Tennessee Titans (8-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-12)
Both of these teams used to top my underrated list, but have fallen down the list in recent weeks. In Tennessee’s case, it’s just a matter of public opinion catching up to how good they actually are, following upset victories over Green Bay, Denver, and Kansas City in recent weeks. They’re still an underrated team that ranks 6th in first down rate differential, but they’re not underrated like they once were. In Jacksonville’s case, it’s because they have played especially poorly in the past 2 weeks and just fired their head coach Gus Bradley.
Against the Vikings at home, the Jaguars lost the first down rate battle by 8.86% and last week against the Texans they lost the first down rate by 10.77%. It was only a 1-point loss, but that was despite the fact that the Jaguars won the turnover battle and returned a punt for a touchdown. They managed just 9 first downs all game, as compared to 23 for the Texans, who are not a tough opponent. They still rank 17th in first down rate differential on the season, but with Bradley gone and just two games left in the season, it’s possible this team could quit. For that reason, I’m taking the Titans, but I couldn’t be confident in them at all as 5.5 point road favorites in what could be a trap game against a Jaguars team that has still played a lot better than their 2-12 record would suggest, especially on the defensive.
Tennessee Titans 27 Jacksonville Jaguars 20
Pick against the spread: Tennessee -5.5