Titans In The Playoff Hunt, But This Might Not Be The Week To Bet On Them

With four games left to go in the NFL season, the Titans, riding a three-game winning streak, are one game out of first place in the AFC South and tied with Pittsburgh for the second Wild Card spot. With a 5-1 record since Ryan Tannehill officially took over the starting QB job from Marcus Mariota, there is understandable excitement in Tennessee as this team enters the stretch run.

So I apologize for informing you that I see betting value in Week 14 not on the Titans, but on the Oakland Raiders.

Online sports betting will be coming to Tennessee soon, but for now, looking at out-of-state sportsbooks, we see that the Raiders are 2.5-point underdogs at home. The over/under is 46.5, and Oakland is +118 on the moneyline at FanDuel Sportsbook while the favored Titans are priced at -136.

Matchup minutia

This site may be catered toward Tennessee residents, but value is value, and I’m seeing it on Oakland this week. As effective as the Titans have been on the ground this year, they still look a little like fool’s gold to me. The secondary is in shambles, they are ranked toward the bottom of the league in pass defense, and they’ve managed to allow a sack on 12.7% of pass plays this season, the worst rate in the NFL. No wonder they’re skewing run-heavy, with Tannehill tossing 19, 18, and 22 passes during this three-game win streak. 

Oakland also isn’t a sieve on the ground, where the Titans do most of their damage. The Raiders rank 13th in rushing yards allowed to the RB position, and overall they’ve been much better in terms of limiting points while playing at home. Part of that is due to how much more success they’ve had on the ground themselves while at home — rookie Josh Jacobs has hit the 100-yard mark three times at home and tallied 99 yards in another contest, and overall has seen a much higher workload at RingCentral Coliseum.

It’s probably worth noting that Derrick Henry didn’t practice Wednesday. They could just be limiting his reps heading into a big December, but he has had some hamstring issues recently and it’s possible his growing workloads are taking a toll. It still seems likely that he takes the field Sunday and isn’t limited, but it’s something to monitor, as this line would move considerably if he can’t go. 

Tennessee stands at 3-3 on the road this season after a big divisional win in Indy last week. They’ve had some very disappointing performances away from home, though. They allowed 30 points to the Panthers in a road loss and were shut out by the Broncos in the prior road game (in which Mariota got benched), plus they threw up a dud in Week 3 in Jacksonville.

On the flip side, the Raiders have been money as a home team. They are 5-1, with the only loss coming back in Week 2 against the Chiefs.

I’d prefer getting +3 here, but even at +2.5, the value appears to be on the Raiders.

Photo by Thomas J. Russo / USA Today Sports