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Patriots open up as 9.5-point favorites over the Jaguars in the AFC Championship Game

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Is that a lot?

NFL Preseason: Jacksonville Jaguars Vs. New England Patriots At Gillette Stadium Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The New England Patriots opened as 9.5-point favorites over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Championship Game according to various books. Initial movement has the Patriots as between 8.5- and 9.5-point favorites.

The over/under opened at 46.5, which suggests a 28.0-18.5 New England victory.

Poll

Will the Patriots cover a 9.5-point spread?

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  • 54%
    Yes
    (761 votes)
  • 45%
    No
    (630 votes)
1391 votes total Vote Now

That’s a huge edge for New England. The last time a team was favored by this much in the conference title game was the 2007 Patriots as 14-point favorites over the San Diego Chargers. New England did not cover, but they did win 21-12.

The second-most recent team to be favored by this much was the 2001 Pittsburgh Steelers as 10-point favorites over the Patriots. New England won in a 24-17 upset.

Teams that are favored by 8.5-or-more points in the conference title game are a combined 17-2 in NFL history, with the Patriots upset over the Steelers and the 1998 Atlanta Falcons overtime victory over the Minnesota Vikings the lone exceptions.

Only three of the nine teams favored by 8.5-or-more over the past 20 years have covered the spread, so don’t expect New England to beat Jacksonville in a blowout. It’ll probably be closer than expected, even if the Patriots ultimately win.