AFC South clash here as the Tennessee Titans travel to take on the Indianapolis Colts. Both teams are chasing the Texans in the division, so it’s safe to say this is a must-win for both teams. The Titans are riding high off their massive win over the Patriots, while the Colts narrowly escaped a rivalry game against Jacksonville last week with a three-point win. Oddsmakers have the Colts as 1.5 point favorites here, with a total of 49.
Titans Riding High
The Titans got the franchise’s biggest win in many years last Sunday when they shockingly beat the Patriots by 24 points. The Titans were seven-point home dogs for the game, and it was one of the biggest upsets of the 2018 season. I’ve been really high on this Titans team this season and was surprised that people weren’t more patient with them. Their season-long metrics didn’t look great, but there was an obvious reason for that. Marcus Mariota was injured in Week 1, and the team had to start Blaine Gabbert for multiple weeks. Even when Mariota returned, he could barely grip a football and was nowhere near 100%. The past couple of weeks he’s finally gotten back to full strength, and people are starting to see what the finished product will look like.
Marcus Mariota right now: 📈📈📈
— NFL (@NFL) November 12, 2018
Mariota has been a beast the past couple of weeks, and his health isn’t the only reason why. People were also neglecting the fact that the Titans have a new offensive coordinator, and a new scheme takes time to adjust to. The Titans are trending upward, and are a perfect buy candidate at this point in the season. Mariota can do it all as both a runner and pocket passer, and he should have a ton of time to throw against this weak Colts pass-rush. He’s had increasing chemistry with Corey Davis in recent weeks, and I expect Davis to go off here.
Colts On The Rise
Very quietly, the Colts may be the hottest team in the NFL. You haven’t heard much about them because they started the season 1-5, but they’re a lot better than you might think. They’ve since rattled off three straight wins, and are now right back in the thick of the AFC playoff race at 4-5. First-year coach Frank Reich has done a great job leading the offense, introducing a ton of innovation and making the most of the talent he has on the roster.
The Colts’ coaching staff has created a career renaissance for tight end Eric Ebron, who scored three touchdowns last week in the team’s win over the Jaguars. They’ve also been depleted by injuries, and what they’ve been able to do has been impressive. All that being said, it’s not as impressive as it might seem. The three wins on this winning streak have come against three bad teams, the Bills, Raiders, and Jaguars, and the week before it started they had an ugly loss to the Jets. While it’s admirable what they’ve been able to do, it’s been against a weak schedule, and that’s going to change soon.
This is a much tougher matchup for the Colts, and I don’t know if they’ll be able to stop the Titans defensively. The Colts have some good young talent on defense and are well set-up for the future but they’re still a ways off. Rookie linebacker Darius Leonard is going to be a star, but there are just too many injuries to this Colts team to expect them to get stops in this matchup.
- 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 vs. AFC South
- 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games after accumulating less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game
- 6-0 ATS in their last 6 vs. AFC South
- 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games overall
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I love the Titans here. This Titans team is trending upward at exactly the right time while the Colts are being overvalued because of their phony recent winning streak. The Titans will easily cover and win this game outright, and you should take them on the moneyline as well. The Jets put up 34 points on this Colts team, and I don’t see anyway the Titans don’t top that.
Prediction: Titans +1.5
Full-Game Total Pick
In addition to the Titans, I also love the over. This game has two brilliant offensive minds squaring off, and two pretty weak defenses. Don’t be fooled by last week’s stifling of the Patriots, this Titans defense isn’t really that good. This one has shootout written all over it, and I don’t see any way this game doesn’t get into the 50’s.
Prediction: Over 49