Thursday, November 12, 2020, Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee, 8:20 p.m. ET
Colts at Titans Betting Preview: Colts (-2/+115), Titans (-2/-134)
Coming into the Thursday night game, the Colts boast the league’s third-best scoring defense at 20 points allowed per game. And defense does travel. But can their offense allow that defense a bit of wiggle room in its matchup with the NFL’s No. 7 scoring offense? Tennessee puts up 29 points per game.
Indianapolis is a middle-of-the-pack attack this year — 15th in scoring (26 points per game), 19th in total yards (360.5 per game) — that sustained a season-ending injury to starting running back Marlon Mack in Week 1. Rookie Jonathan Taylor is doing a decent job, but the offense misses Mack’s burst.
Veteran quarterback Philip Rivers has played all right most of the year, but he floundered Sunday in a 24-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, managing only 227 yards on 43 pass attempts. The Titans’ lack of pass rush could play to his advantage, as could the return of wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (groin), who was forced to sit out last week.
No defense in the NFL needed a good game more than Tennessee’s on Sunday. Taking advantage of a limited opponent, the Chicago Bears, the Titans pitched a shutout for three quarters and didn’t allow a touchdown until they had guided the horse back into his stall.
The difference? A legitimate pass rush for once and good third-down defense for once. Tennessee, which entered the game with seven sacks in seven games, put Nick Foles on the ground three times. The Titans also held the Bears to 2-of-15 success on third down, far superior to the 61.9 percent opponents converted through seven games.
The Titans will aim to find more creases for running back Derrick Henry, who was limited to 68 yards Sunday and lost his NFL rushing lead to Darvin Cook of the Minnesota Vikings. Ryan Tannehill’s excellence at quarterback aside, this offense is built on Henry.
Colts at Titans Betting Pick for Week 10
The AFC South rivals meet twice in the next three weeks. Neither Houston or Jacksonville has a realistic chance of catching Tennessee or Indianapolis, so there’s a shot this division will be decided before the calendar flips to December.
Indianapolis appears to have the edge on defense, but is its offense too limited to fully take advantage of a defense that’s been shaky for most of the season? Expect that weakness to haunt the Colts as the Titans’ offense comes up with a big play late to decide this one.
Colts at Titans Betting Pick:
Titans 24, Colts 20
Colts at Titans Best Bet for Week 10
Recent trends say over, but a deeper dive into this first-place showdown suggest the under might be a good play. Indianapolis has one of the league’s better defenses, especially in preventing big plays, but blows hot and cold on offense.
Tennessee’s defense looked much sharper last week against Chicago, which isn’t saying much. But that could give the Titans confidence to play another good game, even with short prep time.
Colts at Titans Best Bet: UNDER 48.5 total points (-103)