NFL Thursday Night Football betting preview: Jaguars at Titans

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans (-3.5, 43.5)

The Jacksonville Jaguars and host Tennessee Titans entertained loftier expectations this season, but both sputtering AFC South rivals can see a ray of optimism through the gloom and doom as they enter Thursday’s contest at Nissan Stadium. Despite losing both division clashes, the host Titans are just one game removed from first-place Houston while the cellar-dwelling Jaguars are 1 1/2 games away from the penthouse.

Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles tossed a career-high five touchdown passes in a 42-39 setback to Tennessee on Dec. 6, with Allen Robinson reeling in three of those scoring strikes to highlight his 10-catch, 153-yard performance. Bortles and Robinson are struggling significantly this season, however, with the former accounting for 11 turnovers (nine interceptions) and the latter underscoring his tough campaign with two catches for nine yards in Sunday’s 33-16 setback versus Oakland. Marcus Mariota has eight touchdown passes in his last three games and nearly guided Tennessee to its third straight victory on Sunday before a fourth-quarter collapse resulted in a 34-26 loss to Indianapolis. The second overall pick of the 2015 draft, Mariota became the only player in NFL history to have at least 250 passing yards with three touchdowns and more than 100 rushing yards in a single game in his last encounter with the Jaguars.

TV: 8:25 p.m. ET, NFL Network.

LINE HISTORY: The Titans opened the betting week as 3.5-point home favorites for this electric Thursday night matchup and the point spread hasn’t moved all week. The total hit the board at 46 and has actually come down three full points to 43 by Wednesday evening. View complete line history here.

WEATHER REPORT: The forecast is calling for perfect autumn football conditions in Nashville for Thursday night. Partly cloudy skies, temperatures in the 60’s, virtually no wind (1-2 mph breeze), and humidity levels around 70 percent.

INJURIES:

Jaguars – TE N. Sterling (Prob Thurs, foot), CB A. Colvin (Prob Thurs, toe), T K. Beachum (Prob Thurs, knee), CB P. Amukamara (Prob Thurs, knee), WR A. Hurns (Prob Thurs, neck), RB C. Grant (Ques Thurs, toe), DL J. Odrick (Ques Thurs, quadricep), TE J. Thomas (Ques Thurs, ankle), C L. Bowanko (Ques Thurs, hip), DT R. Miller (I-R, achilles), T L. Joeckel (I-R, knee), S J. Sample (I-R, shoulder), T J. Wells (I-R, thumb), DT M. Bennett (I-R, calf), DE J. Woodard (I-R, achilles).

Titans – TE D. Walker (Prob Thurs, chest), WR T. Sharpe (Ques Thurs, knee), CB C. Riggs (Ques Thurs, hamstring), TE J. Amaro (Ques Thurs, shoulder), LB K. Dodd (Ques Thurs, foot), G Q. Spain (Out Thurs, knee), S R. Johnson (Out Thurs, neck), CB P. Cox (Out Thurs, concussion), T B. Bell (Out For Season, ankle), G C. Warmack (Elig Week 11, finger), G J. Matias (I-R, knee), CB B. Okotcha (I-R, shoulder).

ABOUT THE JAGUARS (2-4 SU, 3-3 ATS, 4-2 O/U): Jacksonville’s offense has been slowed by its 30th-ranked rushing attack (76.7 yards per game) and league-worst third-down conversion rate (27.6) to reside 24th in scoring (19.5 points per contest). T.J. Yeldon leads the Jaguars with only 200 yards rushing, although the second-year running back amassed 136 yards from scrimmage (79 receiving, 57 rushing) and a touchdown in his last meeting with the Titans. Tight end Julius Thomas is aiming to record his third touchdown in as many games versus Tennessee and fifth in six outings against a division representative.

ABOUT THE TITANS (3-4 SU, 2-5 ATS, 5-2 O/U): DeMarco Murray has been Tennessee’s primary source of offense, as the 28-year-old has rushed for an NFL third-best 633 yards while his 27 receptions are tops on his own team. The Titans’ ground attack could be in question as Quinton Spain (knee) is expected to miss two games, and fellow guard Brian Schwenke didn’t distinguish himself after being beaten by his man that resulted in a late fumble by Mariota in the loss to the Colts. Tight end Delanie Walker, who has a team-leading 330 yards receiving and three touchdowns, has reeled in 16 receptions for 201 yards and a score in his last two meetings with Jacksonville.

CHEERLEADER WAR:

TRENDS:

* Jaguars are 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 vs. AFC South.
* Titans are 5-18-3 ATS vs. a team with a losing record.
* Over is 5-1 in Jaguars last 6 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
* Over is 5-0-1 in Titans last 6 vs. a team with a losing record.
* Jaguars are 8-1-2 ATS in their last 11 meetings.

COVERS CONSENSUS: 59 percent of Covers picks are on the Titans to cover as home favorites while 62 percent of totals wagers are on the Over.

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