Every so often, you get a blowout when the Jacksonville Jaguars play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but it's definitely the exception as opposed to the rule. Just three of 12 preseason games between the two teams have been decided by double-digit margins - a 31-19 win by the Jags in 2007 and a 29-18 Jacksonville triumph in 2006. The Bucs blanked the Jaguars 20-0 in 2002. The other nine preseason games saw an average margin of difference on the scoreboard of 4.88 points per game.
You can do similar math around the regular-season matchups between Jacksonville and Tampa Bay. The Jaguars drubbed the Buccaneers 41-14 at Jacksonville in 2011. But in the other five regular-season games where these teams opposed each other, the scores were all tight, including a pair of one-point wins - 24-23 by Jacksonville in 2007 and 17-16 by Tampa Bay in 1995. The average margin of victory in these five games was 4.2 points per game.
Cat-Like Reflexes - The Jacksonville defense was the catalyst that carried the Jaguars to the AFC Championship Game last season, and that reality is recognized via a number of team and player season prop wagers being offered at the online sportsbooks. Jacksonville was second in the NFL in quarterback sacks last season with 55, one behind the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Bet365 has placed the Jaguars as the +550 chalk to lead the NFL in this department in 2018. At +15000, the Bucs are the longest shot in this category.
Individually, Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell is Bet365's co-second betting choice at +1000 to lead the NFL in QB sacks this season. Campbell tied for second in the league last season with 14.5 sacks. Teammate and fellow defensive end Yannick Ngakoue is right behind Campbell at odds of +1200. Ngakoue collected 12 sacks last season, leaving him tied for eighth in the NFL. You can get odds of +2800 on Campbell winning the NFL's defensive player of the year award.
Jacksonville linebacker Telvin Smith is pegged by Bet365 as their co-third betting choice to finish as the NFL leader in tackles and assists at odds of +1200. To do so, Smith will be required to make a quantum leap up the ladder. He finished 21st in the league in 2017 with a combined total of 102 tackles and assists. Smith is also listed at odds of +6600 to win NFL defensive player of the year honors in 2018. Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David is assigned odds of +8000 of laying claim to the award.
That Would Be Super - Imagine a Tampa Bay-Jacksonville all-Florida Super Bowl LIII matchup. Now, imagine you'd bet on that game to happen. At MyBookie, you can do exactly that, place a a wager on a Jaguars-Buccaneers clash in Super Bowl LIII, and you'll get odds of +30000. Now, even though they were in the AFC Championship Game last season, remember that the Jags are one of four NFL teams to never play in a Super Bowl. The Bucs have made it to big game once, and granted, they did win Super Bowl XXXVII.
Still, the current Bucaneers are an extreme longshot to get there. Bovada offers odds of +7500 on a Tampa Bay Super Bowl LIII victory. You can play the Jags to win the big game at odds of +2000. Jacksonville is listed at +900 to win the AFC championship, while Tampa Bay is +3300 to be NFC champions. At +900, the Buccaneers are given the longest odds to wear the NFC South crown. The Jaguars are the +175 chalk to capture the AFC South title.
Bovada lists the odds of the Bucs making the playoffs at +450. They are offered a much better chance to miss the playoffs at odds of -650. The Jags are -145 to make the playoffs and +115 to be postseason absentees. Bet365 offers +300 odds on the Jaguars finishing the regular season as an AFC wildcard team. The Buccaneers are at +1200 to earn an NFC wildcard playoff berth.
Getting Defensive - Both the Jaguars and the Buccaneers have dogs in the hunt for the NFL's defensive rookie of the year award, but both of them would definitely have to be classified as underdogs. Tampa Bay defensive tackle Vita Vea, chosen 12th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft out of Washington, is listed with odds of +1800 to win the rookie honors by MyBookie. Defensive tackle Taven Bryan, plucked out of Florida with the 29th pick of the draft by Jacksonville, is given odds of +3300 to be the NFL's top defensive rookie.
Moving On Up - Tampa Bay's Dirk Koetter is No. 1 with a bullet on a list for which nobody wants to be the leading contender. At the start of the NFL preseason, Betway, placed Hue Jackson of the Cleveland Browns as the NFL head coach mostly likely to be the first fired in 2018. Now, it's Buccaneers head coach Koetter who has become the chalk. He's at odds of +250 to get the ziggy and be the first head coach out of a job. Jackson's odds are currently at +500.
QB, Or Not QB? - One guy nearly went to the Super Bowl last season. The other guy nearly went to jail. Surprisingly, though, neither is being embraced by the sportsbooks as if they will enjoy a season to remember in 2018. That shouldn't come as a shock in the case of Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston. He ran afoul of the law again in the offseason and will start the 2018 regular season sitting out a three-game NFL suspension because of it. Yet Bovada still lists Winston with +6000 odds to be the NFL MVP.
By comparison, Jacksonville's Blake Bortles, who was a quarter away from taking the Jags to Super Bowl LII until the New England Patriots rallied to win the AFC Championshp Game, is pegged at a distant +10000 to be MVP. Bortles is given odds of +3300 to lead the NFL interceptions and +7500 to be the NFL leader in passing yardage. Winston is pegged at odds of +15000 to be the 2018 NFL passing yardage leader.