Jets-Titans Point Spread Preview, Picks, Score Prediction
Believe it or not and despite how terrible the New York Jets (6-7) have looked at times this season, they are still in the playoff hunt sitting just one game behind the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals, who are currently tied for the second and final wild card spot in the AFC. The Tennessee Titans (4-9) meanwhile are just playing out the string while waiting for this abysmal season to end.
Despite that, it is the Titans that are -1.5 home favorites on Monday Night Football this week, with the total set at 41½.
1. Why New York will cover the spread: The Jets will cover this spread if they continue to run the ball as they have in the last two games, both of them victories to help maintain a pulse in the playoff race. First they rushed for 177 yards vs. the Arizona Cardinals two weeks ago and then they rushed for 166 yards vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars last week.
The less they need to ask out of Mark Sanchez, the better. Speaking of Sanchez, a second key to this contest is him not throwing interceptions on the occasions when he does throw the ball, which would preferably be few and far between.
2. Why Tennessee will cover the spread: The Titans will cover this spread if they get better offensive line play, both in pass protection and in run blocking. It seemed as though running back Chris Johnson was back earlier on, but he has gone back to averaging only 3.3 yards per carry the last three games, although it has not really been his fault with no holes to run through.
Quarterback Jake Locker has actually been Tennessee’s leading rusher over the past three weeks, and those runs have not been on called plays as he has broken off a few runs while scrambling for his life. He has failed to do so eight times, as that is the number of sacks he has taken in those three games.
3. Total Talk: We are not quite sure what ESPN was thinking when they scheduled this matchup for Week 15, but this figures to be a snooze-fest which has us liking the ‘under’. We see no reason why the Jets cannot continue to run well vs. the 23rd ranked Tennessee rushing defense allowing 127.0 yards per game, especially since Bilal Powell is proving to be fully capable of sharing the running load with Shonn Greene. In fact Powell had 78 rushing yards vs. the Jaguars while Greene has 77.
We also see no reason for the Titans to get improved line play as they now have three starting linemen out for the season with guard Steve Hutchinson and tackle David Stewart being the two most recently placed on Injured Reserve after both getting injured in Week 13 vs. Houston.
4. Betting Trends for Jets/Titans: The Jets are 5-0 ATS in the last five head-to-head meetings and also 5-0 ATS in their last five games after gaining less than 150 passing yards in their previous game. The Titans are 2-5 ATS as favorites under Mike Munchak.
New York 21 – Tennessee 17
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