One of the games on the early slate in Week 3 is the Tennessee Titans traveling to Minnesota to take on the Vikings. Minnesota is looking to get back on track after a horrible performance in Week 2 against the Indianapolis Colts where they put up 11 points on just 175 total yards and three turnovers. The Titans are coming off a close game against the Jacksonville Jaguars where Ryan Tannehill went 18-for-24 with four touchdowns without A.J. Brown.
The Vikings paid Dalvin Cook before the season started and he hasn’t really been producing the yardage you would like. Through two games, he has 113 rushing yards but he has three trips in the end zone in the first two weeks to make up for it. Minnesota should try to diversify their playcalling to get more touches for Cook since Kirk Cousins is having a terrible beginning to his 2020 campaign.
Ryan Tannehill took over the starting quarterback spot for the Titans halfway through last season and completely sparked their offense. He now has 6 touchdowns, which is tied with Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers, Garner Minshew, and Josh Allen for the lead. Tannehill is balling as he is completing 70.1 percent of his passes and has a 120.7 passer rating through his first two games. The Vikings allow 283.5 passing yards a game so expect Tennessee’s offense to be clicking throughout the game.
The line on this contest has shifted to the point where the road team is favored in the contest. When the lines opened, this game was a pick 'em but now the Titans are favored by 2.5 or three points depending on the sportsbook. 72 percent of the bets are backing Tennessee giving the points in this one.
The over/under in this contest jumped up this week for this game. After starting at 45.5 points, we've seen the total for this one climb up to 49.5 points. With that jump, 56 percent of the bets on the total have leaned toward the under.
Game-time Weather: U.S. Bank Stadium is a domed stadium, so expect 68 degrees and no wind.
Ground and PoundThe Tennessee Titans had a formula that found them success: run the ball. It helps when you have Derrick Henry in the backfield. Through two weeks, he is leading the NFL in rushing attempts (56) and has the second-most rushing yards (200). He takes care of the ball as he is yet to fumble the ball but isn’t getting many yards per carry as his longest run this season is just 14 yards. The Titans are one of two teams that is yet to score a touchdown on the ground this season but the Vikings could help change that. Minnesota is not a good rushing defense so far this season. They only trail the Dolphins for the most first downs allowed on the ground with 22. They have 72 rushing attempts on them and allowed 309 yards, which are both the fourth-most in the league. One positive is they limit the big plays from opposing running backs as they only allowed one play of 20+ yards against the likes of Aaron Jones and Johnathan Taylor thus far. The Titans can control the time of possession in this game and chew clock with their ability to pound the rock.
OUT: WR A.J. Brown, DB Dane Cruikshank, CB Adoree' Jackson, DB Chris Jackson, T Anthony McKinney, RB Senorise Perry, LB Derick Roberson, T Isaiah Wilson
Kirk Cousins Needs to be BetterKirk Cousins makes a lot of money. He is owed $96 million over the next three years, which is the fourth-most in the league. He is playing like a guy who looks overwhelmed and lost his best receiver. Both seem to be true as Stefon Diggs was traded to the Bills in the offseason and had 26 touchdowns and 6 interceptions in 2019. This year is a completely different story as he has the fifth-lowest passing yards (372) with two touchdowns and is tied for the most interceptions with four. He isn’t accurate this season either as he is only at a 58.8 completion percentage. The Vikings have the worst passer rating this season at 61.9 and no 40+ yard plays.
Cousins is going to have to figure something out on the fly as the Titans already have two interceptions and have forced a pair of turnovers. The Titans have allowed 10.7 yards per completion and four touchdowns in the air so this could be Cousins’ best opportunity yet to get back on track. He’s going to have to be careful with his passes though because the Titans are tied with the Bills for the lead with 11 pass deflections through the first two weeks of the season.
OUT: LB Anthony Barr, CB Cameron Dantzler, S Myles Dorn, LB Troy Dye, G Pat Elflein, LB Ben Gedeon, CB Mike Hughes, DE Danielle Hunter, DT Michael Pierce, LB Cameron Smith, DE Kenny Willekes
Questionable: RB Mike Boone, CB Kris Boyd, T Riley Reiff
- Minnesota: 1-4 ATS last 5 in September.
- Tennessee: 5-1 ATS in last 6 road games
- Tennessee: Favorite is 4-0 in last 4 meetings
- Tennessee: 5-1-1 AST last 7 as a favorite.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Titans are playing great on offense and showed that by putting 33 points on the Jaguars without their number one receiver in A.J. Brwn. The Vikings look like they have more questions than answers right now and seem like they aren’t any closer to figuring out a solution. The Titans should control the time of possession in this one with the running attack of Derrick Henry and force a turnover by Kirk Cousins. This line seems way to small so jump on it before it begins to inflate.
Prediction: Tennessee -2.5
Full-Game Total Pick
This could be all the Titans scoring as the Vikings have allowed 35.5 points per game so far this season. The sportsbooks opened this game as a close game but I don’t see it as Tennessee is the superior team. The Titans average 24.5 points while the Vikings average 22.5 so that implies the over hitting. The Titans defense hasn't exactly been dominant thus far, but they can put points on the board. This number feels right but could be a late field goal to put it at 46. It’s going to be a nail biter but the over is the better play in this game.
Prediction: Over 45.5