Following much speculation around the situation, Super Bowl 52 MVP Nick Foles has not taken long to find his next opportunity in the NFL as he has expected to ink a deal to join the Jacksonville Jaguars once the free agency period begins later this month.
The move has quickly created buzz around the Jaguars that they could potentially have a solution under center that could firmly replace and upheave the disappointment that has simmered from Blake Bortles’ lackluster play last year. This had even led to him losing his starting job down the stretch of the regular season. All of this has pushed out some excitement around the franchise ahead of next season.
DOES FOLES MAKE THE JAGS CONTENDERS?
In the last few years, the Jaguars have stockpiled talent on the defensive side of the ball along with a strong running game led by running back Leonard Fournette that pushed them to an AFC Championship berth in 2017. However, what has prevented them from taking a similar step forward last season was the subpar play under center from Bortles.
The expected addition of Foles provides them a quarterback that has shown he can step up huge in those major moments with his arm. There will be an adjustment period, but he can be the stabilizing force that could give them the lift into contention for much more than just a playoff appearance.
Last year, the Jaguars fell well short of reaching the playoffs winning just five games, which was half the total of what they garnered the year prior. There is an opportunity for the team to take a significant stride forward this upcoming season with the potential that Foles brings to the position.
WHAT DO THE SPORTSBOOKS THINK?
With the move not yet official, the Jaguars still remain a longshot to win Super Bowl 54 let alone the AFC Championship. According to FanDuel Sportsbook, they are currently +2700 to win their conference, which is the 10th-best odds at this juncture.
These projections are likely to improve when Foles is officially in the fold in the coming days, but it is clear that they will have an uphill battle to climb into the top tier in the NJ sports betting odds for next season.
THE PATRIOTS ARE STILL FAVORED
Although there will be plenty of moves ahead in the offseason, the Patriots still remain the standard bearer in the NFL and especially the AFC that was only reverberated louder after winning Super Bowl 53.
FanDuel Sportsbook, one of the top NJ online sportsbooks, does have the Kansas City Chiefs slightly ahead over the Patriots at +310 to +320 to win the AFC next season, they are still the team to beat.
…BUT REST OF AFC SOUTH WILL BE A TOUGH BATTLE
The addition of Foles will be a definite step in the right direction for the Jaguars to add balance to their offense aside their strong running game led by Fournette.
However, the rest of the AFC South division has stacked up toward being a tough go around.
The Indianapolis Colts have seemingly pushed their way back up the mountaintop as the team to beat in the division. FanDuel Sportsbook backs that belief by placing them with the third-best odds to win the AFC Championship game at +750 behind only the Chiefs and Patriots.
Meanwhile, both the Houston Texans and Tennesse Titans each lie ahead of the Jaguars in the current betting odds at +1300 and +2600 respectively. The Texans are coming off winning the AFC South division title while the Titans have proven to be a formidable foe just narrowly missing out on their second straight playoff berth. These odds will improve for Jacksonville once Foles officially signs, but it does demonstrate how tough the AFC South division has become.