Even though the NFL has seen a decline in its ratings and popularity, the top sportsbooks are still priming up more lines for professional football than one would care to count. The NFL has desperately been trying to pull in more fans, even going as far as to schedule games overseas. How successful has the NFL’s international efforts been? Well, of the 4 Britons that I spoke with this past weekend (through the wonder of online gaming) not a single one had tuned into this past weekend’s London matchup, let alone even know that there were NFL games happening within the United Kingdom. In the end, the contest between the Rams and the Giants wasn’t the most riveting, but those who tuned in got to a lesson from Case Keenum on how to not be a good quarterback.
Overseas games are just one of the many strategies the NFL has been implementing to raise its viewership, that, and the scheduling of a Thursday Night Football game every week. Before, the NFL would only schedule a handful of Thursday night matchups, but now there’s 2 NFL teams going at it every Thursday. In Week 8, the Jacksonville Jaguars will be traveling to Cumberland River to take on the Tennessee Titans in Nissan Stadium. Neither team has proven too reliable for your bet on NFL money lines, but the top sportsbooks should have plenty of lines available for this contest.
Week 8 – Thursday, October 27th
Jacksonville Jaguars +3 ½ (-115) 44 ½ (-110)
Tennessee Titans -3 ½ (-105) 44 ½ (-110)
Both teams are coming in off a loss, but the bookmakers have still decided to paint the Titans the favorite with a 3 ½ point spread. This past weekend the Titans had a chance to challenge the Texans for the lead in the AFC South when they faced the Indianapolis Colts. Despite some pretty impressive trick plays, Tennessee’s divisional rival proved to be too much. The Titans had a chance to win the game late in the 4th quarter, but Tennessee’s offense lacks the explosiveness to get it done late in the game. Ultimately, it was the Mariota fumble that cost the Titans the win. The strength of the Titans football team is their ability to run the ball, unfortunately, you can’t run the ball excessively when you’re down late in the game. So will the Jags be able to establish an early lead and force Mariota to lose the game once again?
It doesn’t seem likely. Blake Bortles isn’t playing anywhere near as well as he was last year, to the point where everyone – even the top sportsbooks, have started asking questions about a change at the quarterback position. Behind Bortles’ efforts, the Jaguars passing offense ranks as the 17th worst in the NFL. Their running game is even worst, coming in with the 30th worst ranking in the league. The Titans are great against the run, so you can be certain that they’ll be forcing the Jaguars to beat them through the air. Bortles would’ve been able to lead them to victory in 2015, but in 2016? Not so much.