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Statschecker highlights five important factors to consider for Thursday Night Football
ANALYSIS

Thursday Night Football this week doesn’t represent the most glamorous matchup the NFL has to offer, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t present you with an opportunity to make money. As always, you should check out our exclusive Statschecker site to get the inside scoop on the game.

Simply put, the Jaguars need to play this game with a significant amount of desperation. They’re 0-2 which already greatly reduces their chances of making the postseason. The Titans opened the year with an inspiring victory against the Browns, but followed it up with a narrow home defeat to the Colts. Matt Vrabel’s team will be desperate to handle a Jacksonville team that will again take the field without quarterback Nick Foles.

Those are obvious facts heading into this Thursday’s game. Read on to discover five subtle facts you should consider before deciding whether or not you want to back the Titans as two-point favorites.

1 - The Titans struggle on the road in the AFC South

It’s tough for most NFL teams to win consistently on the road inside their own division. Tennessee takes those struggles to an entirely new level. They’ve failed to cover the line in 20 of their last 24 road games inside the AFC South.

That doesn’t mean the Titans can’t win this game, but expecting them to blowout the Jaguars might be an overly optimistic take. Don’t overlook the fact that this will be a tense game between two teams that play each other at least two times per season.

2 - The Jaguars are horrible against the spread

Since the start of the 2018 season, Jacksonville is an ugly 6-10-2 against the spread. That places them as the 30th-ranked team in the entire NFL. Two points may not be enough to help them turn that trend around on Thursday night.

The availability of Jaguars’ cornerback Jalen Ramsey is a storyline you should watch closely leading up to kickoff. If he’s in the lineup, the Titans are going to struggle to throw the ball effectively. Marcus Mariota isn’t the most accurate quarterback out there. At the minimum, Ramsey will force the Titans to throw the ball to the other side of the field. That could keep the score down and position the Jaguars to cover.

If Ramsey doesn’t play, the Titans could experience a banner day on offense against a depleted Jaguars secondary. His importance in this game can’t be overstated.

3 - DJ Chark is a weapon

The Jaguars roster isn’t blessed with a ton of elite talent at skill positions. Fortunately for officials in Jacksonville, last year’s second round pick DJ Chark is showing signs of life in his sophomore season.

The former LSU star has scored at least one touchdown in each of the opening two weeks for his non-descript offense. The Titans don’t have a defensive back with the combination of size and speed to keep him under wraps. Don’t be surprised if he finds a way to make a big play or two on Thursday night.

4 - Derrick Henry likes to start strong against the Jags

It’s no secret that Tennessee wants to establish Derrick Henry and the running game to set up everything they want to do on offense. It’s particularly important for the Titans coaching staff to get their physical running back going early. Henry has actually scored the team’s first touchdown in three of their last four games against the Jaguars.

Obviously, that makes Henry a strong Daily Fantasy play. It also means that his ability to grind out yards early in the game will go a long way towards determining the winner. If Jacksonville can stop Henry from hurting them on the ground, it may allow them to put more pressure on Mariota than he can handle.

5 - The Titans are wild at night

This is a really weird stat, but the Titans have hit the over in their last eight games at night. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are playing great football under the lights, but it does mean that more points tend to be scored in their games that kickoff after the sun goes down. The variance for outcomes in this game is more than you’re inclined to think at first glance.

Back the Titans

The Jaguars are going to be playing with their backs against the wall, but there’s a reason they are 0-2. They can keep this game close for a while with their defense, but their offense isn’t capable of moving the ball consistently against this underrated Titans defense. It won’t be a pretty win for Tennessee, but giving up two points is an easy choice here. Tease the line up to 6.5 if you want to increase your potential winnings.

By Rucker Haringey

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