Tennessee (9-0) -3, 39.5 O/U at Jacksonville (4-5)
Jacksonville Stadium, Jacksonville, F.L., 4:15PM Eastern, Sunday
By Jay Horne of predictem.com
The Tennessee Titans take their undefeated campaign down to Jacksonville this weekend to take on the Jaguars in an inner-division AFC battle. The Titans have won some close games over the past two weeks and the Jaguars are hoping they can be the team to give them their first loss of the season.
The Jaguars are fresh off a 38-14 win over the winless Detroit Lions. Jacksonville knocked off the Titans in their last meeting at the end of last season, but will be the underdog in this contest. Jacksonville has been pretty mediocre on both sides of the ball to say the least. The Jags have put together 312 yards of total offense per game while giving up 335 yards per game ranking them no. 23 in the NFL in both categories. While Tennessee may not have an explosive offense, the Jaguars will definitely need to put together a good game plan against the Titan defense which is one of the best in the NFL.
Tennessee rolls into Jacksonville after a hard fought victory over the Chicago Bears. Tennessee held off the Bears at the end of the 4th quarter from making a late game charge 21-14. Tennessee has been solid defensively this year only allowing 289 yards per game on defense ranking them in the top 7 in the NFL. The Titans have really excelled in the turnover ratio with 18 takeaways and only turning the ball over 8 times. The +10 margin ranks them an NFL best in that particular category and that has played factor in their success this season. Tennessee simply needs to play like they have all season keeping control of the football this weekend. If they do that they will most likely improve to 10-0 on the season.
The books opened the line favoring the undefeated Titans by a mere field goal at -3. The over/under for the contest has been posted at 39.5 considering these two teams rarely put up a bunch of points. Moneyline numbers have Tennessee at -145 and Jacksonville at +125.
Offensively Tennessee has not put up any big numbers. Veteran QB Kerry Collins has only thrown for a little over 1200 yards but has managed to protect the football. Collins has only thrown 3 picks in his 9 games this season therefore the Tennessee defense has not had to start many possessions deep in their own territory. RB Chris Johnson has been the work horse for the Titans carrying the ball this season. Johnson has carried the ball 146 times for 715 yards averaging 4.9 yards per carry. Johnson has 6 TDs on the year and has played a major role in the ground attack. Tennessee leads the NFL in rushing yards per game at 149ypg on the ground. The Titans ability to control the ball and when field position with their good defense has been the old school style of football we have seen them play to perfection.
Jacksonville will be forced to open up the playbook a bit this week and try to spark up the offense. QB David Garrard has had a strong season with no true superstar wide receivers. Garrad has racked up 1771 yards through the air while completing 64% of his pass attempts. Garrard has thrown for 6 TDs this season and has only thrown 1 interception in the last 6 games. Garrad main target has been Matt Jones. Jones has 524 receiving yards along with 2 touchdowns. The Jags would like to see some improvement in the running game. Tailbacks Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew have both shared touches this year and are looking for more solid performances.
On the year Tennessee is 8-0-1 ATS while Jacksonville is 3-6 ATS. Jacksonville is 3-0 this season as an underdog and will look to keep that streak alive. The Jaguars are only 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games and 1-4 ATS at home in their last 5 games. The Titans have taken the under total in 8 of their last 12 games while Jacksonville has split 4-4 in the over/under contest this season.
Jays Pick – Look for the Jags to hand the Titans their first blemish on their record.