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Los Angeles Rams vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Point Spread - Pick

Los Angeles Rams (3-2 SU, 2-3 ATS) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-2 SU, 3-2 ATS)
Week 6 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 4:05PM EST
Where: EverBank Stadium, Jacksonville, Florida
TV: Fox

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: LAR +2.5/JAC -2.5
Over/Under Total: 43.5

The Los Angeles Rams come to EverBank Stadium on Sunday to face the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jacksonville was tremendous on Sunday, with an upset 30-9 road win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. We again saw a playmaking defense and better-rounded offense manifest and there is no doubt that the Jags are more-competitive this season than what has been seen recently. They hope for more of the same when they host the Rams on Sunday. The Rams fell on Sunday, coming up short to the Seahawks, 16-10, to drop to 3-2. They look for better when they visit the Jags this week. This looks like a good game between two teams with a recent losing pattern who appear to have righted the ship in 2017.

All those high draft picks have really started to pay off for the Jaguars. Rookie Leonard Fournette has given this offense a new look and made them less-dependent on a passing-attack that wasn't always applied consistently. But on the defense, we see a gaggle of playmaking youngsters who are really aggressive and get after it. They're still a work-in-progress and we've seen their formula for success fall flat this season a few times already. But on a given day, they can really be a handful on both sides of the ball. Teams expecting an easy win on their schedule against Jacksonville, as has been the case in recent seasons, will be searching for answers, as the Texans, Ravens, and Steelers have already found out. In their three wins against those favored teams, the Jaguars won by a combined score of 103-23.

On Sunday, Blake Bortles was quiet, throwing for only 95 yards. But they didn't need aerial acrobatics, with RB Leonard Fournette so dominant on the day with 181 yards and two touchdowns, including a 90-yard TD gallop. Fournette not only gives them the run-game they have been missing for so long, but he also gives them some explosive and game-changing potential. Chris Ivory added some useful runs and they're really running the ball well at this point in the season. Without Allen Robinson, the aerial game is diminished, though Marqise Lee has been stepping up and Allen Hurns remains a dangerous weapon.

In two of the Jaguars wins this season, the defense has outscored the opposing offense and they did it on Sunday against the Steelers. Both Telvin Smith and Barry Church returned Roethlisberger interceptions for touchdowns. Teshaun Gipson also picked off two balls, with Jalen Ramsey getting another. With AJ Bouye back there in the secondary with all these playmakers, they're not just a group that makes plays, but they also are very stout. In the front-seven, they are getting big plays from Dante Fowler, Myles Jack, Calais Campbell, Malik Jackson, and others. No defenses have scored more points or made a bigger impact this season than this defense.

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Other than a brief spurt in the second quarter, the Rams were shut down against Seattle at home on Sunday. Their newfound high-flying offense was grounded against a good Seattle defense, even though the LA defense played fairly well. Despite the loss, there is hope moving forward for the Rams, who seem to have formed a new identity under first-year head coach Sean McVay. There have been a lot of offenses that have been made to look bad by the Seattle defense in recent seasons. Be that as it may, the Rams should be eager to atone for last week in this matchup against the Jaguars. Another loss would be disconcerting after a 3-1 start.

The LA Rams offense was not on-point on Sunday. Jared Goff had his worst game of the season, completing just 22 of 47 passes with 289 yards, no touchdowns and a pair of picks. An improved offensive line struggled in spots in keeping the defense out of the pocket and Goff was often under pressure. Other than a 27-yard TD run by Tavon Austin, the run game was not getting off, with Todd Gurley getting only 43 yards on 14 carries. Tyler Higbee led the team in receiving with 98 yards, as Cooper Kupp, Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods, and others chipped in. Still, it was a bad day for the offense. Again, this is not an offense that can be counted on to deliver every week, especially when playing good defenses. But compared to last year, they're a lot better—with Goff playing a more confidently and more tools with which he can work.

After giving up 96 points total in their last three games, we saw a more-robust Rams' defense on Sunday, giving up only 16 points. With an offense that wasn't giving them a lot of support, the defense was pretty good. They gave up just 241 yards in total offense to the Seahawks and they were especially stout against the run. Alec Ogletree, Robert Quinn, and Matt Longacre were getting after it and had sacks on the day. Aaron Donald was again big in the middle and was making plays. Safety John Johnson picked off a pass and had a long return. They haven't always been that stout this season, but there were good signs on Sunday, albeit in a losing effort.

This is a tough one to call, with both teams snapping out of long losing funks, but hardly at the point where you would call them dependable. Eggs will still get laid from time to time. Jacksonville has seen more dimensions open up in their offense, but might find the going a little tough if the Rams "D" plays like it did last week. By the same token, if the Jaguars defense keeps making plays and scoring points, it could make life hard on a Rams' offense that was probably made to look a little better than they really are in the first handful of games. I'm taking the Jags at home.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Jacksonville Jaguars minus 2.5 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Rams vs. Jags game from the comfort of home by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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