game-winning touchdown.
The Patriots extended their series winning streak to eight games, according to the OddsShark NFL Database, with those meetings decided by an average margin of almost 16 points. More impressive though is the team's 21-game winning streak versus AFC South opponents.
Why the Jaguars can cover the spread
Jacksonville nearly pulled off the victory in January and this time will get to lean on home-field advantage in an effort to defeat the five-time Super Bowl champs.
In Week 1, the Jaguars played well on both sides of the ball in a 20-15 victory against the New York Giants despite losing running back Leonard Fournette to a hamstring injury. Fournette's status is officially listed as day-to-day, although you can bet he will do everything he can to get another shot at beating New England.
Fournette rushed for 76 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries in the AFC Championship Game.
Smart betting pick
Nearly all of the betting trends favor the Patriots in this matchup, based mostly on their historical dominance in this series. However, New England will be facing arguably the best defense in the league on the road as well as a bitter team that fell one game short of reaching the Super Bowl.
Jacksonville is riding a six-game home winning streak, with those six decided by an average of 15 points, so look for the host to avenge the most recent loss with a small upset that will have many talking about the new best team in the AFC.
NFL betting trends
The total has gone under in four of the Patriots' last five games against the Jaguars.
The total has gone under in four of the Jaguars' last five games.
The Patriots are 14-1 straight up and 12-3 against the spread in their last 15 games on the road.
All NFL odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.