The top-billed game on the early half of Sunday’s NFL matchups sees a rematch of last season’s Divisional playoff contest between the Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens. The sports betting started as the sportsbook posted the game on Thursday. We offer some NFL picks and an analysis of the injuries coming into Sunday.
|Game: Titans (6-3) vs Ravens (6-3)
Location: M&T Bank Stadium
Time: 1 p.m. ET
Titans vs Ravens Betting Lines
Ravens’ coach John Harbaugh carries a record of 2-5 against the Titans. In those games, he’s faced five different coaches, so it’s unclear if there’s an underlying reason for all the losses. Their previous meeting, in January, saw Mike Vrabel’s Titans drum Baltimore from the playoffs as a double-digit underdog.
Next game: vs Indianapolis
Betting markets soured on the Titansy, and last week turned them from a favorite to a slight underdog. Money came for the opposing Colts, and Tennessee closed as a one-point dog after opening -2. The market move foretold the Titans’ performance, in a game in which they carried a 17-13 lead into halftime. Thanks in no small part to special-teams blunders, they wouldn’t score another point.
Regardless of the Titans’ lack of offense, the game went over the total that opened 50 and bet down to 48½, as the Colts scored 24 unanswered points making the final 34-17.
The Titans cut their latest punter Ryan Allen and promoted Trevor Daniel from the practice squad before the Colts’ game with disastrous results. His second punt went 17 yards and set up the Colts’ go-ahead touchdown. His third was blocked and returned for another touchdown. Brett Kern, one of the best in the NFL, has yet to return from injured reserve. Even the special-teams coordinator, Craig Aukerman, is doing damage-control pressers.
Starting left guard Rodger Saffold limped off the field last Sunday, leaving over half the snaps to backup Jamil Douglas. While the Titans had been making some other O-line substitutes, this doesn’t bode well for Saffold’s status, which will be made clear in the upcoming practice week
The Titans also reported several other players who didn’t practice on Wednesday. Among those who were active in Week 10 are OLB Jadeveon Clowney, CB Chris Jackson, NT Larrell Murchison and starting C Ben Jones.
The Titans also placed ILB David Long on COVID-IR, making him unavailable for this game. Designated to return from traditional injured reserve, RB Darrynton Evans will now have three weeks to return to action.
Finally, a few players to watch after they missed previous games: WR Adam Humphries (concussion), TE MyCole Pruitt (knee) and CB Adoree’ Jackson (knee) were listed on the report, but did not practice. The upcoming week will clarify their position, but it doesn’t look promising they’ll be back this week.
Next game: at Pittsburgh
Bettors weren’t fooled much by the huge chalk oddsmakers lined the Ravens with Sunday night. Laying over a touchdown against a flailing New England Patriots team, markets took the Pats for all the points down to 6½ by gametime. Some buy-back money came for the Ravens at -6½ nearer to kickoff. The total closed 44, after bouncing between that and 43.
The Ravens covered the spread for roughly three minutes and lost the game outright 23-17. Punishing themselves with eight penalties for 64 yards, multiple bad snaps from center Matt Skura and two fourth-and-outs, Baltimore exited the game bruised.
In addition to losing the game, the Ravens also lost both TE Nick Boyle and CB Terrell Bonds to IR. The Ravens have enough cornerbacks on IR to field a competitive intramural basketball team. The team is anxious to see the return of CB Jimmy Smith (ankle) and DE Calais Campbell (calf), who returned to practice
NT Brandon Williams banged his ankle last game and is up in the air coming into this week. He missed Wednesday’s practice.
Betting on the Game
Oddsmakers were reluctant to put this game on the board earlier in the week. Finally, they installed the Ravens as six-point favorites. We liked the +6 but it’s since been bought down a half-point, so we’ll lean to the Titans at +5½ in the belief that the Ravens’ secondary situation will not shake out well this week. The Ravens feel like their championship window is narrowing and even though revenge against the team that beat them out of last year’s playoffs would be sweet, they may not have the defense to stop them this Sunday.
Along the same reasoning, we liked the Titans at the opening moneyline of +230 but would have to pass as it’s now crashed to +205.
The total moved up a point since its open of 48½. We lean here to the over 49½ but suggest doing so before it gets to fifty.0