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Titans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Pick.
Tennessee Titans (0-0 SU 0-0 ATS) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-0 SU 0-0 ATS) Week 1 NFL Football, EverBank Field, Jacksonville, Florida 1 PM ET, Sunday September 11, 2011 on CBS
by Jason Green, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Ten +3/JAX -3
Over/Under Total: 38.5
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Both the Titans and the Jaguars head into this season with a ton of changes, as Tennessee has a new head coach and a new starting QB and the Jaguars overhauled their D with 5 of their top players on that side of the ball new addictions in 2011. Also, both teams used their first round draft picks on QB’s but veterans will likely get the start in this game in incumbent Josh McCown for the Jags and new free agent addiction Matt Hasselbeck for the Titans.
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The Jags may have some payback in mind and even though they beat the Titans in Tennessee they were embarrassed at home losing 30-9.
Oddsmakers have this game with an Over/Under of 38.5 and that sounds about right, as neither team can really light up the scoreboard and on top of that in the last 6 games between these 2 AFC South rivals the total has gone Under.
McCown will get the start over waived teammate David Garrard and rookie Blaine Gabbert, but while McCown is a proven vet he has been plagued by inconsistency in his career and now has a young gun breathing down his neck. Look for McCown to have a decent game, but not a great one.
The big gun on offense for Jacksonville is RB Maurice Jones-Drew, but will he be ready for this game? He had off-season knee surgery and missed 3 of the 4 pre-season games. Still, he will be facing a Tennessee run defense that ranked 20th in the league last season.
Matt Hasselbeck will lead the Titans’ offense and Tennessee has some issues with their offensive weapons with stud RB Chris Johnson holding out for most of the preseason before getting a hefty contract and WR Kenny Britt missing 3 preseason games with a hamstring issue. However, Johnson stated he is ready to go and Britt played in the last preseason game. Luckily for the Titans they will face a Jags’ D that ranked 28th against the pass and 22nd again the run so they will be able to move the ball.
Jacksonville did struggle on defense last season, but they had an overhaul in the off-season signing LB’s Paul Posluszny and Clint Session, S Dawan Landry, DE Matt Roth and nickelback Drew Coleman. These guys were good additions, but their D will still struggle and in losing 3 of their 4 preseason games they gave up an average of over 35 points per game.
New Titans’ head coach Mike Munchak is a Hall of Fame offensive lineman and last season the team carried 8 guys on the line and this season they will carry 10 and because of that QB protection will be better. Hasselbeck will have time to throw in this game and he will play well and show he still has some gas left in the tank.
One key player in this game will be Titans’ rookie LB Akeem Ayers, who had a good preseason and is getting accolades from his teammates. He will lead an improved Tennessee defense that only gave up an average of 10.5 points per game in going 3-1 in the preseason.
In some betting trends from last season Tennessee is 1-4 in their last 5 games, but they have covered the spread in their last opening season games.
Jacksonville is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games as a favorite and an Over record of 8-2 in their last 10 games.
Jason’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I think this game will come down to the defense of the Titans, as they will show they are a better unit than last season and because of it they will win this game in an upset covering the spread. I’d also like to mention that a new venue will probably be a really refreshing event for Hasselbeck and he will surprise many with a good performance this year.