TNF: Titans vs. Jaguars Week 3 Pick
Tennessee Titans (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2 SU, 1-1 ATS)
NFL Football Week 3
Date/Time: Thursday September 19th, 2019. 8:20PM (EST)
Where: TIAA Bank Field Jacksonville, F.L.
TV: NFL Network
Point Spread:TEN -2/JAX +2 (BetNow)
Over/Under Total: 40
Thursday Night Football returns this week with an AFC South showdown between the Tennessee Titans and the winless Jacksonville Jaguars. Last week, the Jaguars had a chance to score one of the biggest upsets in the NFL in an unexpectedly close game at Houston. Backup quarterback Gardner Minshew hit DJ Chark for a touchdown with just 30 seconds remaining. Instead of kicking the game-tying field goal, Head Coach Doug Marrone elected to go for the 2-point conversion in hopes of a statement style victory. However, running back Leonard Fournette was held up at the goal line rendering the Jaguars their 2nd straight loss of the season. While the failed conversion may have stifled the excitement, I believe the Jaguars frustrations will be short-lived following this Thursday’s showdown with the Titans.
QB Gardner Minshew looks for another high profile opportunity
When starting QB Nick Foles went down in the season opener, backup Gardner Minshew stepped in and delivered by completing 22 of 25 passing for 275 yards with two touchdowns. The Minshew’ Magic’ had provoked some extreme hype ahead of week 2. However, Minshew struggled for the majority of the game against the Texans. The numbers were not terrible with Minshew hitting 22 of 33 passing for 213 yards with one touchdown and an additional 56 yards rushing on the ground. However, Minshew missed a few critical throws and often held on to the ball too long. Minshew had three fumbles during the game as a result of holding onto the ball too long, and 1 of those fumbles was costly as it set up the Texans deep inside their own territory.
I am sure a lot of the Minshew hype will fade this week, but I also believe that the Jaguars new quarterback will only get better in the upcoming weeks. Minshew still completes a high rate of his passes because he often makes good decisions. Even when you look at the missed opportunities against Houston, the passes were often going to the correct targets, but they were just a touch off the mark. Minshew still threw good looking passes so it is my belief that when the timing gets better; he will be an effective quarterback. Luckily, the Jaguars have plenty of weapons to target with Dede Westbrook, Chris Conley, and DJ Chark. Running back Leonard Fournette also became pretty useful in the passing game last week. I expect this offense will continue to improve moving forward and that could spell trouble for a Titans team that has played mediocre football through the opening two weeks.
Tennessee offense vs. Jacksonville defense
If you remember back in week 1, I profoundly stated that the Tennessee Titans would knock off the Cleveland Browns in the opener. Despite the hype surrounding the Browns this preseason, I thought the Tennessee defense would be the difference, and that is precisely what happened as the Titans exploded for a 43-13 victory. This week I am here to tell bettors that the Tennessee offense will determine how things unfold on Thursday. Fortunately, the Titans got a few big plays in the opener thanks to quarterback Marcus Mariota and running back Derrick Henry. Then last week, the Titans could not get any plays going in a 19-17 loss to Indianapolis Colts.
At this point, I would be willing to say the Week 1 performance from the Titans was an outlier. Last week, Marcus Mariota struggled severely throwing the football along with the rest of the Titans passing weapons. Honestly, nothing surprised me as Mariota has consistently provided subpar performances in recent years. On offense, running back Derrick Henry is the only silver lining that is keeping this offense competitive. Due to the passing struggles, I am expecting the Jaguars defense to shine in this Thursday night match-up to spur the potential upset. Jacksonville’s pass defense, led by Jalen Ramsey, remains one of the top units in the league and held one of the best quarterbacks (Deshaun Watson) in the NFL to just 159 passing yards in the close loss last Sunday. Due to the fact, the Jaguars corners and back seven will hold the advantage in nearly every match-up against Tennessee’s passing attack, I think this will be a spot for the defense to feast. Once that happens, it should open up opportunities for the offense.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Jaguars +2. Another idea to consider here would be to apply a 6-point teaser. This would increase your odds of winning hugely, as you’d be crossing the key numbers of 3, 4 and 6. Maximize this proposition by making sure you’re betting at the sportsbooks with the best teaser odds online!