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Bet on the NFLThe Jacksonville Jaguars depart north Florida and head for the "Big Easy" on Friday to meet the New Orleans Saints in a 2012 NFL preseason contest. The opening kick is scheduled for 8:00ET in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Nothing was easy for the Jaguars offense in 2011 as they were the NFL statistical cellar dwellers in passing yardage and total yards. Things improved considerably in last weeks exhibition opener against the reigning Superbowl champ Giants as the Jags were victorious 32-31.

In that one, Jacksonville compiled 356 yards of "O," with 156 of them coming on the ground. That was a more impressive feat considering running back Maurice Jones-Drew is not with the team due to a contract squabble.

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Jacksonville was also without highly touted rookie receiver Justin Blackmon due to contract issues of his own, but Blackmon is now in the fold and expected to make his pro debut on Friday versus the Saints. He should be receiving passes from second year pro QB Blaine Gabbert and backup Chad Henne. Starting CB Derek Cox and TE Zach Miller will be among the missing for the Jaguars.

New Orleans is 1-1 in its two preseason affairs to date, having beat Arizona in the traditional Hall of Fame game on August 5th, then losing to 2011 Superbowl runner-up New England 7-6 last week. The score in that one is a bit deceptive given Drew Brees played in only two series and the Saints were missing many of their key offensive contributors.

One of those playmakers missing in action was TE Jimmy Graham who remains out for this game along with versatile RB Darren Sproles who is nuring a sore knee. Wide receivers, Adrian Arrington and 2012 draftee Nick Toon are also out of this one. Look for Brees and the starters on offense to play most of the first half against the Jaguars.

This will be these two teams first preseason matchup ever. The Saints defeated the Jags 23-10 last year during the regular season.

New Orleans is a 6.5 point home favorite from betroyal.com sportsbook at a -$110. The moneyline is also $110/$100 on the under/over of 39 total points.

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