Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans
Start-time: Friday 28 October, 01:25 BST
TV: Live on Sky Sports
As a fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars, the idea that I have to a) preview them and b) watch them tonight makes me depressed. I had such high hopes. I loved what they did in the off season to sort out their defense. The offense looked great last year. They were a dark horse to surprise.
Yet the offense has gone backwards at a vast rate of knots. Blake Bortles has thrown nine interceptions and looks scared in the Red Zone. He is forcing plays instead of dropping back and going through his progressions. It is infuriating to see. Every time he throws at Allen Robinson he either catches it or gets a defensive pass interference call and Bortles still refrains from throwing it too often in his direction.
The defense is just as bad, giving up an average of 27 points a game despite big spending and wise draft picks. Gus Bradley's heat is nice and toasty. The way his team got beat by Oakland has to go down as one of the worst days in the franchise's history - not because of the result, but having two players thrown out for indiscipline.
Yet they go into tonight's match-up with the Titans knowing a victory and they'll be tied on 3-4 records in the most pathetic of divisions. For the Titans, they have a rejuvenated DeMarco Murray in the backfield who has gone over 100 yards twice in the last three weeks. After having to spend a year in that crazy Chip Kelly offense, he is back to being a north and south runner. I like him to have a very good night.
As for Marcos Mariota, I loved this kid in college but I don't think his game is suited to the pro ranks. In the past three weeks though he has a 8:1 TD/Int ratio, albeit against the Dolphins, Browns and Colts, but guess what, the Jaguars are at least as bad as those teams and probably worse.
The quality of the Thursday night games is pretty lousy but one of these nights we'll get a shootout. One of these days Blake Bortles will remember he's actually a decent QB. One of these days I'll leave hope at the side of the road when it comes to my Jags and drive away with tears rolling down my cheeks. I fear that time has come...
For some unfathomable reason, Bortles keeps throwing the ball to Marqise Lee and I see no reason why he won't continue to do that tonight so at 18/1 for first TD and 9/2 to score at anytime, I'm planning to play those numbers looking for a big haul of points profit.
For the Titans I think they'll run it early and often so, despite my usual reluctance, I'll play a point on DeMarco Murray for first TD at 6/1.
The line has been set at 43.5pts, which I think is a touch low but I understand it because of Jacksonville's offensive struggles. I have expected the Jags offense to breakout for a long time but they keep disappointing me, yet at some point the law of averages states that they simply have to. I think the Jags D stinks so much that Tennessee can score big on them and because of that I'm tipping a big extended line 13/5 at over 52.5pts.
The Spread & Straight-up Pick
The spread is set at Tennessee -3.5pts and that is way too generous. The Jags aren't any good, the Titans are at home on the short week, I fully expect the Titans to win despite giving away 3.5. You can currently get that at Evens on the Sportsbook and I'd take it as fast as I can if I were you.
Player line prop bets to be added when markets open, please come back to check nearer kick-off.
3pt Back Tennessee to win with a 3.5 handicap at Evens on the Sportsbook
3pt Back over 52.5pts on the extended over/under line at 13/5 on the Sportsbook
3pt Back Marqise Lee to score a TD at anytime at 9/2 in the Anytime Touchdown scorer market on the Sportsbook
1pt Back Marqise Lee to score the first TD at 18/1 in the First Touchdown scorer market on the Sportsbook
1pt Back DeMarco Murray to score the first TD at 6/1 in the First Touchdown scorer market on the Sportsbook