The Patriots are favored by 7.5 points at home. The Over-Under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 45.
The Patriots have the history, a legendary coach, an MVP quarterback and five Super Bowl titles since the start of the 21st century. The Jaguars, well, they’re new to this spotlight.
He led the league with 4,577 yards passing to go with 32 TDs and eight INTs.
Defensively, the stats are more deceiving. As a team, the Patriots allowed 366 yards per game, fourth-worst in the NFL. But they allowed only 18.5 points per game, fifth-fewest.
After a brutal defensive start to the year, the Pats allowed 17 or fewer points in 11 of their last 13 games and single digits four times. They ended the season on a 12-1 roll.
It’s no surprise White is leaning Over, but he has evaluated all of the circumstances and identified a strong statistical trend that has him confidently backing one side. Find out what it is, and who to back, over at SportsLine.
Burkhead brings an element of versatility to the lineup for the Patriots, whose offense hit another level when Burkhead and Dion Lewis grabbed hold of the backfield reins from Mike Gillislee and James White. Burkhead and Lewis’ presence on the field does less to tip off the opposition to whether the play will be a run or a pass, which allows the Pats to create matchup issues by throwing out of heavy formations or running from spread-out looks.
Burkhead also has the ability to line up in the slot or out wide, taking advantage of linebackers and safeties as a route-runner. He became an important outlet for Tom Brady while healthy, and he also fared very well when operating as a goal-line and short-yardage back. Getting him back on the field will give the Pats yet another weapon that can help them overcome the Jaguars defense, which is one of the best in football.