Thursday Night Football – Week 8 – Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans – Free Preview and Betting Prediction
The Jaguars head to Nashville to face the Titans in an all AFC South battle. The game will be important to both teams, particularly in a division where there is no clear elite team. Even with a loss last week, the Titans are still very much in contention for the divisional crown. Jacksonville, however, is in a borderline must-win situation in Week 8.
The odds initially opened with the Titans as -3 favorites in this one. Betting action has been heavy on Tennessee, with about 65 percent of wagers coming in on the Titans. This has shifted the odds to -3.5 at most sportsbooks. At BetOnline.ag, the current odds are Titans -3.5 (-105) and Jaguars +3.5 (-115).
The total has seen a much larger move since opening at 46.5 points. It is now between 44 and 43 points at most sportsbooks. At BetOnline, the current odds are Over 43 (-115) and Under 43 (-105).
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The Jaguars – The Heat Is On
Jacksonville (once again) came into this season with high expectations. The hype surrounding them made it seem like they were finally ready to “take the next step,” otherwise known as compete and succeed at notching a playoff spot. So far, that hasn’t happened.
The Jaguars put a lot of money and draft capital into their defense this offseason. The acquisitions have not worked out so far. They are allowing 27 points per game defensively, and the offensive hasn’t looked too great either.
Their record dropped to 2-4 and last in the AFC South after losing 33-16 after hosting the Oakland Raiders last week. The Raiders have one of the worst defenses in the league so far, so their 16-point output was especially disappointing.
There are also rumors that head coach Gus Bradley is on the hot seat. Jacksonville likely overachieved last season, and now they are coming back down to earth. However, it may not be Bradley’s fault. Their offseason free agency moves have been a huge flop and Blake Bortles is still one of the most inaccurate quarterbacks in the league.
The Titans – Right Back In it
Most thought it was another lost year for the Titans after they started the season with a 1-3 record after four weeks. However, they have won two of their last three games but did lose a hard-fought game against the Colts last week 34-26 which put their record at 3-4.
The Titans are one of my least favorite teams in the league mostly due to Mike Mularkey, but they do have plenty of young talent. Mike Mularkey is a mediocre head coach, but Dick LeBeau has done wonders with their defense so far.
Laying -3.5 points is never fun, but I don’t see much of a reason to be interested in the Jaguars. The Titans defense is underrated, and there is no reason to think that Bortles is suddenly going to become an accurate quarterback overnight. He had an incredible opportunity against a weak Oakland defense last week and played extremely poorly.
Furthermore, Tennessee may not have to take many chances in this contest. The Jaguars have traditionally fared much better against the run than the pass, but that trend has reversed this year. DeMarco Murray should see plenty of holes in their front and the Titans may be able to control this game from start to finish if they get a lead.
Bortles is as turnover prone as any quarterback in the league in the past few years. He could hand this game to Tennessee if the Jaguars are forced to throw for much of the second half.
Pick: Titans -3.5