DFS NFL

Week 14 in the NFL begins with an AFC South matchup between the Jaguars and Titans on Thursday Night Football. For this game and every other primetime contest, we’ll break down the sports betting lines and recommend where to place your bets at DraftKings Sportsbook, BetStars, and FanDuel Sportsbook.

This advice is also relevant for fantasy contests on sites such as DraftKings and FanDuel and can be helpful in seasonal fantasy leagues as well.

Keep an eye on injury news right up until kick off since things can change quickly in the NFL. Any player listed as questionable may see limited action or not suit up at all if he doesn’t respond well in warm-ups.

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Week 14 Thursday Night Football Betting Odds

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans

DraftKings Sportsbook Odds: Titans -5, 38 total 
888 Sportsbook OddsTitans -5, 38 total 
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: Titans -5, 37.5 total 
BetStars Sportsbook Odds: Titans -5, 37.5 total 

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With two low-scoring, defensive-minded conference foes facing off, Thursday’s game has the lowest Over/Under (37.5) on the Week 14 slate.

These teams combined for just 15 points with zero touchdowns in a 9-6 Titans victory back in Week 3.

Now, Marcus Mariota (hand, elbow) is hobbled, and the Jaguars have turned to backup QB Cody Kessler, limiting each offense further. The Jaguars defense stepped up with Leonard Fournette suspended last week, blanketing the Colts for a 6-0 win to snap a seven-game losing streak.

Healthy and motivated to spoil the playoff hopes of a divisional foe, the Jacksonville D/ST is the star of this matchup and an option to target in DFS contests on DraftKings and FanDuel if playing the full weekend slate.

Jalen Ramsey (knee) battled through injury Sunday and played on every defensive snap in a sixth straight appearance. His presence on the outside will almost make Corey Davis a nonfactor and force more targets toward the interior. Davis has a meager 38 yards on three receptions over three meetings with Ramsey and Jacksonville. Jags boundary CB A.J. Bouye (calf) and slot CB D.J. Hayden (toe) are both healthy for the first time since the opening weeks of the season when the Jags started 3-1.

Beyond Davis, the Titans have used a deep rotation of uninspiring receivers, including Tajae Sharpe, Taywan Taylor, Darius Jennings, and Cameron Batson. None can be expected to consistently win against the Jaguars’ elite corners.

Despite their disappointing season, Jacksonville ranks sixth in DVOA pass defense and seventh against the run. The Jags allow the third-fewest passing YPG (207.2) and hold opposing backs to 4.1 YPC (tied for eighth-best in NFL) this season. That number has dropped to a stifling 2.85 YPC over their last three games.

What’s more, only four teams have a lower YPC average (4.0) than the Titans this season. If Jacksonville can play man on the outside and limit the Titans’ rushing attack, the Jags will have excess resources to account for Mariota’s scrambling ability and be able to shut down the offense altogether. That is the biggest threat for a Jags defense that’s allowed a league-high 26.8 rushing YPG to opposing QBs.

The Jags have shown a hint of vulnerability to opposing TEs, giving up 10 catches to Eric Ebron last week. You can expect the Titans to use deception in trying to free up Jonnu Smith and maybe rookie TE Anthony Firkser in key spots. Firsker has caught 13-of-13 targets this season and is a true longshot to consider in tournaments.

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Turning to the Jags offense, the front office fired OC Nathaniel Hackett and benched Blake Bortles last week, turning to backup Cody Kessler.

Quarterbacks coach Scott Milanovich has taken over play-calling duties, and his directive is clearly to avoid turnovers and let the Jags defense try to win games. Kessler completed 18-of-24 passes for 150 yards (6.3 YPA) and added 28 rushing yards as a game manager against the Colts.

With Kessler under center, Jaguars perimeter receivers Donte Moncrief and Keelan Cole become desperation plays. Slot WR Dede Westbrook is a low-ceiling option, and T.J. Yeldon should see more work as a receiver with Kessler checking down. D.J. Chark (quad) has been ruled out.

Of course, this offense will flow through Leonard Fournette. He had 108 yards and 2 TDs on 18 touches before getting ejected in Week 12 and sitting out last Sunday, so Fournette will be fresh for this Thursday night matchup.

While his volume is ensured, the Jaguars offensive line is in shambles. After LG Andrew Norwell (ankle) joined LT Cam Robinson (knee) and C Brandon Linder (knee) on injured reserve, RG A.J. Cann is the only starter still standing from the beginning of the year. Current starting RT Jermey Parnell (knee) is questionable.

After leading the NFL in scoring and red zone defense the first 10 weeks, the Titans have allowed 94 points over three games and have coughed up an astounding 5.57 YPC to relatively weak rushing teams in the Colts, Texans, and Jets.

The Titans are tied for 20th with only 29 sacks this season and have only managed 13 over five home games this year. Tennessee’s defense is still formidable, holding opposing QBs to an 82.5 passer rating with just 8 TDs allowed in those home games. The Titans gave up two special teams scores to the Jets but otherwise kept that weak offense out of the end zone last week.

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The Picks

Fournette should handle between 25 and 30 touches in a grind-it-out contest. He is the only fantasy play in this game about which we’re truly confident. His presence gives the Jaguars (+5) a marked advantage in the red zone.

Defensively, Jacksonville is holding opponents to the fifth-fewest yards (29.12) and TDs (.188) per drive. Tennessee is still allowing the lowest TD rate per red zone trip and the seventh-fewest TDs (.194) per drive overall.

Despite the extremely low total relative to the rest of NFL scoring this year, the Under (37.5 on BetStars) is a good bet. These teams rank 22nd and 25th respectively in neutral situation pace, and the Jags offense should slow further with Kessler under center.

Both offenses are in the bottom seven in yards and points per drive, as well as drive success rate. Tennessee is a better more efficient in the red zone (19th in TDs per trip) but ranks 27th overall in TDs per drive. Jacksonville is 30th in that category.

Over half of bets are on the Over, but the sharps aren’t expecting much offense in this game with over 75% of bets on the Under.

With the line moving a full point away from Jacksonville, we like the Jaguars (+5) and the points.

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