Getting Week 3 underway will be a AFC South matchup on Thursday Night Football. The Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2) will host the Tennessee Titans (1-1). Kickoff is set for 8:20 EST at TIAA Bank Field and will be televised on the NFL Network.
Oddsmakers opened up this line at a pick’em, but as of right now the Titans are a 1.5-point road favorite. The total for this one is at 40 points.
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Jags vs Titans Vegas Odds & Game Preview
After an impressive 43-13 upset win at Cleveland as a 5.5-point dog in Week 1, the Titans lost at home to the Colts 19-17 as a 3-point favorite. For a team trying to take that next step and be a serious playoff threat, you can’t be losing at home to a division rival.
The defense more than held their own against the Colts, limiting Indianapolis to just 288 yards and forcing two turnovers. That’s after they tormented Baker Mayfield and the Browns in Week 1.
The offense simply wasn’t good enough. Tennessee totaled just 244 yards. Marcus Mariota has to do more with his arm, as he was just 19 of 28 for 154 yards.
It’s been a tough start to the year for Jacksonville. The Jaguars had to open the season at home against an offensive juggernaut in the Chiefs. They lost that game 40-26 and in the process lost starting quarterback Nick Foles.
Rookie Garner Minshew played well in relief of Foles against Kansas City and got the start in Week 2. He wasn’t great, but nearly led them to a win. Minshew made several big plays on a 68-yard TD drive in the final seconds. Instead of kicking the extra point and likely going to OT, Doug Marrone opted to go for 2 and they didn’t covert.
Jaguars did easily cover as a 9.5-point dog in the 13-12 setback. The defense also was much better. After giving up 40 points and 491 yards to Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, Jacksonville held Deshaun Watson and the Texans to just 281 yards.
This series has been on Titans of late. Jaguars swept the season series for a second straight year in 2018. Last year the Titans won 30-9 at home (-5.5) and 9-6 on the road (+10). Tennessee is a perfect 4-0 ATS in the 4-game winning streak.
Free Pick & NFL Betting Prediction: Jaguars +1.5
My early lean here would be to back the Jaguars as a home dog. I was against Jacksonville in Week 1 at home against the Chiefs and was all over them as a 9-point dog in Week 2. Given how big an advantage it is for the home team in these Thursday games on short rest, I would actually have Jacksonville favored here.
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Two big reasons why I like the Jaguars last week against Houston, is I was confident Jacksonville’s defense was way better than it looked against the Chiefs (Mahomes will make any defense out there look bad) and I liked what I saw from rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew.
While the concerns over the defense aren’t likely there, I still think people will be scared to back Minshew against a strong Titans defense. It’s not easy for any unit playing on just 3 days of rest, but I think it’s really hard on the road team to play well defensively in these games.
There’s also nothing about the Tennessee offense that gets me excited. They are as conservative as anyone with all the running and short passes they use. A lot of people will point to the 43 points they scored at Cleveland in Week 1, but I don’t think that Brown’s defenses is as good as people think and the Titans only had 15 points with less than 2 minutes to play in the 3rd quarter.
Titans are not the team you want to be taking in this spot, as they are just 16-34-3 in their last 53 vs a team with a losing. They are also just 4-12-1 ATS last 17 on the road vs a team with a losing home record.
I know it’s early, but there’s a big difference in the locker room for teams that are 1-1 and teams that are 0-2. Jacksonville will be treating this like there season is on the line. Give me the Jags +1.5!