Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Tennessee Titans (9/19/19): NFL Betting Picks, Lines

Last Week’s Results: 12-4
All Time Results: 20-8, +7.65 Units

No 1st Quarter Touchdown (+152) .4 Units
1st Quarter Under 6.5 (+143) – .1 Units

The combination of bright lights, early-season rust and a renewed emphasis on Offensive Holding calls has led to lower scoring Primetime games so far this year.  The Under is 6-1 in Primetime games in 2019, with the average score falling 12.2 points under the Total.

The market is adjusting to this trend, as bettors have taken this already low Total from 40 down to 38.5.  If it stays here, this Total would be 3 points lower than any game-time Total so far this season.

While I don’t expect a high scoring game, I want no part of an Under 38.5 in an NFL game.  Even if the score is 14-14 late in the game, we are liable to lose an Under ticket.  Two last-minute field goals would lead to a 17-17 overtime.  Then a touchdown or two field goals in the extra period would drag the game Over.

I like these derivative wagers better here.

More pronounced than the depressed scoring in Primetime games, is the lack of scoring early in these games. To avoid the possibility of a backbreaking mistake, teams have been consistently conservative in their play-calling in the 1st Quarter.  In 7 Primetime games so far this year, there have been only two total 1st Quarter touchdowns.

The average total score in the 1st Quarter in Primetime games this year is only 4.5, close to 10% of the average expected score for the game.  Here we have a 1st quarter total of 6.5 with a great payout on the Under.  Both of these teams have below-average offenses.  Moreover, I expect these teams to be extra conservative against one another because each squad boasts a ball-hawking defense as well as a limited Quarterback.

Titans QB, Marcus Mariota – a below-average quarterback to begin with – is dealing with a quad injury that could limit his mobility.  Mike Vrabel & Co. will want to establish the run game early and not put their guy in dangerous situations until they’ve gotten a good look at Doug Marrone’s defensive strategy.

Jaguars QB, Gardner Minshew II has been incredibly accurate, but rarely threatens a team with deep passes. I like for this excellent Titans Front Seven to stymie the Jaguars running game early and win the down & distance battle. They say “3rd down is when quarterbacks earn their money”. Mischnew’s league minimum 2019 salary tell us a lot about his prospects of executing on third and long situations.

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3-Team 7-Point Teaser (+135): Jacksonville Jaguars +8.5 (from +1.5), w/ Green Bay Packers -0.5 (from -7.5) w/ Minnesota Vikings -1.5 (from -8.5) – 1 Unit

There have been several analysts much smarter than me that have taken a long look at Advantage NFL Teasers. For a more detailed look at this analysis, I recommend Sharp Sports Betting by Standford Wong:

Here are a couple of his conclusions

1.) Basic strategy says to favor home teams rather than road teams to play in teasers.  Over a large sample size, home teams in the NFL perform far more consistently than road teams.  Since our goal in a teaser is to find teams that come within one touchdown of the baseline expectation (the spread) – consistency is our friend and variability is the enemy.  All three of our teams for this teaser will be playing at home.

2.) Basic strategy says teasers are only profitable longterm in the NFL if they bring the spread through the Key Numbers 3 & 7.  The most common point differential in the NFL is 3, which makes intuitive sense since many games will be tied late and decided by a field goal.  7 is also crucial because it represents the basic unit of scoring in football.  All three of our teams on this teaser will have their spread travel through the 3-7 corridor.

These basic strategies are a good starting point for teaser betting.  Still, it’s not enough to simply find teams that fit these criteria.  To arrive at a profitable wager, we also have to find teams that we think will play well & have a good chance of covering the spread in the first place.

Leg 1: Jaguars +8.5

I like the Jaguars in this game because of the natural advantage of getting to play at home on a shortened week of preparation. As fatigue intensifies throughout the course of the regular season, I expect the Home Field Advantage on Thursday Night Football to become more and more pronounced.  While Home Teams on TNF are 0-2 ATS so far this year, teams in this scenario are 62% ATS over the last 30 years.

jacksonville jaguarsThe Jaguars defense looked great last week, holding Deshaun Watson & the Texans to 13 points.  Against another familiar opponent, I expect the Jags to swallow a limited Mariota whole.

Jags QB, Gardner Minshew also has a track record of beating expectations. Minshew was the most profitable Bet-on quarterback in College Football last year.  In his first NFL start last week, his team covered the spread by 8 points.  Additionally, in six quarters of football so far this year, Mischnew has the 6th highest successful pass percentage when throwing out of a clean pocket.  He can play at this level.

I also like Jacksonville because it is a “Double Revenge” spot for them.  In other words, I expect them to be motivated to play well against a team that beat them twice last year.  The Jags defense at times seemed to give up on Blake Bortles last season.  I like the chances they bounce back in a big way behind Mischnew.  I don’t expect the Jaylon Ramsey’s trade request to negatively affect their execution.

Lastly, I love getting 8.5 points in a game with such a low Total.

green bay packersLegs 2 & 3: Vikings & Packers

For the other two legs: I like for Green Bay and Minnesota to handle business at home against two bad AFC West opponents traveling east.  These NFC North rivals played each other last week and made their offenses look worse than they actually are.  Conversely, the Raiders earned a win against these Broncos in Week 1.  I’m not sure of too many other teams I would expect them to beat in any scenario.

For their part, the Broncos had won 14 straight home games in September before falling to the Bears last week. The reason Denver wins so much early in the season at home is because of the natural advantage of being accustomed to playing in thin-air early in the season when teams are still not fully in game shape.  The Broncos were in an ideal spot and still could not win against a Bears team that has scored 1 touchdown in 8 quarters this season.

minnesota vikingsThe Vikings & Packers are two of my top 7 teams, while the Broncos & Raiders are in the bottom 7 of rankings.  Simple, these superior Home teams roll on Sunday.

 

 

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Born in Chicago, born for Las Vegas, Mackenzie is a graduate of Yale University with a BA in English & Creative Writting. Mackenzie runs AlternativeStats.blog, which seeks to by-pass the minutiae of commonly cited sports statistics and expose the heart of what drives athletic success. After several successful years investing in Las Vegas real estate, Mackenzie is excited to transition in 2019 into betting on sports full time, as well as documenting his thought process as he further learns the craft.

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