Fresh off a solid 4-1 week in the NFL during the last set of games, we’ll be looking to replicate that success as we march into Week 8 of the regular season. Lately these Thursday night games have been duds, and while I could lie to you and say this week’s divisional match-up promises to be electric – there’s nothing all that intriguing about either the Jaguars or the Titans.
These AFC South teams enter this week probably both a tad disappointed with how their seasons have unfolded. For the Jaguars, this was supposed to be a ‘next step’ year where their young and talented squad potentially competed for a post-season spot. That hasn’t been the case. Last week, the Jags were handled easily by the Raiders on home turf, showing Jacksonville just how far they still need to go.
On the other side, the Titans were and potentially remain a super darkhorse to win this division and make some noise in the post-season – on the backs of their defence. That said, last week was a huge letdown for Tennessee, as they let multiple leads slip away, en route to a tough loss to the division leading Colts on their home field.
With both groups entering already with four losses, surely they don’t want the losses to mount. Both teams likely think they’re better than the opposition, and Thursday night will give us good insight as to who is ready to take that next step in a wide open AFC South. Read on below for full game details and an official betting selection.
Jaguars vs. Titans Betting Odds:
Jacksonville Jaguars +3.5 (-110)
@ Tennessee Titans -3.5 (-110)
Over 44 (-110)
Under 44 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Jaguars vs. Titans Pick:
Expect the key to tonight’s game to come down to Tennessee and running the football. While Mariota himself should have some success, ultimately running the ball on the Jags is how you can beat them. Jacksonville is scheduled to be without their key run-stuffer in Roy Miller and this should tilt the balance to Tennessee. DeMarco Murray is in for a big evening.
Mariota has been inconsistent of late, but bet on him to be on against Jacksonville. The Jags won’t offer much resistance, and are fresh off an outing that saw Derek Carr and the Raiders simply torch them. Look for the Titans to have more success than normal in moving the ball, and the run game should open things up for an improved passing attack.
On the other side of the ball, don’t expect much establishment of the run game from the Jaguars. Tennessee’s defence has improved mightily in 2016 and what they excel in is stuffing the run. Both TJ Yeldon and Chris Ivory won’t have a chance to do much. This will put added emphasis on Blake Bortles to make things happen, something that has proven fruitless over his young career. Bortles and his receivers haven’t thrived this year as many predicted, and though Tennessee has some holes in their secondary, it’s hard to trust Bortles against anybody right now.
It’s also worth mentioning that the Titans do boast an elite pass rush. They make up for some flaws within coverage by getting to the quarterback at will. The Jags won’t be able to stop them either. Look for Tennessee to blitz with regularity, and force a shaky Bortles into mistakes.
While I’d prefer to get the Titans at -3, it doesn’t seem like the line will get there. This makes sense as the Titans have proven to be a better team than the Jaguars. With a short week and less time to prepare, I’m a big proponent of simply taking the better side, and this week they get to play at home too! The Titans have done a lot of good stuff that haven’t translated to wins – yet. But look for them to start stringing a few together, and potentially make some post-season noise in a wide open AFC South.
PICK = Titans -3.5 (-110)