NFL Week #16 Thursday Night Football Betting Picks: Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars

Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars
EverBank Field – Jacksonville, Florida

Thursday, December 18, 2014, 8:25 pm Eastern, TV: NFL Network
Opening Line: Jacksonville -3
Current Line: Jacksonville -3
Opening Total: 41
Current Total: 40 1/2
Opening Money Line: Jaguars -150 / Titans +130
Current money Line: Jaguars -160 / Titans +140

The Jaguars host the Titans Thursday night in a battle of 2-12 teams.
The Jaguars host the Titans Thursday night in a battle of 2-12 teams.

In week 16 of the 2014 NFL season, there are five games on national television. Four of those games have playoff implications for at least one of the teams involved as they should for a mid-December contest. However, the fifth one involves two of the worst teams the in league. The 2-12 Jacksonville Jaguars host the 2-12 Tennessee Titans Thursday night on the NFL Network. Both teams are tied with the Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the worst record in the league. The “winner” between the Jaguars and Titans will likely be eliminated from contention for the #1 draft pick in the 2015 NFL draft.

Since 2001, Tennessee leads the series against Jacksonville 16-11. The Titans have won 3 of the last 4 against the Jaguars including 2 straight. Tennessee won earlier this season in Nashville 16-14. The Titans have lost 8 straight games since that mid-October win.

Tennessee is coached by Ken Whisenhunt. The Titans have a road win at the Kansas City Chiefs 26-10 and home win over the Jaguars. Tennessee has home losses to the Dallas Cowboys 26-10, Cleveland Browns 29-28, Texans 30-16, Pittsburgh Steelers 27-24, New York Giants 36-7 and last week against the New York Jets 16-11, along with road losses to the Cincinnati Bengals 33-7, Indianapolis Colts 41-17, Washington Redskins 19-17, Baltimore Ravens 21-7, Philadelphia Eagles 43-24 and Texans 45-21.  Tennessee is 3-10-1 ATS and the total is 6-8 this season. The Titans were 3.5 point underdogs against the Jets and the total was 42.

Jacksonville is coached by Gus Bradley. The only wins for the Jaguars came at home over the Browns 24-6 and Giants 25-24. The Jags have lost 6 of their last 7 games including 2 straight. Jacksonville has road losses at the Eagles 34-17, Redskins 41-17, San Diego Chargers 33-14, Titans 16-14, Bengals 33-23, Cowboys 31-17 in London, Colts 23-3 and last week at the Ravens 20-12. The Jaguars also have home losses to the  Colts 44-17, Steelers 17-9, Miami Dolphins 27-13 and Texans 27-13. Jacksonville is 4-9-1 ATS and the total is 7-7 this season. The Jaguars were 14 point underdogs on the NFL betting lines against the Ravens and the total was 44.5. This is the first time the Jaguars are favored this season.

Tennessee is being outscored 28-17 this season. The Titans are #29 in scoring and #31 in points allowed. Tennessee is averaging 308 yards per game on offense including 221 passing and 86 rushing yards. The Titans are #22 or worse in all three categories, including #29 in total offense. On defense, Tennessee is allowing 379 yards per game including 239 passing and 140 rushing yards per game. The Titans are #29 in total defense and last in rush defense. Tennessee is 53/178 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 88/206. The Titans have allowed 42 sacks and have forced 26 this season. Tennessee is -9 in turnovers. The Titans have scored two defensive touchdowns and allowed 3 special teams and defensive touchdowns.

Tennessee has used 3 quarterbacks this season. Jake Locker started the first four games of the season but was benched due to both injury and ineffectiveness. He was replaced by Charlie Whitehurst who played in four games before being benched himself in favor of rookie Zach Mettenberger who  started the next 6 games. Mettenberger and Locker are both out with shoulder injuries. Whitehurst started last week against the Jets. Mettenberger is out at least this week and probably next week in the season finale. Locker is out for the season. Whitehurst is the only active quarterback on the roster, but they will likely activate Alex Tanney from the practice squad to serve as the back-up. Mettenberger has thrown for 1,412 yards with 8 touchdowns and 7 interceptions.  Locker threw for 993 yards with 5 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, along with 22 carries for 142 rushing yards and a touchdown. Whitehurst has thrown for 967 yards with 5 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, plus 59 rushing yards on 13 carries.

Running back Bishop Sankey has 134 carries for 507 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 17 catches for 124 yards. Shonn Greene has 76 carries for 270 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tight end Delanie Walker has 52 catches for 793 yards and 4 touchdowns. Receiver Kendall Wright has 51 catches for 633 yards and 5 touchdowns. He is questionable with a hand injury. Nate Washington has 38 catches for 629 yards and 2 touchdowns. Justin Hunter has 28 catches for 498 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is out for the season with an abdominal injury. Six defensive players and five offensive linemen are questionable or are out for the year.

Jacksonville is being outscored 27-15. The Jaguars are #29 in points allowed and last in scoring. Jacksonville is averaging 294 yards per game including 198 passing and 95 rushing yards per game. The Jaguars are #25 or worse in all three categories. On defense, Jacksonville is allowing 373 yards per game including 243 passing and 130 rushing yards per game. The Jaguars are #28 in total defense and #27 in rush defense. Jacksonville is 70/209 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 88/212. The Jaguars have forced 38 sacks and allowed 62 this season. The Jaguars are -8 in turnovers. Jacksonville has allowed 6 defensive touchdowns this season and scored 2 of their own.

Jacksonville rookie quarterback Blake Bortles replaced Chad Henne earlier in the season. Bortles has completed 60.8% of his passes for 2,676 yards with 10 touchdowns and 17 interceptions, along with 48 carries for 308 yards. Henne threw for 492 yards with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. He hasn’t played since week 3 when Bortles took over against the Colts. Bortles injured his foot against the Ravens but did not miss a snap. As of this writing, Bortles is in a walking boot but is listed as probable Thursday.

Running back Denard Robinson has 135 carries for 582 yards and 4 touchdowns, along with 23 catches for 124 yards. He is out for the season with a foot injury. Toby Gerhart has 86 carries for 265 yards and a touchdown, plus 19 catches for 179 yards. Storm Johnson has 26 carries for 83 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Receiver Allen Hurns has 46 catches for 636 yards and 6 touchdowns.  Allen Robinson has 48 catches for 548 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is out for the season with a foot injury. Cecil Shorts III has 46 catches for 495 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Clay Harbor has 26 catches for 289 yards and a touchdown. Six defensive players are listed on the injury report.

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The Titans are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Thursday games, 15-35-2  in their last 52 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game,  7-19-1 in their last 27 games in December, 6-18-2 in their last 26 games overall, 6-19-2 in their last 27 vs. AFC South, 3-12-2 in their last 17 games following a S.U. loss, 1-4  in their last 5 games following a ATS loss, 1-4-1 in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a losing home record, 3-13-2 in their last 18 vs. AFC, 1-5 in their last 6 road games, 1-5 in their last 6 games after scoring less than 15 points in their previous game, 1-8-2 vs. a team with a losing record, 0-4-1 in their last 5 games in Week 16, 0-4 in their last 4 games after accumulating less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game, and 0-4 in their last 4 games on grass. The under is 7-2-1 ATS in this series recently including 4-0 in Jacksonville. The underdog is 4-1-1 ATS in this series recently.

The Jaguars are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games after scoring less than 15 points in their previous game, 4-1 in their last 5 games after accumulating less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game, 7-15-2  in their last 24 games following a S.U. loss, 17-37-1 in their last 55 home games, 2-5-1  in their last 8 home games vs. a team with a losing road record, 3-8 in their last 11 games following a ATS win, 4-11-1 in their last 16 games in Week 16, 4-11-2 in their last 17 games overall, 1-3-1  in their last 5 games in December, 2-6  in their last 8 games after accumulating less than 250 total yards in their previous game, 1-3-1  in their last 5 vs. AFC, 3-9-1 in their last 13 games on grass, 1-4-1 in their last 6 vs. AFC South, and 1-5 in their last 6 Thursday games. The Jaguars are 6-1-1 ATS in the last 8 game against the Titans including 3-1-1 ATS in Jacksonville.

There is no way to sugarcoat this game. This is a terrible game between two teams that aren’t good on either offense or defense. I think Jacksonville wins at home but I don’t trust either team.

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