The upcoming online/mobile sportsbooks for Tennessee must wish they were up and running right now.
As the process of bringing legal sportsbooks to the state continues to unfold, the Tennessee Titans are turning some heads. The team’s reward for knocking out the defending Super Bowl champions is a date with the current favorites to win Super Bowl LIV in the divisional round, the Baltimore Ravens.
Coming off their impressive 20-13 road victory over the New England Patriots last Saturday night, the Titans (10-7) have been established as decisive underdogs for their Saturday night encounter with the top-seeded and AFC North champions. FanDuel’s sportsbook has established Tennessee as an 8-point underdog at -110 while offering +340 on a moneyline bet, and DraftKings has listed the Titans as an 8.5-point underdog, also at -110, while the moneyline is +310.
The two sportsbooks also differ slightly on the over/under, with FanDuel offering 47 points and DraftKings at 47.5 points. Baltimore (13-3), which is led by NFL MVP frontrunner Lamar Jackson, is a -420 moneyline favorite at FanDuel and a -375 favorite at DraftKings.
Despite the victory over the Patriots, the matchup with the Ravens has made the Titans the biggest long shot to lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy. FanDuel has Tennessee listed as a +2900 pick to win three more games for its first Super Bowl title, while the Ravens are now the favorites at +190 to win their first Super Bowl since defeating San Francisco in 2013 and third in team history.
FanDuel also has the Titans as a +1300 pick to win the AFC, while the Ravens are the clear favorites among the four teams left at -135.
Henry and solid defense prove a winning combination
The Titans rode the combination of running back Derrick Henry and a stout second-half defense as former Patriots linebacker and current head coach Mike Vrabel got the better of his former boss Bill Belichick. Henry finished with a playoff career-high 182 yards on 34 carries, and his 1-yard touchdown run right before halftime gave Tennessee the lead for good at 14-13.
The defense forced two turnovers, and cornerback Logan Ryan’s pick-six with nine seconds to play crushed the hopes of bettors who had teased the line to take the Patriots getting 1.5 points with the under. Vrabel also took a page from Belichick’s playbook by burning nearly two minutes off the clock in the fourth quarter by deliberately taking a pair of penalties knowing the clock would restart after each infraction.
The Titans improved to 8-3 since Ryan Tannehill took over for Marcus Mariota at quarterback and are 7-3-1 against the spread in that stretch. It was also just the second time in that span the under delivered for bettors, with the only other occasion coming in their 24-21 loss at Houston in Week 15.
The teams last met in very different circumstances in Week 6 last season, when the Ravens recorded a franchise-record 11 sacks in a 21-0 thrashing of the Titans in Tennessee. Both teams had different quarterbacks under center as Joe Flacco threw for 238 yards and a touchdown while Mariota finished with 117 yards under constant duress. The Ravens also converted 12 of 17 third downs and had possession for more than 37 minutes, which made Henry a non-factor as he totaled 21 yards on just seven carries.
Tennessee is 1-2 all-time in the playoffs versus Baltimore, and each of the last two games have been decided by three points. The lone meeting in Baltimore came in 2004 when the Titans recorded a 20-17 victory in the wild-card round. Tennessee is seeking its first appearance in the AFC title game since 2003 when it lost to Oakland.