The Packers won’t be leaning as much on Aaron Jones against the Titans, plus other best bets for Thursday

Dear reader, the word of the day is “value”. As I scoured the bulletin board for choices to include in tonight’s newsletter, I was overwhelmed by the material presented to me. The hardest decision I made all day was figuring out which three choices to include and which to leave out.

I finally decided to include my favorite play for tonight’s NFL game because, duh, and I have a college football bet in addition to a college basketball game. Before we get to any of these, though, let’s look at words written by other people for a bit.

To the value!

All Eastern Time and All Odds via Caesars Sportsbook

🔥 The hot ticket

Titans to Packers, 8:15pm | television: Amazon

  • Key trend: The Titans’ defense ranks #1 in the NFL with a 70.5% hit rate against the run
  • Pick: Aaron Jones under 55.5 rushing yards (-117)

Everyone is wondering if the Packers are BACK after beating the Cowboys 31-28 last week to end a five game losing streak. Aaron Rodgers had his best game in a while. However, while Rodgers got a lot of attention for his touchdowns, the engine of Green Bay’s offense remained Aaron Jones.

Jones carried the ball 24 times for 138 yards and caught two passes for 18 yards. It was an impressive performance, as Jones had been limited in training with a shin problem during the week. This is a problem that persists and won’t have much time to recover in a short week. I suspect tonight we will see greater responsibility sharing between Jones and AJ Dillon for this very reason.

That, and the fact that Tennessee’s defense is one of the best in the league against the run, leads me to believe that Jones won’t be as successful on the field. Tennessee ranks first in the league by a large winning percentage margin at 70.5%. That’s the main reason I’m avoiding taking the Packers against the spread, even if I lean that way, especially if you can get it at Green Bay -3 or better.

Here’s what SportsLine has to say about the game: SportsLine’s RJ White is 55-19-1 in his last 75 ATS picks involving the Packers and has one game listed for Thursday Night Football.

💰 The Picks

🏈 College soccer

SMU at 21 Tulane, 7:30pm | TV: ESPN

Latest odds:

Under 66 years old

The choice: less than 65 (-110) — In their last two games, SMU had 77 points against Houston and followed that up with 41 points last week against South Florida. So why should I bet an under in a game involving SMU? Is simple! The Houston defense on which the Mustangs put up 77 was already missing a couple starters before the game and lost four more during the game. As for the South Florida team that puts up 41, it’s one of the worst teams in the country and had fired its coach the week before.

The same cannot be said of Tulane. The Green Waves are vying for a conference title in the American bid and the New Year’s Six Bowl that would result. Tulane also has one of the best defenses in the league. The Waves play a lot of turns but don’t break, but are very good and tackle well. Keeping things ahead of you is exactly what you need to do to stifle an SMU offense that is overly reliant on big plays in the passing game.

🏈 College basketball

No. 20 Michigan vs. Arizona State, 9:30pm | TV: ESPN2
Pick: Arizona State Under 67.5 (-115) —
I’m always a fan of substitutes in neutral matches, but both teams played last night at the Barclays Center and will be familiar with their surroundings. But just because I won’t bet the whole game under doesn’t mean I won’t take us to the truly degenerate land known as an early season college basketball team total.

This is the first time for this newsletter, but I assure you it’s not the first time I’ve done it.

Long story short, Arizona State’s offense sucks. The Sun Devils rank 153rd nationally in offensive efficiency because they can’t shoot. They’re shooting 29.4% from threes (236th) and 44.0% from twos (277th). Tonight they’re facing a Michigan team that has been excellent defensively inside the three-point line and should confuse the Sun Devils with their size advantage. Oh, and when Arizona State doesn’t miss shots, they often run the ball around. Its turnover rate of 21.0% ranks 251st nationally.

🔒 SportsLine pick of the day: The World Cup kicks off on Sunday and SportsLine’s Brandt Sutton shares all of his favorite bets for the biggest tournament in the world.

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