We expected the AFC South to be wide open when Andrew Luck’s retirement evened the playing field, and that’s definitely been the case through the first two weeks with three teams at 1-1. The Jacksonville Jaguars are the only division team without a victory and they look to pick themselves up off the mat after a disappointing loss to Houston by hosting division rival Tennessee Titans on Thursday night to get Week 3 of NFL season underway. The Titans have won four straight in the series and current NFL odds have them as 1.5-point favorite. Kickoff from TIAA Bank Field is set for 8:20 p.m. ET on NFL Network.
NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu
Tennessee Titans -1
Jacksonville Jaguars +1
Tennessee at Jacksonville Odds Analysis
The teams haven’t inspired much confidence in backers and as a result the early line has bounced around. The Titans opened -2.5, but with a chance to start the campaign 2-0 they let one slip last week against the Colts. The line was wagered down a point and early money is split evenly between the sides so we probably won’t see much action on the line unless something drastic happens between now and kickoff. Playing without Nick Foles last week, the Jags had a chance for the victory instead settling for the cover win as 8.5-point road dogs to even their ATS record at 1-1. Oddsmakers aren’t anticipating much offense with the current total of 40 the lowest on the Week 3 board.
That opening game outburst must have been an aberration with the Titans back to their old offensive ways in a disheartening loss to the Colts. One week after scoring 43 points, their most since the 2016 season, the Titans managed just 242 yards falling to Indy 19-17 as a 3-point favorite. The game also fell well below the closing total of 43.5. The inability to extend drives proved fatal with the Titans converting just one of 10 third down chances. That put a lot of pressure on the defense and the group responded for the most part. A late Indy touchdown proved the difference.
Credit Doug Marrone for being aggressive and going for the win with a 2-point conversion attempt late in Sunday’s matchup with Houston. The try failed and the Jaguars were handed a 13-12 loss, but the team backed their coach. And it looked like Leonard Fournette may have cracked the plane. The officials said no, however. One player who isn’t backing his coach is Jalen Ramsey, who demanded a trade after a sideline spat with Marrone. This is a tipping point for the Jags, who are already playing with backup QB Gardner Minshew. The defense regained its form after getting shredded by Kansas City in the opener, harassing Deshaun Watson with four sacks.
Tennessee’s failures on third down were overlooked in the season opener when the Titans used an avalanche of big plays on both sides of the ball and Cleveland’s undisciplined approach to upend the Browns. They converted just 2 of 10 chances in that game using six first downs by penalty to extend drives. That wasn’t the case last weekend and likely won’t be on Thursday. The Titans were even worse on third down against the Colts going 1 of 10. They ran 10 less plays and possessed the ball for four fewer minutes. The defense got worn down in the second half when the Colts staged their comeback.
If not for a record-setting performance by Derrick Henry, the last meeting between the teams would be just another game. The Titans completed the season sweep with their fourth straight win over the Jags, 30-9, behind Henry’s franchise record 238 rushing yards. He amassed that total on just 16 carries with one tote going as far as one could go on the football field. Henry matched a NFL record with a 99-yard scamper, one of his four rushing touchdowns for the game. Tennessee covered the 5.5-point spread for its fourth straight ATS win. In that span the Jags scored a total of 41 points.
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