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Jacksonville Jaguars Odds Preview

With the Colts’ dominance and the flashier offenses in Houston and Tennessee, the Jacksonville Jaguars are often the AFC South’s forgotten team when bettors place their wagers at Sportsbook.ag.

The truth is that the Jags have been a major disappointment of late. Last season, a popgun offense and toothless defense relegated them to the division’s basement. Will Jacksonville’s offseason moves cause a quick reversal of fortune this year? Jaguars Odds to win Division: +1800 Regular Season Win Total: 7 (OV +120, UN -140) Super Bowl odds at Sportsbook.ag: 100 to 1 The books are conservative in their 2010 forecast for Jacksonville – largely because the Jags’ offense, which ranked in the NFL’s bottom half last season, looks remarkably similar to last year’s group. Maurice Jones-Drew is the major bright spot – he’s one of the league’s truly elite backs – but does he have enough help? Quarterback David Garrard has fallen long and hard since he threw 18 touchdowns and just three picks in 12 games three years ago. Last season, he threw just 15 touchdown passes for the second straight campaign and was picked off 10 times. He’s a borderline caretaker. It doesn’t help that Garrard lacks a high-end receiving option. Mike Sims-Walker blossomed last season but did most of his damage in the first half. He could easily be a one-year wonder.

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Defensively, Jacksonville was an embarrassment last season. As a team, the Jaguars recorded just 14 sacks in 16 games; that’s not a misprint. Fourteen! Jacksonville set out to improve its pass rush this offseason. It picked up Aaron Kampmann from Green Bay and made what many critics felt was a first-round reach when it drafted Tyson Alualu. Jacksonville also acquired linebacker Kirk Morrison from Oakland. So far, however, reports from camp (and from watching their preseason games) suggest the Jags continue to struggle defensively despite their new personnel. It’s enough to wonder if coaching is the problem. The Jags have a few duds on their schedule but it will certainly test their shaky “D” early on. They’ll see the high-octane offenses of San Diego, Indianapolis, Dallas, and Houston over their first nine games. Jacksonville isn’t a true bottom dweller; it’s a cut above whipping boys like the Bills, Browns, or Rams. But it has to improve from within to earn anything close to bettors’ trust this season.