NFL upset of the week: London calling

Michael Reaves / Getty Images Sport / Getty

It was bound to happen eventually: Our first upset of the week that didn't at least cover. For all the hand-wringing about the 49ers having to start Trey Lance and stop Kyler Murray, the final yardage totals for Sunday's game were 338-304 in favor of San Francisco. It was a classic case of a good handicap that didn't quite get home, thanks to the 49ers going 1-for-5 on fourth down.

So, we fall to 3-2 (+4.6 units) on the moneyline for games that require a bet on something longer than +150 or +3.5 points.

There's no such thing as a crystal ball. We can't see the future. But if we could, we'd likely see the NFL community making jokes weeks from now about how the Jacksonville Jaguars still haven't won a game in North America. However, they are going to get a win this weekend during their annual trip across the pond.

The Jaguars' 37-19 loss to the Tennessee Titans this past week didn't tell the whole story. It started with an early dubious fumble that the Titans returned for a touchdown and went downhill from there.

Any fears about the Jaguars' offense not being able to move the ball should be alleviated based on the last two games. Jacksonville was actually the more successful team Sunday on a per-play basis:

OPPONENT OFF. YPP DEF. YPP
@ HOU 5.8 6.0
vs DEN 3.8 5.9
vs AZ 5.5 6.4
@ CIN 6.2 7.6
vs TEN 6.9 6.0

The offense has also gotten better since the coaching staff began using 2020 rookie standout James Robinson more, which helps a struggling offensive line. Robinson has run for 316 yards in the last three games.

Jacksonville's opponents this week, the Miami Dolphins, have given up 120-plus rushing yards in every game this season, so gaining yards between the 20s shouldn't be an issue for the Jaguars. Their problem is finishing drives, and Miami is third-worst in the league in touchdowns allowed per game.

Perhaps the Dolphins will show more desperation after losing four games in a row, but the key takeaway here is they've lost four games in a row.

Here's a look at the Dolphins' yards per play on offense and defense:

OPPONENT OFF. YPP DEF. YPP
@ NE 5.0 5.6
vs BUF 3.1 4.9
@ LV 4.2 6.1
vs IND 4.1 5.2
@ TB 5.9 7.8

The defensive numbers aren't especially impressive from a group that rooted its success last season in its ability to turn the other team over. The Dolphins have forced just six turnovers in five games and only two in their last three games.

Offensively, they've gone over 5 yards per play just once this season. Tua Tagovailoa may be able to return this week, but I believe Trevor Lawrence is the more capable quarterback.

For the Dolphins, it's a case of having an offense incapable of using the minimal weapons at its disposal to go along with a defense that could get carved by Lawrence and Robinson. The Jaguars have made the trip to London before, so I'll take a shot with a team that's slowly on the way up against one that's done nothing but disappoint this season.

Pick: Jaguars +165

Matt Russell is a betting writer for theScore. If there’s a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on Twitter @mrussauthentic.

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NFL upset of the week: London calling
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