Tennessee Titans vs. New York Jets
Date and Time: Saturday, August 12, 2017, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
Preseason NFL Week 1 Opening Odds: Titans -2.5, O/U 37
Titans vs. Jets TV Coverage: Local
It's unlikely that Corey Davis is going to make his pro debut on Saturday night for the Titans after picking up a minor hamstring injury. But even without the Western Michigan product, there's still a lot of optimism about this Tennessee offense. Eric Decker will make his debut with the Titans, but the showcase is clearly Marcus Mariota returning from his nasty leg injury that cost him the end of last season.
Mariota is back to running around in practice and is considered to be full strength at this point. He probably won't play long in this first preseason game, but Mularkey has already stated that he wants to get his franchise pivot comfortable again with game action, as long as that takes him to achieve.
Matt Cassel is a veteran and won't need much time in this offense to get prepared, so expect to see a lot of Alex Tanney and undrafted rookie free agent, Tyler Ferguson, the two men who are battling for the third-string job in Nashville.
It's really anyone's guess what Todd Bowles is going to do this season at quarterback. The battle really seems to be between Josh McCown and Christian Hackenberg as the starter, and the loser of that duo seems to be ready to get released or stuck on the practice squad.
McCown will start, but Bowles has reportedly considered letting Hackenberg have some early reps with the No. 1s, what would amount to be his first serious shot at competing at a high level in his career.
Bryce Petty will get some time as well, while Jason Vander Laan will likely mop the game up in the fourth quarter.
The weather often plays a huge role in these preseason games. Driving rainstorms often end up changing the way that offenses operate, as no one wants to get anyone hurt in poor conditions.
The conditions in the Meadowlands isn't expected to be terrible, but the fact that the Giants are playing the night before at home parlayed with rain throughout the day on Saturday could make the surface incredibly slippery.
A wet football could make things difficult, particularly for a quarterback like Hackenberg who has a propensity for hitting more reporters on the sidelines in practice than he does actual wide receivers on the playing field.
Titans vs. Jets Free Picks
Keep an eye on the weather report before this one gets started. If it's been raining all day in New Jersey, the under is going to be the right play to make in this initial preseason game.
We already know that Mularkey is going to be in favor of using all of his running backs to make these exhibitions as short as possible, and it's hard to see the Jets doing anything different than that, especially with all these new pieces to the puzzle that are going to be crucial in the passing game.
Given the choice, we'd be prepared to lay the lumber with the Titans, especially if Hackenberg is going to be such a crucial part of this game. However, we think the under is the much safer play, even if Mariota leads Tennessee to a touchdown drive early against the young Jets' defense. Find the best price available at a top 5 sportsbook, and go with the under.
Titans vs. Jets ATS Pick: Under 37 at BookMaker.eu
Titans vs. Jets Score Prediction: Titans 24, Jets 10