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Tennessee Titans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Point Spread - Pick

Tennessee Titans (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2 SU, 1-1 ATS)
Week 3 NFL
Date/Time: Thursday Night Football, September 19, 2019 at 8:20PM EDT
Where: TIAA Bank Stadium, Jacksonville, Florida
TV: NFL Network

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: TEN -1.5/JAC +1.5
Over/Under Total: 40

On Thursday Night Football, the Tennessee Titans come into TIAA Bank Stadium for a week three AFC South matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Titans came down to earth after a 43-13 opening week win over the Browns. On Sunday at home, they fell to the Colts, 19-17. They held the lead in the 4th quarter, but couldn't quite close the deal. The Jaguars, meanwhile, followed a tough week one loss to the Chiefs with a painful week two loss at Houston. After scoring a late TD, the Jags went for a 2-point conversion and came up short to fall, 13-12. Which team can shake off their last game and come back on the short week to perform and cover the spread?

The Jaguars look a bit rough. Week one deserves a pass, as a lot of teams look ragged around the edges when facing the Chiefs. Losing their starting QB, though, may be a hard pill to swallow for the Jags, now working with a rookie sixth-round pick in Gardner Minshew. We now see a team that went from a rising force to a team just trying to keep it together. On both sides of the ball, they are trying to work things out. To their credit, however, they nearly had a pretty good team in Houston on Sunday, performing well on the road and nearly getting the win.

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Offensively, the Jaguars face a crisis with their QB now out of action indefinitely. And through parts of two games, Minshew hasn't been that bad for a rookie that a lot of teams didn't want. He has thrown three touchdowns and is completing nearly 78% of his throws. He has also shown some useful legs as he scoots well when he has had the chance. With only 113 yards through two games, Minshew would like to be able to lean more on lead back Leonard Fournette. With Dede Westbrook, DJ Chark, Chris Conley, and others, Minshew looks to help bring around a young receiving crew that is looking to develop some chemistry and consistency. It's not easy working behind an offensive line that has been struggling for some time and doesn't appear to be much better this season.

A big part of the step back for a Jacksonville squad that nearly made it to the Super Bowl a few seasons ago is the play on the other side of the ball. The defense just hasn't gotten on the track they were on back in 2017, when they were not only rigid, but very able to change the complexion of the game with big plays. They got after the QB well last week, but they're definitely a unit that is under-delivering as a whole. They just need to reclaim their impactful ways if this team stands any chance. It's just not coming off and despite a strong showing overall on Sunday, it's a shadow of the unit they once were.

Tennessee now looks to go to 2-1 after a letdown week two disappointment against Indy. Last season, the Titans beat the Jaguars twice, holding them to 15 combined points in their two games. Now with the Jags working with a rookie QB, the defense looks to again flex its muscles. Marcus Mariota and the offense look to get back to where they were on week one. On Sunday, they were flat and only managed a field goal after an early third quarter touchdown. The defense has performed well through two weeks, allowing 32 combined points. But they will be looking to avoid back-to-back defeats in their own division on Thursday.

Mariota has looked pretty good this season, despite a tepid second-half in last week's game. He has four TD throws and no picks. He has been making good use through the air with rookie AJ Brown, Delanie Walker, and even Derrick Henry, as the running back becomes a versatile weapon through the air, as well. At times, the O-line has been a bit leaky to the opposing pass-rush and not having T Taylor Lewan in there has hurt. But after looking bad on Sunday, it's important to remember they still managed 43 points in week one. So maybe they were just stymied by a good Indy "D" last week.

There have been some good and bad signs from the Tennessee defense through two games this season so far. To their credit, they have allowed a combined 32 points in two games and that's a good sign. They have gotten four interceptions, with Logan Ryan already having two of them. In his first season as a Titan, Cameron Wake has been getting to the quarterback with 2.5 sacks. They have, however, been getting lit up some by the run game and Jacoby Brissett had three TD passes on Sunday, though they've been pretty good at avoiding the big play through two weeks. That secondary looks pretty solid and has shown they still have a big playmaking component.

I see the Tennessee defense performing well on the road this week. There just aren't a ton of viable weapons on the Jacksonville offense and I see them struggling to mount much of an aerial attack against the Titans. I see Mariota and Company forging enough of a run-game to open up the rest of the offense. And while Minshew has been efficient and accurate, I see the playmaking Tennessee secondary showing their teeth at some point in this game. In a tough divisional battle, I see the Titans eking out the win and cover in week three. I'll take the road-favorite.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Tennessee Titans minus 1.5 points. Bet this game for FREE by taking advantage of a massive 100% sign-up bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $500 at GTBets!

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