If there’s anyone who can bring a buzz to an NFL franchise — even when it has been years since the last instance — it’s Tim Tebow. The funny thing is the Jacksonville Jaguars have been generating buzz all year so far. Not all of it surrounds TebowMania, but could this week’s hoopla affect how people bet online when it comes to the Jaguars?
While potentially bringing back a below-average pro quarterback and sticking him at tight end for the first time in his life seems to defy logic, there may be some positives. First, he’s a media-attention magnet, and maybe that will take some of the crushing pressure off of rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence — this year’s No. 1 overall draft pick.
Also, Tebow’s a Jacksonville native, and the city is less than two hours away from Gainesville where he won the Heisman Trophy (2007) and two national titles (2006 and 2008) for the University of Florida.
Even if Tebow somehow makes the active roster this fall, he would help the downtrodden franchise sell tickets. It would seem far-fetched to think anyone in the Jaguars organization would ever publicly admit that’s a motive, but it probably doesn’t hurt that he’d be popular with fans.
Whether they kick off the regular season against the Houston Texans with Tebow or without him, the Jaguars are making headlines. New head coach Urban Meyer, who recruited Tebow to Florida way back in 2005, is turning heads. Some may question the methods, but he’s certainly making a splash this year.
Since making the AFC Championship game and missing the Super Bowl by only four points following the 2017 season, the Jaguars have won only 12 games since — including only one last year. That set up the club to grab Lawrence in the draft.
Already, the NFL odds are out, and the pickup of Lawrence, etc., seem to have had an effect. Take a look at this:
Jaguars finish above 6.5 wins: +100
Jaguars get out of the NFL’s cellar and finish third in AFC South: -105
Trevor Lawrence wins AP Offensive Rookie of the Year: +275
That’s a far cry from the negativity of going 1-15 last year. Whether Tebow is a part of it or not, the Jaguars appear to have a chance to take a major step forward after a brutal 2020 campaign.
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Brian McLaughlin is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of BMac and Herd’s FCS Podcast. He has written for The Sporting News, headed up the PARADE Magazine High School All America teams, covered FCS college football for HERO Sports … and covered Tim Tebow his senior season in the 2005 Florida high school football playoffs. Follow BMac on Twitter @BrianMacWriter.