Can Titans Overcome NFL Odds vs. Patriots in AFC Divisional Round?

Can Titans Overcome NFL Odds vs. Patriots in AFC Divisional Round?

Written by Michael Hunt on Thursday,January 11, 2018 8:34, EDT

The members of the New England Patriots would never admit as much, but I assure you they are thrilled they don’t have to face the Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round but instead get the sixth-seeded Tennessee Titans on Saturday night. The Pats are double-digit NFL odds favorites.

Tennessee at New England AFC Divisional Round NFL Odds & Preview

When: Saturday, 8:15 PM ET
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro
TV: CBS
Radio: 104.5 FM (Tennessee) / 98.5 FM (New England)
Stream Option: NFL Live
Opening NFL Odds: Patriots -13.5 (47)

Weather Forecast

  • Partly Cloudy: 0°C/32°F
  • Humidity: 68%
  • Precipitation: 7%
  • Wind: 9 mph NNW
  • Cloud Cover: 51%
  • Type of Stadium: Open

Last Meeting

In Week 15 of the 2015 season, the Titans visited the Patriots and lost 33-16. Tom Brady threw for two touchdowns, one to Rob Gronkowski. Brady completed 23 of 35 passes for 267 yards. James White caught seven passes for 71 yards, including a 30-yard catch-and-run touchdown, and Keshawn Martin had a 75-yard kickoff return to set up another score. Titans QB Marcus Mariota left the game injured in the second quarter and didn’t return. Zach Mettenberger replaced him and completed 20 of 28 passes for 242 yards, two touchdowns — both to Delanie Walker — and two interceptions.

This is the third postseason meeting between the teams and the first since the 2003 AFC Divisional Playoff (January 10, 2004) which New England won 17-14. The Patriots lead the all-time series 24-16-1, including the playoffs, and have won six in a row.

Latest NFL Betting Trends

  • Tennessee is 6-1 ATS in the last 7 games
  • Tennessee is 8-4 SU in the last 12 games
  • The total went UNDER in 5 of Tennessee’s last 7 games
  • New England is 9-1 ATS in the last 10 games
  • New England is 11-1 SU in the last 12 games
  • The total went UNDER in 4 of New England’s last 5 games

Why Bet on Tennessee’s NFL Odds?

I honestly see no way the Titans win this game as it would be one of the greatest upsets in NFL playoff history. But if the Patriots perhaps overlook the Titans, they could stay close.

The Titans earned their first postseason win since January 3, 2004, with last week’s 22-21 come-from-behind win at Kansas City. Tennessee erased a 21-3 halftime deficit and joined the 1957 Detroit Lions as the only teams to overcome an 18+ point deficit to win a road playoff game.

Mariota threw two touchdown passes, including a six-yard touchdown pass to himself. He is the only player in NFL history to throw a touchdown pass to himself in a postseason game.  The second TD was a 22-yarder to Eric Decker that gave the Titans the late lead.

How Did Henry Do Against the Chiefs?

Derrick Henry rushed for 156 yards, including a 35-yard TD, against the Chiefs and joined Eddie George (162 yards on January 16, 2000) as the only players in club history to rush for at least 150 yards in a playoff game. Henry’s 35-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter pulled the Titans within five points, and his late-game run around the left side sealed the win allowing the Titans to run out the clock. Henry’s 6.8-yard average was a five-yard improvement from his previous start, when he managed just 1.8 yards per tote against the Jaguars. His 191 total scrimmage yards broke Billy Cannon’s 57-year-old franchise post­season record for a single game (178).

Henry was very busy because co-starting running back DeMarco Murray was out with a knee injury. Murray was hopeful of returning this week but has been ruled out. That doesn’t help as the Titans need to control the ball and play defense while keeping Brady off the field to have a shot at winning. Henry’s 390 fourth-quarter rushing yards during the regular season ranked second in the NFL behind Kansas City’s Kareem Hunt (474). No player averaged more yards per carry in the final stanza than Henry, who gained 6.09 yards per attempt.

New England finished the regular season ranked 20th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game (114.8), and 31st in rushing yards per carry (4.7).

Team Statistics

Offense:

  • Average Score For: 20.94
  • Total Yards: 318.89
  • Pass Yards: 199.18
  • Rush Yards: 119.71

Defense:

  • Average Score Against: 22.18
  • Total Yards: 327.83
  • Pass Yards: 240.24
  • Rush Yards: 87.59

Why Bet on New England’s NFL Odds?

New England won its ninth consecutive division title, the longest streak in NFL history. The Patriots are the only team to win 14 division titles in a 15-year span. New England has won at least 12 games in eight consecutive seasons, the longest streak in league annals. This season marks the eighth straight year that the Patriots will host a Divisional Playoff game, adding to their NFL record. Miami hosted five straight from 1981-1985.

Tom Brady, who led the NFL with 4,577 passing yards this season, has 25 career playoff wins, the most in NFL history. Brady is also the NFL postseason leader in career completions (831), attempts (1,325), passing yards (9,094) and touchdown passes (63).

How Has Brady Done Against the Titans?

Are the Patriots a safe bet in the NFL odds vs. the Titans?

Brady has recorded a 6-1 record as a starter against Tennessee and has won each of his last six starts against the Titans including leading the Patriots to a victory from a fourth-quarter tie in the 2003 divisional playoffs and leading his team to a win from a fourth-quarter deficit in the 2003 regular season.

The Pats got healthy in the bye week. WR Chris Hogan (shoulder) is expected to return for Saturday’s game. Hogan has made just one appearance since the Patriots’ Week 9 bye, catching one pass for one yard in Week 14 against the Dolphins. RB James White should be back this week after sitting out the last two games with a nagging ankle injury. Fellow RB Rex Burkhead hasn’t seen the field since spraining his knee in Week 15 but also could return.

The New England defense has distinctly improved over the course of the season, going from 31st in DVOA in Weeks 1-9 to 18th in Weeks 10-17. The Patriots are 20-4 (.833) at home in the playoffs in their history. The Patriots have compiled a 14-6 all-time record in divisional playoff games.

Team Statistics

Offense:

  • Average Score For: 28.62
  • Total Yards: 394.12
  • Pass Yards: 276.06
  • Rush Yards: 118.06

Defense:

  • Average Score Against: 18.50
  • Total Yards: 366
  • Pass Yards: 251.25
  • Rush Yards: 114.75

Expert Prediction & NFL Betting Pick

I usually take this many points, but as long as it stays under 14, the Patriots should cover the NFL odds.