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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

NFL Predictions 2014 Week 16: Titans Vs. Jaguars

Tennessee Titans Vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: JAX -3 (Pinnacle)

Market Watch

Here's something we don't see everyday .. the Jags are a favorite.  Not only are they a favorite, but they've gone from a -2 on the look-ahead line, to a -3 on the opener.  The Titans have been so bad this year that 81% of the bets so far are coming in on Jacksonville. UPDATE: This line has now moved off the key number of '3', to -3.5.

Bottom Line

It's not everyday that a point spread remains on the board when a starting QB is "questionable", but this is the situation for the Jaguars. At the same time, does it matter if Bortles is playing?  He's been pretty terrible this year, and a few of the 8 sacks he took last week were because of him holding the ball too long. Granted, he doesn't have a lot to work with either. His main targets on the outside are Shorts and Hurns, and Gerhart is a backup RB at best.

The good news for the Jags is the Titans defense ranks 28th in the league.  There just isn't anything that they do very well, so it will simply be a question of which unit is less awful.

It should be different when Tennessee have the ball. I've crapped on the Jags a lot over the last two years, but they do deserve credit for their defensive play this year. They are a legit middle of the pack unit, led mostly by a 2nd overall rank in adjusted-sack rate. That should bode favorably for them as they go up against a 30th ranked OL. The Jags are also in the top 10 inside the red zone, so if the Titans do get close to scoring, we might be seeing more of Succup.

I might be half-crazy for actually picking a side in this game, but the Titans have been in a free-fall for most of the season. Jacksonville isn't much better, but at least they can hang their hat on a solid defense and home-field advantage on a short week.  I may live to regret it, but I'll take a chance on the Jags.

UPDATE: I'd be on the fence about taking the Jaguars at -3.5 now that we've seen a line move. I still think they are the side to play, and I wouldn't blame anyone for still rollin' with them, but given the fact that -3 was available all week, I'd have no choice but to pass.

NFL pick: JAX -3.

Read more: Week 16 picks.
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