Detroit Lions at Tennessee Titans Betting Preview

Sunday, December 20, 2020, Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee, 1 p.m. ET

Lions at Titans Betting Preview: Lions (+11/-106), Titans (-11/-114)

Detroit Lions

Give interim coach Darrell Bevell credit for this much: He’s had the Lions playing hard, which is more than Matt Patricia could do near the end. Detroit rallied to beat Chicago in Bevell’s debut, then made Green Bay work 60 minutes for a 31-24 win last week.

None of that is going to help the 5-8 Lions make the playoffs, which makes this no different from most other seasons since, well, Bobby Layne was under center in the 1950s. But at least they’re giving the substitute teacher their full attention, so that’s at least a start.

The task this week was going to be tough in any event, with the No. 29 defense trying to stop Derrick Henry and a top-five offense. But an offense that is capable of scoring points against a mediocre defense might have to go without Matthew Stafford (ribs) or center Frank Ragnow (throat) this week in Nashville.      

Tennessee Titans

The schedule last week said Jacksonville, not bye. But with the exception of the Jets, playing Jacksonville is the NFL’s closest thing to a week off, and the Titans feasted on a bad defense while improving on defense in a 31-10 rout.

Henry rolled up 215 yards and now has an outside chance of reaching 2,000 for the year, as he needs 468 in the last three games. Detroit’s defense hasn’t been confused lately with the Steel Curtain, so this could be another big game.

Tennessee’s defense needs to step up again as it did last week. Its pitiful pass rush, last in the league with 14 sacks, could get a boost if Ragnow’s fractured throat prevents him from playing. It at least stiffened up against the run in Jacksonville, holding outstanding rookie back James Robinson in check while the game was still in doubt.  

Lions at Titans Betting Pick for Week 15

Different week, same task for Tennessee. Don’t let a losing team gain confidence with a fast start and let them think they can win. If the Titans are ready to play and execute well offensively, Detroit isn’t going to stop them from piling on the points.

The trick for Tennessee is to at least be competent defensively, like it was last week. The Lions have gotten a bounce from Patricia’s firing, but their weaknesses on defense are too crippling against an offense as varied and potent as the Titans’.            

Lions at Titans Betting Pick:

Titans 34, Lions 24.

Lions at Titans Best Bet for Week 15

Think over for this one. Ten of Tennessee’s last 13 home games have gone over the number and nine of its last 12 games this year have ended above the number. The total has also climbed over the number in five of Detroit’s last seven games. If you absolutely need any more convincing, try these set of numbers out: The Lions are allowing 29.9 points and the Titans 25.8. So hammer the over and add numbers to your checking account.          

Lions at Titans Best Bet: OVER 51.5 total points (-110)

Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars Betting Preview

Sunday, December 13, 2020, TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, Florida, 1 p.m. ET

Titans at Jaguars Betting Preview: Titans (-7.5/-112), Jaguars (+7.5/-108)

Tennessee Titans

Last week represented a big red flag to some who were touting Tennessee (8-4) as a darkhorse in the loaded AFC. After impressive road wins the prior two weeks over Baltimore and Indianapolis, it came home and laid a mutant egg against Cleveland.

The 41-35 final score was frankly flattering to the Titans. They trailed 38-7 at the half, giving up scores on all six first-half possessions against a middle-of-the-pack offense. It was a big step backwards for a defense that has been a fairly consistent source of frustration for their fans.

Tennessee’s approach this week needs to be re-establishing who it is. Get running back Derrick Henry (NFL-leading 1,317 yards) going early in the game, jump on an early lead to keep Jacksonville from gaining confidence and avoid the kind of silly mistakes that plagued it last week.   

Jacksonville Jaguars

It’s hard to believe that just three years ago, Jacksonville won the AFC South and reached the AFC championship game, where it was 15 minutes from toppling New England before a bitter come-from-ahead loss.

Since then, the Jaguars (1-11) have resumed their decade-long role as NFL laughingstock. The general manager has already been cashiered with the team in an 11-game losing streak and the coaching staff — including head coach Doug Marrone –– is probably four games away from needing to update their resumes on LinkedIn.

But they haven’t stopped playing hard. They have eaten a number of tough losses during this skid, the last two coming by five points. And they have unearthed a future star off the free agent pile in running back James Robinson, who needs just 32 yards on Sunday to reach 1,000 as a rookie.                    

Titans at Jaguars Betting Pick for Week 14

The pressure’s on Tennessee to take care of business this week after a stinky performance against Cleveland. They’re facing a division rival with nothing to lose but a 12th straight game, the kind of team you don’t always want to see in the middle of December.

Jacksonville isn’t going to leave anything in the playbook if it has a chance to win, and near-misses against Green Bay, Cleveland and Minnesota show it’s still trying. But the Titans’ offense probably has a bit more firepower and that makes the difference.          

Titans at Jaguars Betting Pick:

Titans 34, Jaguars 30

Titans at Jaguars Best Bet for Week 14

In theory, Tennessee should be ready to go from the jump after getting off to such a lousy start against Cleveland. Given that it has one of the best offenses in the NFL and Jacksonville has one of the worst defenses, don’t be afraid to be bold. Go ahead and hammer the over that the Titans will score more than 10.5 points in the first quarter and thank us later when you step to the pay window.       

Titans at Jaguars Best Bet: Titans OVER 10.5 total points in the first quarter (-223)

OddsUSA’s NFL Best Picks for Week 13

Greetings NFL fans. Here’s hoping you and your families had a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Last week, we had a couple of interesting events unfold. First, all of the quarterbacks for the Denver Broncos were out of the mix due to COVID-19 protocol. Second, after hanging tough with the Kansas City Chiefs, the Las Vegas Raiders were blown out by the Atlanta Falcons to the tune of 43-6.

And last, but certainly not least, I predicted wins for the Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, and the Kansas City Chiefs. And for the first time in several weeks, I was correct on each of those selections, giving me a 3-0 week.

As a result, my overall record improved to 28-7 on the season. While it was nice to finally hit on each of those picks, Week 12 is in the books now and it is time to look ahead to the upcoming slate of games. Having said that, here’s a look at my top outright picks for Week 13.

Week 13 NFL Best Bet No. 3:

Cleveland Browns at Tennessee Titans (-4)

If you’ve been following my column at any point during the season, my first pick usually involves a matchup that could go either way, and that is certainly the case here. Both teams are coming off wins in Week 12. The Browns narrowly edged the Jacksonville Jaguars by a 27-25 margin. Meanwhile, the Titans defeated the Indianapolis Colts 45-26. Additionally, both of these teams have posted three wins in their last four contests. While both teams have a formidable running game, the Titans are a bit more balanced from an offensive standpoint and that will help them to come away with a win in what should be a very competitive game between a pair of teams with an identical 8-3 record.

James’ pick: Titans win in a close one

Week 13 NFL Best Bet No. 2:

Las Vegas Raiders (-7.5) at New York Jets

Sure, the Raiders have dropped their last two games. Sure, the Raiders are coming off one of their poorest showings of the season against the Falcons. On the flip side of the coin, though, the Jets have yet to win a game this season. Yes, the jury is still out on how good the Raiders are. At the same time, this is the winless Jets we’re talking about here. On the heels of two straight losses, and their playoff hopes starting to look a bit dim, look for the Raiders to bounce back in a big way here.

James’ pick: Raiders get back into the win column

James’ NFL Best Bet of Week 13:

Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (-13.5)

There is a reason why the defending champs have been one of my best bets several times during the season and that trend will continue in Week 13. On one side of this matchup, the Broncos are 4-7 and have dropped three of their last four contests. On the flip side of the equation, the defending champs have reeled off six straight victories since suffering a 40-32 loss against the Raiders in Week 5. Not only that, but the Chiefs’ aerial attack is rounding into form, and just at the right time. In fact, Patrick Mahomes has posted four consecutive games in which he has thrown for at least 350 yards. This includes a season-best 462-yard performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week. Simply put, the Chiefs are one of the hottest teams in the league right now and they will win this one going away. It would be a surprise if the Chiefs didn’t win this one by at least 10 points.

James’ pick: Chiefs win outright and by at least 10 points

Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts Betting Preview

Sunday, November 29, 2020, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis. 1 p.m. ET

Titans at Colts Betting Preview: Titans (+3/-105), Colts (-3/-102)

Tennessee Titans

The Titans (7-3) might have 10 players on injured reserve for this game, so their depth will be tested. The holes that need to be plugged are on offense, defense and special teams.

The defense had trouble at times in the first matchup with the Colts, and now leading tackler Jayon Brown (76 stops) has landed on the injured list with a severe elbow injury. It has been a grueling stretch for the Titans, who needed overtime to win last week at Baltimore.

The good thing for Tennessee might be that they have physical running back Derrick Henry, who can dish out some punishment and is the league’s leading rusher this season with 1,079 yards. But the Titans managed only 294 yards of totals offense against the Colts when they lost 34-17 in the team’s meeting earlier this month.

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts (7-3) could take a huge step in the AFC South race if they complete a regular-season sweep of the Titans. Indianapolis won the first meeting just 17 days prior to this second scheduled encounter. The Colts will aim for their second three-game winning streak of the season.

Quarterback Philip Rivers threw for 308 yards in the first matchup with Tennessee. He had running back Nyheim Hines making big plays in that game, as the latter scored two touchdowns. The Colts are 4-1 under coach Frank Reich in his matchups with Titans coach Mike Vrabel.

Titans at Colts Betting Pick for Week 12

The Titans should come in with some confidence after knocking off Baltimore. This is a team that has relied on defense and yet it still needs to get some of that swagger back.

The Colts should be feeling good, too, after following their victory against Tennessee with last week’s comeback triumph against Green Bay. This will be a test if Rivers can put together another solid performance.

Titans at Colts Betting Pick:Colts 30, Titans 27

Titans at Colts Best Bet for Week 12

The Colts have scored at least 31 points in four of their past five games. Much of the tone of this game probably will depend on how the Indianapolis defense fares because the Titans are bound to come in with a better game plan this time.

The Colts looked vulnerable in the first half last week against Green Bay, then locked down for a sterling second half of defense. In eight of the last 11 Titans-Colts games, at least one of the teams has scored 30 points. For the season, Titans’ games have averaged 53.8 points per game.

Titans at Colts Best Bet: OVER 51.5 total points (-110)

The Best NFL Under Bets for Week 11: Keep Hammering the Jets

If you look around the internet, you will find article after article begging people to take the over. It is understandable why so many people hate under bets; it is one of the only bets you can lose well before the game is over. Plus, it preys on the anxieties of bettors as you just hope and pray for defensive stop after defensive stop, but not the type of stops that produce points.

For some bettors, the NFL under bet is a painful, anxiety laden play that is best to stay away from. But some people like that kind of thing. Me? I proudly admit I am one of those rare few who revel in the chaos of the NFL under bet, but I enjoy NFL under bets against teams, not the games themselves.

And, of course, as a purely statistical argument, there is one more reason NFL over and NFL under bets are so popular; half the time, the under works all the time. Here are your best NFL under bets for Week 11.

The Jets Are a Disgrace; Hammer Their NFL Under Every Week

The last time we saw the Jets, they were Jetsing their way to a come-from-in-front-defeat at the hands of the New England Patriots. The Jets lost their Week 9 game, 30-27, in a contest they absolutely should not have lost. The most impressive stat? Those 27 points, which were the most points they had scored in five weeks since their 37-28 loss in Denver.

Those two games account for all games this season in which the Jets have scored 20+ points. In fact, the Jets have failed to score double digits in three of their nine games and have failed to reach 18 points in seven of their nine tilts. And what is the Jets’ NFL under bet at Unibet right now? A beautiful and luscious 17.5 (-114). That’s the good type of under bet that warms you up faster than cider right out of the pot.

Why King Henry’s Offense is the Titans’ Best Defense

Most of the time when people examine possible under bets, they like to look at defense vs. offense. That makes an abundance of sense. If you are trying to bet against one team’s offense, the most important factor would be, “how does this defense stack up against them?” That is usually the most important math when discussing unders.

Then there are games where you bet the under because you know it is going to be a ground control contest and there won’t be enough time to put the points up on the board. The Week 11 game between the Tennessee Titans and the Baltimore Ravens is one of those affairs.

In last year’s Divisional Round game against the Ravens, Derrick Henry ran the ball 30 times for 195 yards while also throwing a touchdown (yup, he dominated). The Ravens had no answers for anything the Titans did: no answers for Henry on the ground, Ryan Tannehill through the air, and no answer for Mike Vrabel’s defense, which forced Lamar Jackson into three turnovers (two interceptions and one fumble).

Will the Ravens Have Enough Time to Score 28 Points?

In this week’s matchup, the sportsbooks have posted a juicy plus line (+102) for the Ravens to score under 27.5. When you look at the playoff game last year (28-12), that is the type of line that should whet your appetite for the NFL under bet.

Even if you are the type of person who does not like looking at past matchups from previous seasons, the tale of the tape still favors the Titans to put the clamps down on the Ravens. All you have to do is go back to last week where the New England Patriots—fresh off allowing 27 points to the Jets—kept the Ravens to just 17 points (granted, in a monsoon).

They did so with a dominant run game that bruised the undermanned Ravens squad for 4.4 yards per rush and that clip was only “low” thanks to numerous quarterback sneaks from Newton who carried it 10 times for 21 yards. All in all, Damien Harris rushed for 5.5 yards a tote and Rex Burkhead collected 5.2 yards a rush.  

So, in a season where the Patriots defense has had some issues, they kept the Ravens off the board by smashing them to bits on the ground. The 17 points scored by the Ravens marked the fifth time in nine games where the Ravens failed to hit 28 points.

And the Patriots accomplished that with guys named Harris and Burkhead, not King Henry. As for the Titans, their defense might be the downfall as they have held opponents to 28 points or fewer just four times this year. However, the Ravens will go under not because of the Titans defense, but because of their offense. Book it.