Tennessee Titans (8-6 SU, 6-8 ATS) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-12 SU, 6-8 ATS)
NFL Week 16
Date/Time: Saturday, December 24, 2016 at 1:00PM EST
Where: EverBank Field - Jacksonville, FL
by Bob, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: TEN -4.5 / JAX +4.5
This Saturday, on Christmas Eve, the Tennessee Titans will take their playoff hopes into EverBank Field when they take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in an AFC South match-up. The Titans still find themselves in a two way tie for the division lead with Houston while the Indianapolis Colts sit just a game back, and the Jaguars are a horrible 2-12. This game is no gimmie for Tennessee, just look at how Jacksonville played Houston last Sunday, this Jaguars team wants to spoil the season for someone, and that just may happen this Saturday.
The line as of Tuesday night has the Titans as a 4.5 road favorite over the Jacksonville Jaguars and the total combined points are set at 43.5 total. This is the second meeting between these two teams in 2016 with the last contest ending with a Titans 36-22 win at home just one week after losing to the Colts. What I find amazing though is the fact as of late Tuesday, 73% of the action was on the Titans yet the line had only moved a point in most books and in some it only shifted half a point. Is this a hint?
Tennessee has come on strong as of late and they are coming off a huge, gut check win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Although I feel coach Mike Mularkey made one of the most bone headed calls all season when he had a chance to tie the game with less than five minutes to go then opted to go for two. Luckily, the Titans defense came through and Tennessee was able to shock Kansas City on a last second field goal. If KC had ran out the clock and Tennessee missed the playoffs in a week or so, Mularkey would have a lot of explaining to do for the next six months. However, they won...time to move on. Tennessee has won four of their last five games and are sitting at 8-6 overall with just two games to go. I am not certain about this but if they win out and go to 10-6 they will at least get a wildcard, however, they need to win and watch Houston lose so they not only get into the playoffs but they would be secured a first round home game...that is the ultimate goal at hand. The Titans handled the Jaguars pretty well last time around and if they follow the game plan they used in Nashville, I think they can get this win, but this is a game that they cannot take for granted. They must bring it.
Jacksonville wants nothing more than to play spoiler for the Titans. They nearly pulled it off against the Texans last week but fell just short late in the game 21-20. Although the Jags are not statistically a good team, they do somehow find a way to stay competitive. Of the 12 losses in 2016, Jacksonville has lost six games by a touchdown or less. This team is on the verge of being respectable once they add a few more pieces and just find ways to win the close ones. The key to this weekend is to slow down the Tennessee run game. The Titans are averaging almost 150 yards a game on the ground. If Jacksonville can force Mariota to win games with his arm, things could be interesting late in the fourth quarter. The Titans have an average defense and with the Jaguars ranked as one of the bottom four offenses in the NFL, their best bet is shorten this game and keep it low scoring. Jacksonville needs to control the clock, the tempo, and keep the Titans defense on the field.
I predicted a huge chalk win for the LA Rams in my other prediction this week, but I am going opposite here. The Jaguars are 2-12 but to be honest they are more competitive than many of the four and five win teams in the league. Also, if you look at the Jaguars schedule, they have played Detroit who is a division leader, the Chiefs who are a true AFC West/AFC contender, the Packers, Raiders, and a Broncos team who has a great defense. Jacksonville has not had it easy. This team is much better than their record shows and I am calling it now, next season they will be in the AFC Wildcard hunt still in week 12-13...write it down.
With all that said, I do think Tennessee gets the win, but the 4.5 points are just too much to give up for me in this type of game. The Titans are on the road and pressure is ON. These guys have not been here before. Tennessee has everything to lose looking forward to a season finale against Houston and the Jaguars are playing with house money. I like the Titans to win but when it is said and done their fan base will be close to cardiac arrest. Tennessee wins this game 17-13 on a late touchdown.
Bob's Pick to Cover the Point Spread:I LIKE THE JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS +4.5 AGAINST THE TITANS
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