Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:00 PM EST odds are subject to change.
Tennessee +6½ over Jacksonville
8:15 PM EST. This is a winner take all for the AFC South, with both of these teams coming into this game on very different streaks. We might as well start with the Jaguars, as they are on a hell of a run, with four straight wins and four straight trips to the pay window. A month ago, the Jags looked like they were going to be well set up for next season, but playing games beyond this weekend was a pipe dream. Their wins combined with the Titans stumble have fast tracked those expectations.
Tennessee was once seemingly a lock to win this division. Not because they were elite or exceptional, but because the rest of the lot was miles behind. After their high profile Thursday Night Football win over the Packers in Week 11, the Titans were 7-3 and had a healthy lead in the South. Six losses later and here we are.
There is no sugar coating the collapse, but it’s worth noting the Titans lost to Super Bowl contenders in Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and Dallas (in a game that meant nothing), while also dropping games to the playoff bound Chargers and these playoff-hopeful Jaguars. Of those six losses, only one was truly embarrassing, and that was Week 16 when the Titans became the 2 in the Texans dismal 2-13-1 record.
We acknowledge the market appetite for Tennessee is going to be nil in this scenario, but that plays right into our wheelhouse. What also plays into our wheelhouse is that Jacksonville’s stock is through the roof while Tennessee's stock has hit rock bottom. Now Jacksonville is priced like they’re playing Houston in Week 5, a game they incidentally lost, 13-6. This is the second biggest price Jacksonville is being asked to cover this year. Furthermore, for the first time all year, the weight of expectations are on the Jags shoulders while the Titans have been there, done that many times over.
Six year veteran Joshua Dobbs will be back under center after starting that meaningless Thursday nighter in Dallas in Week 17 after throwing for 232 yards and 1 TD against Dallas. Dude has his feet wet and Mike Vrabe knew exactly what he was doing when he started him last week to prepare for this week. Furthermore, Derrick Henry was held out of the Dallas game to get him healthy for this all-important matchup. Frankly, this number has to feel insulting to every player and coach in that Titans locker room. If you think the Titans are going to roll over here and don’t have the horses to compete, you would not only be highly influenced by the media, but you would also be wrong.
Tennessee +6½ -104 (Risking 2.08 units - To Win: 2.00)