Tennessee Titans (7-6) at Kansas City Chiefs (10-3)
One of these teams has 11 more offensive touchdowns on the season than their opponents and the other one has 3 fewer offensive touchdowns on the season than their opponents. By looking at their records, you’d think 10-win Kansas City had the +11 margin, but it’s actually Tennessee, who is just 7-6. How are the Titans 3 wins worse than the Chiefs if they have such an advantage in offensive touchdowns? Well, the Chiefs have a +7 differential in return touchdowns, while the Titans are -7 in that measure. The Chiefs also have a 6-2 record in games decided by a touchdown or less, while the Titans are just 4-3 in those types of games.
The Chiefs can’t just rely on return touchdowns winning them close games all year though. At some point, they’ll need to consistently move the ball better than their opponents and they rank just 27th in first down rate differential, while the Titans rank 7th. Aside from the 14 plays that make the difference in these teams’ return touchdown margins, the Titans have outplayed the Chiefs by a wide margin this season. Despite that, the Chiefs are 6 point home favorites this week. The Chiefs have just 4 wins by more than 6 points this season, so this should be a close game, but Tennessee has a good shot to win straight up as well because they have quietly been one of the better teams in the league this season. This is my Pick of the Week.
Tennessee Titans 17 Kansas City Chiefs 16 Upset Pick +200
Pick against the spread: Tennessee +6
Confidence: Pick of the Week