NFL Week 14 Thursday Night Football Betting Preview

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D.S. Williamson

December 5th, 2018

Two AFC South rivals coming off impressive Week 13 wins battle each other in NFL Week 14 Thursday Night Football betting on Dec. 6. The Jacksonville Jaguars bottled up Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts in an odd 6-0 victory while Marcus Mariota rallied the Tennessee Titans from being down 16-6 at halftime to a 26-22 win over the New York Jets.

For Jacksonville, beating the Titans won’t mean much more than bragging rights heading into the offseason. Currently at 4-8, Jacksonville would need at least 5 other AFC squads to implode while they go undefeated in the final month of the regular season to have any shot at a wildcard. Long story short - that isn't happening.

Unlike the Jaguars, the Titans have something to play for on Thursday night. Tennessee’s 6-6, which makes them tied with Miami, Indianapolis, and Denver as bridesmaids for the final wild card spot. The Titans are only a game behind the Baltimore Ravens for a playoff nod.

Will Tennessee play well enough to get a game above .500 and to keep their postseason dreams alive? Or, will the Jags prove the spoiler?

NFL WEEK 14 THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL BETTING Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans Thursday, Dec 6  – Nissan Stadium – 8:20pm ET Odds: Titans (-4.5) 37

Jaguars Look to Build Upon Each Game

"Frustration" pretty much sums up how the season’s gone for Jaguars fans. The Jags started out great, winning 3-of-4 including beating the New England Patriots. Then, starting in Week 5, things went south.

The Jags lost 4 in a row before their bye. They dropped the first 3 games after their bye, and are now well out of the playoff picture despite being in the AFC Championship game last January. No use wondering what happened. If Jacksonville hopes to return to the 2017 glory season in 2019, they must do what rebuilding college football programs do - take each game and think of it as a foundaitonal piece in what could end up being a winning skyscraper.

The Jaguars still have the same talent, the same coaching staff, and apparently the same heart from last season’s almost Super Bowl squad. Cody Kessler won't be benched after guiding the team to a win, and the defense has a real chance of putting the clamps on a Tennessee team that has major problems with big plays. The Jaguars faced a big +8.0 line as dogs in Indy, and are now facing a similar situation in Nashville. They have a chance to not only cover this Week 14 Thursday Night Football betting line, they can also win straight up.

A matchup against a Tennessee team that has trouble running the scoreboard is exactly the matchup that this Jacksonville team is designed to play against.

Titans Should Ground and Pound

Tom Coughlin built the Jaguars as a rushing, defending, old school, smash mouth football team. What’s interesting is how the Jaguars are only great in one defensive area. Jacksonville ranks as the third best team in the NFL against the pass. Opponents throw for 207 yards per. But, the Jags aren’t great at stopping the rush as this same defense allows 108.4 yards per on the ground.

Going into the first game, Titans coaches knew this, which is why Tennessee rushed 35 times for 150 yards. The Titans could find even more success doing the ground and pound in the second game because quarterback Marcus Mariota got injured in Game 1.

If Tennessee concentrates on rushing the football and then letting Mariota create in the passing game, they could easily win and cover. They used Derrick Henry against the Jets to help establish the tempo and protect Mariota with a between-the-tackles threat. Tennessee also utilized Henry in the types of runs that he excels at.

Week 14 Thursday Night Football Betting Analysis

Despite shutting out a supposed playoff team like Indy, the public doesn't seem impressed with what Jacksovnille has to offer and I don't blame them one bit. The line’s risen a full point to Titans -4.5.

That makes sense because Tennessee’s a covering beast at Nissan Stadium. The Titans are an excellent 12-4-1 ATS in their last 17 at home. They’re also 6-2 ATS in their last 8 versus the AFC South and 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games on grass.

Jacksonville’s 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 on the road. That trend should hold on Thursday. One of the obvious things from the Jags’ Week 13 win was that Indianapolis had a terrible game plan. Luck threw 52 passes, which makes no sense in an 0-6 contest.

Titans offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur will use his running backs to exploit the Jaguars. The Titans should be up by 7 points at halftime and then coast to a win and cover in the second half. This will be a defensive standoff, but the Titans have homefield advantage and will use to exploit all of the issues the Jaguars have had. It's going to be a grind, but get on the right side of the line with Tennessee.

Week 14 Thursday Night Football Betting Free Pick: Titans -4.5