Thursday night features an AFC South showdown as the Titans look to rebound from a loss while the Jags try for 2 in a row. Let's review what the NFL odds makers are offering & cash in our NFL picks.
Tennessee Titans (2-7 SU, 4-5 ATS)
The Titans offense had none of the swagger from the previous week when it went into overdrive and outlasted Drew Brees and the Saints 34-28. Last Sunday there was no sedentary secondary to be exploited as their Week 10 opponent, the undefeated Carolina Panthers, would grant no such opportunities for a Titans' offense looking for an identity. In the end Marcus Mariota was just 16-of-24 for 185 yards, no TD passes and one pick in what would be a 27-10 defeat to the still perfect Carolina Panthers.
Tennessee is now 2-7 on the season and ranks in the bottom third of the league in points scored, passing yards and rushing yards. Their offense has had only two big games and not so coincidentally came against two of the league's weakest defenses. Such was not the case last week against a world class Carolina stop unit but if there is any good news it's that Mariota's protection has been solid and was better than that against a menacing Panthers defensive front. Mariota was sacked just once and hit only four times last Sunday which will keep the rookie upright and progressing week after week.
Jacksonville Jaguars (3-6 SU, 5-4 ATS)
Any win is a good win in the National Football League and the Jags will savor their 22-20 victory over the Ravens in Baltimore last week despite the fact it came against arguably the very worst team in the league. It was only their third victory of the season and it came off the foot of embroiled kicker Jason Myers who had missed a chip shot earlier in the game. However, with no time remaining it was a bomb from 53 yards that stayed true, split the uprights and ended a 13-game road losing streak that spanned all the way back to December of 2013.
Blake Bortles was as good as he needed to be with 22-of-46 passing for 188 yards and two touchdown passes as well as one interception. The Jacksonville ground game could not get in gear with T.J. Yeldon's 61 yards and the entire rushing attack gaining only 90 yards on the day. However, it was the dynamic duo of Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns who were on the receiving end of both of Bortles' TD strikes. The Jags currently rank in the bottom third of the major categories (points scored, points allowed and rushing yards) but are 16th in passing yards averaging 247.7 per game.
NFL Betting Analysis
This matchup revolves around a pair of young guns under center who have demonstrated that they, when given time, can get the ball where it needs to go. Neither team is playoff ready and both are merely struggling for mediocrity at this point. What sets these two teams apart in my estimation is the set of receivers that the Jaguars boast. The Allen Twins, Robinson and Hurns, are legitimate playmakers and to have both at Bortles' disposal is a bonus any quarterback would enjoy.
On the other hand the Titans have a tight end as their leading receiving in Delanie Walker. Mariota does not have the tools around him as evidenced by their 27th ranked offense averaging a lackluster 18.8 points per game. Neither team boasts much of a running attack so this one should boil down to which passing attack can thrive on Thursday. But Tennessee does one thing seemingly well and that is stop the pass as the No. 3 ranked pass defense. However that stat is misleading because the Titans have fallen so far behind so often this season that their opponents begin running the ball to chew up the clock. If you look behind this stat you will find that Tennessee actually ranks 27th in yards per pass attempt.
If you have been including Jacksonville in your NFL picks recently then you have cashed three consecutive tickets with covers against the Bills, Jets and Ravens. As I review the NFL odds this Monday morning I see an opportunity for the Jags to cover yet again.
NFL Pick: Play Jacksonville -3 (+100) at JustBet