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Is this the week the Tennessee Titans finally suffer their first defeat?
Bettors thought it would happen two weeks ago when they wagered heavily against the Titans. Tennessee beat Green Bay in overtime. It was the only time the Titans haven’t covered all season.
Money came against the Titans this past weekend, too, but Tennessee beat Chicago on the road.
There’s a feeling the Titans won’t be so fortunate away from home again this Sunday. The Titans are three-point road favorites versus Jacksonville.
“Any time you take Tennessee now you’re taking a chance,” said Mike Seba, a senior linesmaker for Las Vegas Sports Consultants. “The Titans actually could use a loss. They know they’re not going undefeated and the pressure has to be on the minds, especially when on the road.”
There was divided opinion among the LVSC oddsmakers on the Titans-Jaguars matchup. The lines ranged from Jacksonville minus one to Titans minus 2 ½. The company’s recommendation to its many Nevada hotel clients was Titans minus one.
Bookmakers felt they couldn’t put out Tennessee as more than a field goal favorite against the Jaguars, after the Titans were minus three last week against the Bears.
“I don’t think you give three to Jacksonville at home,” Seba said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if the line came down to 2 ½.
“Jacksonville is looking better. The Jaguars are getting healthier and absolutely have to have this game. Even though their record isn’t good, the Jaguars are a decent team. This is a good spot for them.”
The Jaguars looked great this past Sunday. But that was against winless Detroit. In their previous game, the Jaguars lost to the Cincinnati Bengals, which hadn’t won a game.
You know what you’re going to get from Tennessee – a low-scoring, conservative type of hard-hitting smash-mouth game. That’s Jacksonville’s style, too. The key is which Jacksonville team will show up?
“The Titans always comes to play, but it has to catch up to them at some point,” Seba said.
The San Diego Chargers are kind of the opposite of the Tennessee Titans. They generate all kinds of betting interest with the public but are rarely consistent. The Titans produce wins and covers, but haven’t caught on with many recreational bettors who continue to fade them.
The Chargers came within a missed two-point conversion of losing to Kansas City as 15-point home favorites on Sunday.
Yet bookmakers had Pittsburgh listed as only a 3 ½-point home favorite on Sunday against San Diego.
The LVSC oddsmakers believed that number to be short. Their send-out number was Steelers minus 4 ½. Seba said power rating-wise with home-field thrown in the Steelers could have been six-point favorites versus the Chargers.
“It has to be at least four,” he said about the Chargers-Steelers line. “I was thinking six if Willie Parker and Heath Miller are able to play.”
Whether it’s because of a lingering toe injury or what, it’s becoming obvious LaDainian Tomlinson has lost some of his burst and explosiveness. Pittsburgh ranks No. 1 in total defense, second in rush defense yielding 69.2 yards on the ground per game.
Seba also disagreed with those books that have Buffalo more than a four-point home favorite against Cleveland on Monday night, even though LVSC sent-out Bills minus 5 ½.
“No way can you lay all of those points with the Bills the way they are playing,” he said. “It’s just too many points.”
Buffalo is off consecutive division losses to the Dolphins, Jets and Patriots. The Bills only have four sacks in their last five games, desperately missing star pass rusher Aaron Schobel.
The Bills also have had trouble running the ball, rushing for just 90 yards during the past two weeks on 35 carries for a 2.5 average.
The Browns have three extra days rest and their offense seems to have picked up with the insertion of Brady Quinn at quarterback.