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Everyone likes Jaguars this week

December 19, 2007|Lonnie White | Times Staff Writer

With six consecutive victories against the point spread, the Jacksonville Jaguars are on a roll for NFL bettors who like to place money behind positive trends.

Jacksonville, 10-4 overall and against the spread, opened this week as an 11-point home favorite over the Oakland Raiders and the line had increased to 13 by Tuesday.

Coach Jack Del Rio has done a great job of putting together the Jaguars, who have the same record against the spread as the undefeated New England Patriots.

Only Green Bay (11-2-1) and Cleveland (11-3) have covered the line more than the Jaguars, who are 4-0 against the spread in their last four games as a home favorite.

For the Raiders, 4-10 overall and 6-8 against the spread, Sunday's game will be the third time this season that they've been double-digit underdogs and the fifth time the Raiders have been underdogs by at least 9 1/2 points.

But Oakland, which has been favored in only four games this season, has a couple of positive trends working in its favor.

The Raiders are 4-1 against the spread in their last five games against AFC opponents, including last week against Indianapolis. Oakland was a 9 1/2 -point home underdog and covered in a 21-14 loss to the Colts.

The hottest action for Jacksonville's game against the Raiders?

Check out the over/under, which is listed at 39 combined points.

The over is 7-0-1 in the Jaguars' last eight games and 4-0-1 in their last five games against AFC opponents. The over is also 4-1 in the Raiders' last five games overall and 4-1 in their last five games as an underdog.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who clinched the NFC South title last week, are listed as seven-point road favorites over the San Francisco 49ers.

However, the Buccaneers have not won a game on the West Coast since they defeated Oakland, 48-21, in the Super Bowl in San Diego (January 2003).

Since then, Tampa Bay has lost twice at San Francisco and once at Arizona, San Diego, Oakland and Seattle.

Pro basketball

In the NBA regular season, where each team plays 82 games, betting on below-the-radar games can be a challenge. Check out tonight's Sacramento-at-Milwaukee matchup for example.

The Kings are 9-14 overall and 13-10 against the spread heading into Tuesday's NBA schedule. The Bucks are 10-14 overall and 11-13 against the spread. Pedestrian numbers at best. But when the game is looked at a little deeper, a few trends jump out.

Milwaukee, listed as a six-point favorite over the Kings, is 8-2 at home and 12-3 against the spread in its last 15 games against teams from the Pacific Division.

Sacramento, which has been playing without injured starters Mike Bibby and Kevin Martin, has covered in two of its last three road games.

But the Kings failed to cover in a 96-93 home loss against the Bucks last week.

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lonnie.white@latimes.com

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