NFL betting lines for Friday include one of the most interesting sports betting matchups of the weekend as Philadelphia hosts Jacksonville in the preseason opener.
The Jacksonville Jaguars massive roster overhaul and youth movement paid dividends last year as they entered December in playoff position before fading in the stretch run. 2010 is a year of high expectations that the Jags can finish off what they start and reach the post season.
The Philadelphia Eagles meanwhile are full of excitement as they begin a new era with Kevin Kolb taking over as quarterback for Donovan McNabb, who was traded to NFC East Division arch rival Washington.
The two teams will kickoff on Friday night at 7:35 PM Eastern Time and SBGGlobal.com Sportsbook opened with the Eagles as a 3-point favorite with an over/under total of 33.5.
The Jaguars finished last year with a record of 7-9 straight up and just 5-11 against the spread with an even 8-8 mark on over/unders. The running game was Jacksonville’s strength last year as they ranked 10th in the NFL for rushing yards. They will attempt to improve the passing game and work out the kinks during preseason.
Quarterback David Gerrard enters the 2010 season under fire as he has not developed the way the Jaguars had hoped and is known for sloppy study habits and a less than stellar work ethic. Head coach Jack Del Rio in fact nixed a radio show that Gerrard was a part of on Fridays to emphasize the importance of focus. Gerrard has regressed in his 3 years on the job.
The Jaguars also need to show significant improvement on defense as they ranked 24th in points allowed. Del Rio said that improved tackling is a priority in the preseason.
Jacksonville is cash strapped and suffering from weak attendance and they could use a good preseason to increase interest. Del Rio has an aggressive attitude heading into the exhibition slate.
“In many respects in the NFL, you’ve got to take what you want,” Del Rio said. You’ve got to get some goals and then go after them.”
The Eagles finished 11-5 straight up and 9-7 against the spread last year but were dominated in the playoffs at Dallas and decided to go with a youth movement, thus the McNabb trade.
The Eagles will work to shore up the pass defense in preseason as well as to establish a running game that must improve from its 22nd ranking of last year.
Despite being one of the youngest teams in the NFL the Eagles expect a good preseason and 9th consecutive playoff berth.