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Jaguars vs Titans Odds, Pick, Prediction | NFL Week 18 Betting Preview

Jaguars vs Titans Odds, Pick, Prediction | NFL Week 18 Betting Preview article feature image
  • The Jaguars are 6.5-point favorites against the Titans on Saturday night.
  • The winner of this game will win the AFC South and be the No. 4 seed in the conference.
  • Chris Raybon breaks the game down and makes a Jaguars vs. Titans pick below.

The AFC South crown and No. 4 four seed in the AFC are on the line in Jacksonville on Saturday night, as we look for a Jaguars vs Titans pick in a matchup of two teams heading in opposite directions.

The Titans started 7-3 before losing six straight and fired their general manager in between. Did I mention they also lost their starting quarterback to a season-ending injury and benched his backup in favor of a six-year journeyman who had not made an NFL start until last week?

Meanwhile, the Jaguars limped into their bye week at 3-7 but have won five of their six games since. Jacksonville finally appears to have exorcized itself from the last of the Urban Meyer stank.

Let’s examine the Jaguars vs Titans odds and find a pick.

Jaguars vs Titans Odds

Saturday, Jan. 7
8:15 p.m. ET
ESPN/ABC
Jaguars Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-6.5
-108
39.5
-118o / -104u
-295
Titans Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+6.5
-112
39.5
-118o / -104u
+240
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Jaguars vs. Titans Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Jaguars and Titans match up statistically:

Jaguars vs. Titans DVOA Breakdown
Offense
Defense
Edge
Overall DVOA 21 27
Pass DVOA 19 29
Rush DVOA 18 12
Offense
Defense
Edge
Overall DVOA 9 16
Pass DVOA 8 28
Rush DVOA 19 2

It cannot be overstated how much of an upgrade Joshua Dobbs is over Malik Willis.

The Titans don’t need much from their quarterback, but whatever Willis was doing out there, it wasn’t quarterbacking. Willis averaged 3.2 net yards per pass. Dobbs ran three times for 12 yards last week, which means even a Dobbs run is more effective than a Willis pass.

Dobbs completed more passes 20 or more yards downfield (two) in his first start than Willis has all season (zero). After going 7-for-23 on third down over their previous two games, the Titans converted a respectable 7-of-16 with Dobbs at the helm against Dallas, which has one of the better defenses in the league.

Having a merely competent quarterback is key in this matchup because the Jaguars pass defense rates as one of the NFL’s worst at 29th in DVOA, and Jacksonville will no doubt sell out in an attempt to limit Derrick Henry (though. that hasn’t worked in years).

With extra time for an experienced coaching staff to prepare for a familiar opponent, it’s unlikely we get a Willis-esque faceplant from Dobbs, and if he turns in just a serviceable performance, it’s suddenly not a given that the Jaguars have an edge in any facet despite being favored by nearly a touchdown.


Bet Jacksonville vs. Tennessee at FanDuel


Titans Pass Offense vs. Jaguars Pass Defense

Jacksonville is not only 29th in DVOA, but also 31st versus tight ends, which plays to the Titans strengths personnel-wise. The Jaguars are also 29th in sack rate (5.1%) and 29th in third-down defense (43.8%). For a team with a backup quarterback and an injury-ravaged offensive line, you can’t ask for much better of a matchup.

Titans Rush Offense vs. Jaguars Rush Defense

Run defense is supposedly Jacksonville’s strength — it’s 12th in DVOA — but Henry rushed 17 times for 121 yards (7.1 yards per carry) in the first matchup and added 34 yards on three catches to boot. Over his last seven games against Jacksonville, Henry is averaging 21.4 carries for 141.6 yards and 1.9 touchdowns per game on the ground.

Titans Pass Defense vs. Jaguars Pass Offense

Lawrence shredded a banged up Titans pass defense for 368 yards and three scores in the first matchup, but it’s not hard to envision Tennessee winning this matchup this time around.

Punting the Dallas game allowed guys like Kristian Fulton (who allows a 55.6% catch rate and will play for the first time since Week 13), Jeffrey Simmons and Denico Autry to get much-needed rest. Also, we just saw the Titans stifle Justin Herbert (17 points, zero TDs, two INTs, on 42 pass attempts) the next week after that Jags game.

Despite poor pass defense metrics due to injury, the Titans have still managed to maintain a top-three third-down defense (33.6%).

Titans Rush Defense vs. Jaguars Rush Offense

The Titans run defense is elite at No. 2 in DVOA. Tennessee held Travis Etienne to 32 yards on 17 carries in the first meeting.

Intangibles

The Titans have a massive rest advantage after playing on Thursday in Week 17. They also have a huge edge in terms of experience in a playoff-like atmosphere at the NFL level, while we have no idea how the young Jags will handle the big moment

Betting Picks

Six-game losing streak, injured quarterback and all, the Titans are not going to be an easy out for this upstart Jags team.

Look no further than the Titans taking the Chiefs to overtime and losing by three, despite Willis going 5-of-16 passing for 80 yards, or them taking the a healthy Chargers passing attack to the buzzer in another three-point loss despite having to turn to Willis mid-game.

We’ve seen the Titans hold their own against higher-quality AFC playoff teams than the Jaguars. Tennessee’s Week 14 loss at home to Jacksonville can partly be chalked up to bad turnover luck, as the Titans tied a season-high with four turnovers — including three lost fumbles — while the Jags didn’t turn it over once.

According to our Action Labs data, Vrabel is 21-9-1 (70%) against the spread as an underdog by at least three points, covering by an average of 6.3 points per game.

Pick: Titans +6.5 | Bet to Titans +6


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