If you have followed our weekly free pick, you would know that we were right on last week when two extremely average offenses took to the field. I told you there was only one thing to do, and if you followed, you added to your bankroll.
This week, it’s an AFC South slugfest. It’s probably not a game you watch if you want to see a lot of offensive theatrics, but it can still generate some profits for NFL bettors.
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Both Tennessee and Jacksonville are built around a similar idea – run the football, play great defense, and don’t make mistakes. Both teams attempt to follow the plan to the best of their abilities, but the results are often ugly.
After scoring 43 points against Cleveland in Week 1, the Titans put up just 242 total yards and 17 points in a loss to Indianapolis. Running back Derrick Henry continued his stellar play with 81 rushing yards and a touchdown, but QB Marcus Mariota was sacked four times and had just 154 passing yards. Making matters worse this week is Mariota’s quad, which has him listed as questionable on the latest injury report.
The Jags (0-2) are not much better. Jacksonville lost its starting quarterback Nick Foles in the first quarter of Game 1 against Kansas City. Backup Gardner Minshew has played well and even did his best to beat Houston last week but came up a two-point conversion short.
Jacksonville has only won two of its last 10 games. In those 10 games, the Jags highest point total is 26 which was done in that Week 1 loss to the Chiefs. The Jags are also just 3-7 against Tennessee in their last 10 meetings. The Titans have won the last four straight.
You might be tempted by the Under. Who wouldn’t with two teams that historically are not offensive juggernauts, but with the Total at 39, I don’t like it. Over their last 10 matchups, the Titans and Jags have combined for an average of just over 42 points per game.
What I do like is this. Gardner Minshew and Leonard Fournette running against the 26th-ranked rush defense in the NFL. I like Minshew’s late touchdown drive last week and while Jacksonville didn’t win, they covered against heavily favored Houston. The Jags are also 5-2 ATS in their last seven games played in September.
A native of Western Pennsylvania, Rick, a Generation X-er, who now lives just north of the Motor City, Detroit, Michigan. A former high school, college, and professional football player, Rick now spends his time as a high school coach and as a personal quarterback trainer. An all-state high school quarterback, he went on to become an Academic All-American at Division II Indiana University of PA. He later coached at his alma mater helping lead the program to the 1990 NCAA Division II national championship game. Rick has also served as a high school head coach and as an assistant in Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan.
His passion for sports writing started when he was the sports editor for his high school newspaper and continued when he worked as a sportswriter for the Jamestown (New York) Post-Journal in the early 1990s. A true sports fanatic, Rick enjoys all things Pittsburgh: Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins. The Immaculate Reception, the 1979 We Are Family Pirates, and the ’91-’92 Penguins are among his favorites. After working as an educator and athletic director for several years, he again took up sports writing and has contributed to several websites and publications, including Coach & Player magazine, X & O Labs, American Football Monthly, and many others.
When not consumed with coaching, watching, thinking about, or writing about football and other seasonal sports, he finds himself working out like he was still in college and reading everything from military history to Brad Thor novels. Rick has also been chasing rock god stardom as a drummer who has played with bands that have opened for the likes of Fuel, Days of the New, and Alien Ant Farm. He continues to play with his church worship group. Most importantly, Rick is married to the love of his life, Lisa, and has two beautiful daughters.