What is the current spread for Patriots-Jaguars in the AFC Championship Game?
The New England Patriots (14-3) have massive edges in postseason experience and quarterback play heading into Sunday's AFC Championship Game, which are the main reasons they are listed as consensus nine-point home favorites against the Jacksonville Jaguars (12-6) at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
This is the seventh straight year the Patriots will be playing for a spot in the Super Bowl, and they have gone 3-3 in their previous six conference title game appearances (2-4 against the spread).
While New England has a losing mark against the number during that stretch of AFC Championship Game matchups, the team has actually covered the spread in the last two as part of a greater 7-1 ATS run in the playoffs overall over the past three years. In fact, the Patriots have won seven consecutive postseason home games (6-1 ATS), with the average margin of victory of 18.3 points.
Jacksonville is in a much different situation as a younger team without the same kind of experience in big games like this, although sometimes that can be a good thing. The Jaguars have been fearless during their current ride, using disrespect as motivation last week in a 45-42 road win over the Pittsburgh Steelers as 7-point underdogs at online sports betting sites.
That will not be the case this week at New England, because the defending Super Bowl champions respect them because they know how good their opponent's defense has been.
Fortunately for the Patriots, they have Tom Brady, a future Hall of Famer going for his sixth Super Bowl ring. Brady got off to a slow start last week yet he still put up great numbers with 337 passing yards and three touchdowns in a 35-14 rout of the Tennessee Titans.
An additional 19 members of the team have already advanced to the AFC Championship Game in their respective careers, which speaks volumes of the winning culture in Foxborough. And Brady will play in a record 12th conference title game, two more than Hall of Famers Gene Upshaw and George Blanda.
In the end, New England knows what is at stake here and simply needs to put pressure on Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles and keep Brady upright. The Patriots have won the past seven meetings with the Jaguars (5-2 ATS) and covered 10 of 11 overall, according to the OddsShark NFL Database.