Baltimore Ravens (4-4) at Tennessee Titans (4-3)
The Titans are 4-3 coming out of their bye and lead the AFC South, but I’ve been a little bit disappointed with them. Coming into the season, I had them at 11-5 and as one of the more talented and complete teams in the league. They were a year removed from a solid 9-7 season and did a good job addressing needs this off-season, but they’ve been underwhelming in their 4-3 start. The good news is they haven’t suffered any major long-term injuries and they come out of the bye about as healthy as any team in the league.
Free agent acquisition safety Johnathan Cyprien is expected to return for the first time since week 1, #5 overall pick wide receiver Corey Davis expected to return for the first time since week 2, and quarterback Marcus Mariota is likely healthier now 5 weeks removed from the hamstring injury that caused him to miss a game and a half and limited him in 2 games after his return. Guard Quinton Spain and tight end Delanie Walker could be out for this one, so they’re not at 100%, but those are short-term injuries and no team is completely healthy right now. Their best football should still be ahead of them and they could easily go on a run in what is overall a weak league right now.
The Ravens, meanwhile, are 4-4, but have major issues on offense, with just 12 offensive touchdowns in 8 games, thanks in large part to injuries to guys like Marshal Yanda and Danny Woodhead. Their defense has played well, but they’ve faced a pretty easy schedule, with their wins coming against the Bengals, Browns, EJ Manuel led Raiders, and Matt Moore led Dolphins. Even the teams they’ve lost to have had offensive issues, including the Jaguars, the Bears, and the Case Keenum led Vikings. They’re not a terrible team, but I think the difference between these two teams talent wise is more than this line suggests at Tennessee -3.5, given that the Titans are at home. I have this line calculated at -6.5, so we’re getting some line value with the Titans. They should be a smart play this week.
Tennessee Titans 24 Baltimore Ravens 17
Pick against the spread: Tennessee -3.5