Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans (-4)
Thu. 12/6, 8:20 p.m. ET
Three things you need to know before betting on Jacksonville-Tennessee:
1. AFC South rivals coming off home victories meet on Thursday night in Nashville when the Jaguars visit the Titans. While Jacksonville ended its seven-game losing skid (0-5-2 against the spread) in ugly fashion with a 6-0 win over the Colts, Tennessee halted its two-game losing streak with a 26-22 victory over the Jets on Sunday. The Jaguars have not won a road game since edging the Giants 20-15 in the season opener. In five games outside of Jacksonville since then (four on the road, one in London), they are 0-5 straight up and 0-4-1 against the spread. The Titans, meanwhile, are 14-3 (12-4-1 against the spread) in their past 17 games in Nashville’s Nissan Stadium, which includes going 10-1 straight up and 7-3-1 against the spread as a home favorite. The first victory in that span was a 36-22 blowout of Jacksonville on Oct. 27, 2016.
2. The Titans have been the superior team in this matchup lately, winning five of the last six overall (4-1-1 against the spread) and four straight at home. When these teams squared off in Week 3 in Florida, Tennessee won 9-6 as a double-digit underdog. Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota started that game on the sidelines with an arm injury before completing 12 of 18 passes for 100 yards and rushing for 51 yards on seven carries in relief of an injured Blaine Gabbert. The Titans are 5-2 in the seven games Mariota has played against the Jaguars, with the fourth-year pro completing 62% of his pass attempts for 1,317 yards, eight touchdowns and just two interceptions in the seven meetings. Tennessee has a significant advantage at the quarterback position in this game, as Jacksonville benched Blake Bortles prior to this past Sunday’s game and will once again start Cody Kessler under center. Kessler has not led an offense to more than 10 points in any of his last four starts. His Browns teams scored 10, seven and nine points in his final three starts for them in 2016, and his Jaguars managed just six points on Sunday, which turned out to be enough for Kessler to earn his first win in nine career starts.
3. If recent history is any indication, Jacksonville’s win over Indianapolis on Sunday should not be viewed as a game on which the Jaguars will build momentum. Doug Marrone’s teams are 1-13 record (3-11 against the spread) in the head coach’s five-year career when coming off an upset win as an underdog. And although the Jaguars’ defense put forth an impressive effort in shutting out Indianapolis on Sunday, Jacksonville is 1-6 against the spread under Marrone (he became the team’s head coach after Week 14 of the 2016 season) when coming off a game in which the team limited its opponent to an average of four yards or less per play.
Pick: Tennessee -4
Confidence Level: High (on a scale of Low/Moderate/High/Very High/Extremely High)