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AFC action here as the red-hot New England Patriots travel to take on the Tennessee Titans. The Titans had a great start to the season, then stumbled, and have since rebounded. The Patriots started slow, but are rounding into form at the exact right time and are looking as good as ever. Both teams are coming off big wins in nationally televised primetime games, and it’ll be interesting to see who comes out without a hangover.
The Patriots surprisingly started the season 1-2, with losses to the Jaguars and Lions. They’ve since won six straight games, and are now two games ahead of the Dolphins for first place in the AFC East. After a very shaky start to the season, the defense has gotten a lot better, limiting the Bills and Packers to just six and 17 points respectively over their past two games.
They looked particularly good Sunday night against Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay, when the Patriots were able to get a relatively consistent pass-rush for the first time in a while. That being said, there’s reason to believe this six game win streak might be a bit phony. The defense is still pretty bad, and something has just looked off this whole year about the offense, no matter what they do to remedy it.
It looks like running back Sony Michel will return for this game, but Rob Gronkowski’s status for the game is still a huge question mark. Gronk hasn’t been the same player he usually is in 2018 even when he’s been healthy, and it makes sense why the Patriots looked to trade him this offseason. The Patriots have been riding high for a while now, and appear due for a let-down game. It’s possible it happens here.
Titans Finally Rebound
The Titans haven’t been able to catch a break this season. In the team’s very first game, star tight end Delanie Walker was lost for the season with a brutal ankle injury. In that same game, quarterback Marcus Mariota suffered a nerve injury in his elbow that impacted how he was able to grip a football. He missed most of the next two games, and even when he returned he was nowhere near full strength.
The team started 3-1, then dropped three straight to fall to 3-4. After the bye week they played the Cowboys in a must-win game on Monday Night Football, and beat them down. Mariota is finally fully healthy after the bye, and looked maybe the best he has in years. The Titans finally got rid of arch-conservative coach Mike Mularkey this offseason, and new offensive coordinator Matt Lefleur is really opening things up for Mariota. Mariota is finally getting comfortable in the new offense after an initial adjustment, and the Titans could be a great team to buy moving forward.
— Titans Film Room (@titansfilmroom) November 6, 2018
Over his last two games, Mariota is completing 73.7 percent of his passes, and has averaged 7.8 yards per attempt. He’s also made some great plays as a runner, and should be in for a big day against this weak New England defense. An offensive mind like Lefleur should be able to scheme up some good stuff, and the Titans should be able to keep this one close.
- 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games
- 10-3 ATS vs. a team with a winning record
- 2-7 ATS in their last 9 road games vs. a team with a losing home record
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
It’s never pretty betting against the Patriots, but I like the Titans a lot here at home. The Titans have covered five out of their last six home games, and I expect that trend to continue here. The offense is finally starting to find its groove, and the defense is very underrated and should be able to provide plenty of pressure on Tom Brady. I don’t know if they’ll win outright, but the Titans should keep this one very close.
Prediction: Titans +7
Full-Game Total Pick
I think oddsmakers are overrating the Patriots’ defense and underrating the Titans’ offense here. I have no doubt the Patriots will be able to put up points, but I think the Titans will too. Oddsmakers haven’t adjusted enough for the fact that Mariota is finally healthy, and the Titans’ offense is much better as a result. This one has shootout potential, and I like the over a lot here.
Prediction: Over 46.5