Jacksonville (9-7) has a great opportunity in the week 18 Jaguars at Titans betting matchup, as a win would give them the AFC South crown and a home playoff game. Doug Pederson’s squad probably shouldn’t be in this spot after their 8-3 start, but a four game losing streak has the Jags fighting for the tie-breaker spot with the Texans (10-7).
The only thing the Titans (5-11) can do is play spoiler here as they try to build momentum into an offseason that seems like it will have a lot of turnover. Tennessee had won five straight over Jacksonville, but are now in danger of getting swept for a second straight season. The Jaguars are a -3.5 favorite in this contest, which seems low for a team fighting for their playoff lives.
Why the Jaguars Have Value at -3.5
Jacksonville essentially started their postseason last week, needing a win over Arizona to stay in the mix. They got through that with a 26-0 win over the Panthers and did so with backup QB C.J. Beathard completing 17/24 passes for 178 yards in relief of Trevor Lawrence.
Lawrence (shoulder) is active vs. Tennessee, a big game (264 yards) away from a second straight 4,000 yard passing season. Pederson would probably like to rely on the rushing attack on Sunday with Travis Etienne running for 102 yards and 2 TDs last week – and being 49 yards short of 1,000 – but the Titans are relatively stingy in that department giving up just 109.3 ypg.
The Jaguars defense should have momentum coming off their best game of the season, and they were also very good in the week 11 34-14 win vs. Tennessee where the Titans managed just 235 yards of total offense. Tennessee has also been held to 17 points or less in their last three games.
Why the Titans Have Value at +3.5
Four of Tennessee’s five wins this season have come at home, and it could be a very emotional day as the team seems ready to part with QB Ryan Tannehill and RB Derrick Henry, who have been with the team since 2019 and 2016 respectively. The 35-year-old Tannehill has essentially been replaced by rookie Will Levis, and the 30-year-old Henry is an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
If this is the last game in Music City for Tannehill and/or Henry, they have a chance to go out on a positive note by keeping Jacksonville out of the postseason. Henry has a lot of wear and tear on his body, but has still put up a 1,014 yard season this year while Tannehill has shown a nice grasp of the offense completing 69.2 and 80% of his passes the last two games.
This could be a game where the Titans defense fuels the win. Lawrence is playing for the Jaguars – but how healthy is he after being limited in practice all week and missing the Panthers game with a sore throwing shoulder? Tennessee has the chance to make the Jags very one dimensional – and that one isn’t that great as they average just 97.8 ypg on the ground
Free Week 18 Jaguars at Titans Betting Pick
Can the Jaguars make their second straight trip to the playoffs? They did have a four game losing streak towards the end of the year, but in OT against the Bengals, at Cleveland, vs Baltimore, and against Tampa Bay who are all solid. Tennessee is not solid, and the Jags have way too much to play for here.
Free Pick: Jaguars -3.5