Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 5:00 PM
There’s good news and bad news when the Tennessee Titans visit the Jacksonville Jaguars Thursday Night in a game that will be nationally televised by the NFL Network. The bad news is that the #31 and #32 teams in the NFL by most respected Power Ratings will be polluting the airwaves in the final Thursday Night TV game of the season. The good news is that Sunday’s schedule will be so much better than usual because those teams aren’t playing!
You can watch the early Sunday games on the Red Zone channel or Direct TV without the Titans or Jaguars getting in the way of your entertainment!
Of course, Las Vegas bettors like you are worried about picking winners rather than marquee value. Are there any edges to exploit when the Titans visit the Jags? Let’s see what JIM HURLEY’S key indicator stats have to say about that…
Won-Lost Records (Strength of Schedule)
Tennessee: 2-12 (#16 schedule in USA Today)
Jacksonville: 2-12 (#11 schedule in USA Today)
Not much separation there. Both teams are 2-12 and jockeying for draft position. They’ve played similar schedules because they’re in the same division. You can give Jacksonville some minor consideration because of a slightly tougher schedule. That plus home field may be all it takes to win the game.
Tennessee: 5.4 on offense, 5.4 on defense
Jacksonville: 4.7 on offense, 5.5 on defense
Tennessee has been tricking oddsmakers and statheads all season because they have the raw numbers of a .500 caliber team in these very important stats. They shouldn’t be a 2-12 team! But, they find a way to underachieve offensively on their drives, and the defense allows TD’s at just the wrong time. Jacksonville has been horrible as rookie quarterback Blake Bortles continues to learn the ropes. Clear edge here to the underdog.
Both teams have been disasters in this category. Bortles is a rookie. Tennessee have a few starts to their own rookie Zack Mettenberger. Very ugly football. If either team is actually trying to win this game (always an issue with the draft looming overhead), they can at least be happy that they’re not taking the worst of it this week like they are in normal matchups.
Tennessee: 3-10-1 ATS
Jacksonville: 4-9-1 ATS
We told you the market has struggled with Tennessee all season. They were respected out of the gate at least as a team that could make a run at the .500 mark. Stubbornness continued as the team got worse and worse. Jacksonville’s poor ATS record is a bit of a surprise because everyone knew they’d be horrible! With there being absolutely no doubt that Jacksonville would be one of the worst teams in the NFL, the betting markets still couldn’t properly anticipate how bad they’d be.
Current Line: Jacksonville by 3, total of 40.5
The Jaguars are getting the standard value of home field advantage, as oddsmakers hope a generic line will mostly split the action. The key to picking this game will probably come down to properly predicting if one or the other is trying to win! Tennessee has seemed hell bent on losing ever since a decent Monday Night showing vs. Pittsburgh. Jacksonville celebrated a recent home win over the NY Giants. The Jags may not be as concerned about getting the #1 pick because they already have a quarterback they’re grooming for the future. A non-quarterback stud would be available for them a couple of spots below the top if you assume that Marcus Mariota of Oregon and Jameis Winston of Florida State will go right out of the gate to teams needing a QB.
JIM HURLEY will be working very closely with his on-site sources to get a read on the game. If Jacksonville is going all out to get a win, then they will likely be the play. If both teams are trying to tank, then a very serious look at the Under will be in order. Think of how many bad teams have been running clock and punting on offense lately!
You’ll be able to purchase the final word for Thursday right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call the office at 1-888-777-4155. Be sure to ask about combination packages that include early season basketball and all NFL through the Super Bowl.
Back to the bowls tomorrow, as we cover TV football in college and pro action from now through Christmas (and then several days after!) right here in the Notebook. Here’s the schedule leading up to the holiday…
Friday: Early Look…Utah vs. Colorado State in the Las Vegas Bowl
Saturday: NFL TV Preview…San Diego at San Francisco on CBS
Sunday: NFL TV Preview…Seattle at Arizona on NBC
Monday: NFL TV Preview…Denver at Cincinnati on ESPN
Tuesday: Boca Raton Bowl Preview…Marshall vs. Northern Illinois
Wednesday: Hawaii Bowl Preview…Fresno State vs. Rice
Maybe the worst matchup of the year in pro football will lead to a surprisingly entertaining game. And, Vegas pays winners at the window regardless of the teams involved. Be sure you GET THE MONEY with JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!
Be sure to follow:
Jim Hurley on twitter @vsm_hurley
Vegas-Sports-Masters on twitter @vsmasters