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Kansas City Chiefs vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Week 1 Betting Predictions & Preview

Chiefs vs Jaguars NFL Handicapping

The Jacksonville Jaguars and Kansas City Chiefs finished with identical 2-14 records last season, but don’t let that fool you – there is a wide talent gap between these two teams.

Kansas City Chiefs (2-14) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14)
Date: Sunday, September 8, 2013
Time: 1:00 PM ET
Venue: Everbank Field
City: Jacksonville, Florida
O/U Odds: 41
Spread: Kansas City +3.5
Money Line: Kansas City -190, Jacksonville +165

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The Chiefs have to take to the road for their first game under new head coach Andy Reid, but there are few destinations more favorable than Jacksonville.

The Chief offense turned the ball over with regularity last season, but they brought in a great quarterback to help fix that. Alex Smith looked like a new man in two seasons under Jim Harbaugh, and he’ll be expected to play a bigger role in Andy Reid’s pass-first system.

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On that note, it’s important to think back to Smith’s time at Utah under Urban Meyer before labelling him as a game-manager. No one is happier to see Smith come to Kansas City than Dwayne Bowe. Bowe has been weighed down by a slew of poor quarterbacks in his time with the Chiefs, but he’ll finally have a chance to show what off his skills this year.

Jamaal Charles has put up gaudy rushing totals in two of the last three seasons.

He may not get the chance to do so again this year, but expect Charles’s role in the passing game to increase significantly. He could obliterate the 1,735 scrimmage yards he compiled last season. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

Defensively, the Chiefs will be better than they were last year just by showing up. There’s talent all over the field on that side of the ball, with outside linebacker Tamba Hali headlining a strong pass-rush, Derrick Johnson leading the defense from the middle linebacker position, and safety Eric Berry becoming a better playmaker with every game played.

The Jaguars don’t have quite the offensive arsenal at their disposal that the Chiefs do. They’ll rely heavily on Maurice Jones-Drew, whether he wants to be a Jaguar or not. Jones-Drew’s season ended early last year, but the team is holding out hope that he’ll be able to re-gain his old form.

They will certainly need him to, as the Jags have elected to hand the keys to the offense back to Blaine Gabbert for one more year. Gabbert will face a tall order in Week 1 without his top receiver, as Justin Blackmon sits out with a suspension.

The Jaguar defense continues to be plagued by their inability to generate a pass rush, and the front office did little to fix that in the offseason.

Paul Posluzsny and Russell Allen are two of the better players they have on defense, but they’re both just tackle guys, neither has proven to be a consistent playmaker.

The Chiefs are positioned well for a bounce-back season after last year’s disappointing campaign.

The team is not short on talent, sending six players to the Pro Bowl last season, and the Jaguars simply don’t have the skill to match up with them.

The Jaguars went 2-6 ATS at home last season.

The play: Kansas City -3.5

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