Last week, I posted my picks a day earlier than usual due to traveling out of town for the weekend. It proved to be an unmitigated disaster as I finished 5-11 against the spread. However, picking games straight up led to better results with a 10-6 record.
It was without a doubt my worst week picking against the spread. Previously, my season low was a 6-9 record in Week 5. If there is any positive, I followed that up with a 10-5 record in Week 6. So I hope history repeats itself.
For the year, my record against the spread is 117-107 and 146-77-1 when picking games straight.
* All lines are from ESPN.
Tennessee Titans (2-12) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-12)
Thursday, December 18 at 8:25 pm ET on CBS/NFL Network
*Line: Jaguars (-3.5)
How can it be that the Jaguars are actually favored in a game? Well, the Titans have been decimated by injuries on the offensive side of the ball. Their top three tackles are out with injury, and their fourth tackle, Byron Stingily, also might not play tonight. That means that they will be compelled to start Will Svitek and Jamon Meredith. They are back to Charlie Whitehurst at quarterback thanks to injuries to Jake Locker and Zach Mettenberger. Justin Hunter is gone for the season, and both Kendall Wright and Delanie Walker are questionable with injuries. Throw in one of the league’s worst defenses, and you have the recipe for why the Titans are in the mix for the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft.
As I noted last week, the Jaguars tend to be most competitive when they are able to run the ball effectively in games and face a weak quarterback. This week they face one of the league’s worst run defenses and Whitehurst, so they should be able to play their style of football. Blake Bortles has been downright terrible this season but if there’s reason for optimism in Jacksonville, it’s that he’s still a far cry from Blaine Gabbert levels of ineptitude.
Spread Pick: Jaguars
Straight Pick: Jaguars