Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8) at Tennessee Titans (7-5)
The Titans are 7-5, but their wins haven’t been that impressive. Their only win against a team that is .500 or better right now came against the Commanders, who are 7-5-1 now, but were just 1-4 when they were starting Carson Wentz against the Titans, and all of the Titans’ wins have been close, with several that could have gone either way. Only two of their wins have come by more than a touchdown and neither win was as impressive as that suggests, as they needed a defensive touchdown to push the margin to 9 against the Colts, while their 10-point win over the Packers came against a team in a terrible spot, playing on a short week after an overtime game, a spot in which teams are just 2-22 ATS all-time.
Meanwhile, the Titans’ five losses have come by a combined 67 points, leading to them having a -21 point differential, despite a positive turnover margin (+2) and a relatively easy schedule. Turnover margins are not predictive week-to-week, but schedule adjusted efficiency is and it takes into account strength of schedule and, in that metric, the Titans rank just 27th, about 5.5 points below average. Making matters worse, the Titans are very banged up right now, missing top wide receiver Treylon Burks, starting left tackle Taylor Lewan, their two best edge defenders Denico Autry and Harold Landry, talented starting linebackers Zach Cunningham and David Long, and starting cornerbacks Kristian Fulton and Elijah Molden.
As a result, I have the Titans about even in my roster rankings with the Jaguars, whose -14 point differential and 19th ranked schedule adjusted efficiency are both better than the Titans. Despite that, the Titans are favored by 3.5 points in this game, a bigger line than you might think, given that about 1 in 4 games are decided by three points or fewer, with about 1 in 6 being decided by exactly a field goal. The Titans are at home, but I have them just slightly favored to win this game on my calculated line, so we’re getting good enough value with the Jaguars at +3.5 for them to be worth betting.
Tennessee Titans 17 Jacksonville Jaguars 16
Pick against the spread: Jacksonville +3.5