JAGUARS VS TITANS NFL BETTING PICKS AND PREDICTIONS: IS LOW TOTAL LOW ENOUGH?
At 6-6 the Titans still have a shot at the playoffs, but a win this week is a must and that won’t be easy against a Jacksonville Jaguars squad that is hungry to play spoiler after shutting out the Colts last week. We break down the best ways to wager this AFC South showdown on Thursday night.
Hey! The Cody Kessler experiment is a success, right? Right?!?!? I mean they have a perfect record with him as the starter. OK, jokes aside, Kessler essentially just made sure he didn’t screw up a magnificent performance by the Jags’ defense in their 6-0 win over the Colts last week. Kessler was efficient if unspectacular, completing 75 percent of his passes, but for a miniscule 6.3 yards per attempt. The big thing for Kessler though. No turnovers
But that also means the Jags aren’t likely to turn around their first quarter scoring woes. Jacksonville ranks second to last in the NFL in first quarter points per game at an average of just 2.5 and haven’t scored in the first quarter in three straight games. The Titans don’t exactly come flying out of the gates either at just 4.7 first quarter ppg. Mix in a Jags defense that is out to prove it isn’t washed up and this should this one should have a start on the scoreboard.
Prediction: First score FG (-105)
Things don’t really pick up for either team in the second quarter. The Jaguars and Titans rank 29th and dead last in first-half points scored per game, combing for a total of just a tick over 16 per first half. With that being the case it feels like oddsmakers are giving these teams a little too much credit with the first half total sitting at 18.5. Jacksonville and Tennessee rank 24th and 28th respectively in total yards, while both possess Top 10 defenses in terms of total yards and points allowed. This game should fall near the team’s combined first half scoring average and slip below the opening half total.
Prediction: First half total – Under 18.5
When these teams met back in Week 3, the Titans upset the Jags in a 9-6 barn burner as 10-point pups in what turned out to be a sign of things to come in Jacksonville. But the Jags were missing a big piece to their offense in that game as they were without star running back Leonard Fournette in that matchup. Fournette missed that game and most of the season with a hamstring injury before making his return in Week 10. And before getting suspended for Jacksonville’s matchup last week with the Colts due to on-field fight, the Jags were leaning on the LSU product heavily. In just 10 quarters of action Fournette racked up 358 yards and five touchdowns on nearly 27 touches per contest. Don’t expect that to change in this matchup, the Titans rank 20th in rush defense this season. Even if they sell out to stop Fournette, he’s is a good bet to add another major to his total.
Prediction: Leonard Fournette to score at any time (+120)
The last two times these teams have met there’s been a total of 45 points scored, and over their last four meetings there has been an average of just 38.3 total points scored per game. So, oddsmakers are expecting more of the same with a total currently on the board at 37.5 and why not? As noted before, these are two of the worst offenses facing off against strong defenses. And while we expect Fournette to score, we don’t expect him to get much help with Kessler under center.
On the other side of the field it has been a rough go for Marcus Mariota and Co. Since the Titans shocking upset of the Patriots in Week 10, they’ve been routed by division rivals Houston and Indianapolis before needing a last-minute touchdown to bet the lowly Jets at home last week. And while Mariota’s accuracy may be up, the production just isn’t there. The offensive line has also struggled, allowing Mariota to be sacked 38 times this season, while Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis average just 3.7 and 3.4 yards per carry respectively. If the Jags can keep Mariota contained on the ground this could be a long night for fans of offense.
Prediction: Under 37.5
FULL GAME SIDE
This is a must-win for the Titans and well that makes it difficult to have any faith in them. Over the last few seasons, the Titans just seem to have a propensity for not showing up in games they must have. While they have topped the Jaguars in five of the last six meetings (4-1-1 ATS), in battle of bad offenses the better defense should have the edge. And that is the Jaguars by a slight margin. On top of that Jacksonville’s D would like to get their swag back after a disappointing campaign. And nothing would do that more, than ending the season of the hated Titans. We like the road team to cover a low-scoring affair.