New York Jets vs Tennessee Titans Betting Odds and Preview

  on December 17 2012 1:42 PM
New York Jets vs Tennessee Titans Betting Odds and Preview

If this game was on Sunday, I don't think very many people would be interested in it outside of each respective fan base. Yet, here we are. A prime-time tilt between the Jets and the Titans.  Let's take a closer look at the betting angles.

Markets

Just like the game itself, there isn't much to report in the betting marketplace.  Vegas put up the Titans as -1.5 point favorites in the look-ahead line.  When it re-opened on Sunday, it opened at -1 (odds from SBRforum).  Don't read anything into this though because sportsbooks often do this to keep it out of the "teaser window". 

Motivation?

Some people are going to tell you that this game is vital for the New York Jets playoff chances.  Ok, technically that might be true, but this touches upon a common myth in the sporting world - "team A needs this more".  The problem is teams that "need to win" lose all the time.  Unless the opponent has clearly quit on the season (Eagles) or resting players for the playoffs, I don't get too caught up in the "who needs it more" factor because there is no statistical evidence to prove it matters.  Instead, what will be much more important is how the Jets execute once the whistle blows.

Advantage: Who?

If I were a Jets fan I'd be asking myself what there is to be optimistic about. Collectively, the QB's rank near the bottom of the league in efficiency ratings.  Subsequently, the passing game has been terrible and all the complimentary pieces are not far behind.  The running game, pass protection, third down efficiency, red zone scoring percentage, and drive success rates all rank below average.  Defensively, they are about average vs the run and pass, but in those "make-or-break" moments (third down/red zone), they are among the worst.  Special teams is usually an area that the Jets thrive in, but not this season.  They are right in the middle of the pack, and below average in starting field position.

Not even Rex Ryan can spin this mess into something positive. Most of the time, he's good for a ridiculous statement at this time of year, but he's keeping it quiet this week. Smart move.

The issue for us is that the Titans have not been any better.  There are only two meaningful categories where they rank above average - pass protection and offensive third down efficiency.  That's pretty good considering how awful they've been in every other area.   It hasn't mattered if it's Matt Hasselbeck or Jake Locker under center, because neither have lived up to expectations.  Chris Johnson has shown signs of his former self, but nothing more than that.   The pass defense was a major question mark this year after letting Cortland Finnegan go, and that's turned out to be a dire mistake.  They haven't stopped anybody of note this season.  The pass rush is mediocre, so that hasn't helped things in the secondary either.

Bottom Line

The reality is there could be some value on the Titans in this spot.  Since neither team holds any significant advantages, Tennessee should be favored by a little more.  A full field goal?  That might be pushing it.  I would set this line at -2.5, but that isn't enough for me to get involved in this one.  New York is 4-2 against the spread on the road though, while Tennessee is 2-4 against the spread at home. I'll take a pass, but if I had to lean one direction it would be on the home team.