The Titans are coming off a decisive loss at home while Jacksonville comes off a road win. This might make your decision on Thursday night’s NFL picks a simple one, but are things that clear-cut?
The Titans did get spanked by the Carolina Panthers at home, as quarterback Cam Newton created a stir with his touchdown celebrations on Sunday. Tennessee’s offense was brought back down to earth after winning in overtime against the New Orleans Saints the previous week. Marcus Mariota has experienced a lot of struggles in his first NFL season. This was to be expected, of course, but the process is never fun when in the middle of a rough day, such as what he had against the Carolina defense, one of the best in the NFL. The Titans got schooled, and so even though no one else has beaten the Panthers this season, it’s not as though Tennessee should feel good about itself going into Thursday night.
Yet, as the Titans deal with a loss, the Jaguars are coming off a huge win in Baltimore against the Ravens. The NFL did admit on Monday that Jacksonville should not have received the untimed down at the end of the game which allowed for a game-winning 53-yard field goal by the Jags, but the win counts, and no one on the staff is going to complain about it or give it back. The Jaguars hung in against the Ravens in a way that previous Jacksonville teams might not have done. With Indianapolis losing Andrew Luck for multiple games, Jacksonville really could win the AFC South.
The NFL odds started with Jacksonville as a three-point favorite. That line has moved to 2.5 points in early betting. Bettors know that Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles is maddeningly inconsistent, and that Tennessee payed a much tougher team last week.
For the Titans, center Brian Schwenke is on injured reserve. So is linebacker Deiontrez Mount. So is defensive back Brandon Harris. Linebacker Zaviar Gooden is out indefinitely with a hamstring injury. Cornerback Perrish Cox is questionable with a hamstring injury. Cornerback Jordan McCourty is questionable with a groin injury. Wide receiver Kendall Wright is questionable with a knee injury. Defensive lineman Al Woods is questionable with a knee injury. Cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson is questionable with a hamstring injury. Wide receiver Justin Hunter is out for the season with an ankle injury.
For the Jaguars, defensive end Dante Fowler is on injured reserve. So is running back Corey Grant. So is guard Brandon Linder. Linebacker Dan Skuta is questionable for this game with a groin injury. Defensive tackle Michael Bennett is questionable with a hamstring injury. Wide receiver Bryan Walters is questionable with a concussion. Running back T.J. Yeldon is questionable with a foot injury. Wide receiver Allen Hurns is probable with a foot injury. Defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks is out indefinitely with a tricep injury. Safety James Sample is questionable with a shoulder injury. Wide receiver Rashad Greene is questionable with a thumb injury.
Handicapping The Game
The fact that Tennessee and Jacksonville are both relatively similar makes this game a toss-up. The level of competition each team faced last week suggests that Tennessee’s offense can do more in this game. Take the Titans with your NFL picks.
NFL Pick: Titans +2.5 at The Greek