Tennessee Titans (8-5) at San Francisco 49ers (3-10)
This is one of the tougher games of the week for me. I’ve had the Titans as a top-10 team all season and their record at 8-5 looks pretty good, but it’s hard to deny how underwhelming they’ve been lately. If it weren’t for front door covers on long garbage time touchdown runs by Derrick Henry against both the Colts and the Texans, the Titans would have covered the spread just once in the last 10 weeks and that was a 4-point win as 3-point road favorites in Indianapolis.
With a tougher schedule and worse luck in close games, they could easily be a 5-to-7 win team right now and they aren’t as talented as they were earlier in the year, with quarterback Marcus Mariota banged up and Derrick Morgan and DaQuan Jones out with injury in the front seven on defense. This is still a talented roster despite injuries, but they don’t seem well coached, so they could continue to underperform like they have for the past couple months.
The 49ers, meanwhile, have won back-to-back games since Jimmy Garoppolo took over as starting quarterback and have been playing much better defense in recent weeks thanks to the play of rookies Ahkello Witherspoon and Reuben Foster. However, those two wins came against the Bears and Texans and the 49ers still have a lot of holes on this roster, especially with right tackle Trent Brown out for the year. This line is at San Francisco -2, so we’re not really getting line value with them like we had been in recent weeks.
The Titans are also in a good spot in their second of two road games. Teams are 258-276 straight up in their 2nd of two road games since 2008, getting outscored by an average of 0.90 points per game, as opposed to 379-525 straight up in a road game that’s sandwiched between two home games, getting outscored by an average of 2.95 points per game, a difference of about 2 points. They’re in an especially good spot because they lost last week, as road underdogs are 121-80 ATS in their second of two road games off of a road loss. I have this line calculated at Tennessee -2.5, but I can’t be confident in the Titans at +2 because we might not know quite how bad Marcus Mariota is injured or quite how good Jimmy Garoppolo is. The money line does make some sense though.
Sunday Update: This line has moved to +3 in some places Sunday morning. That’s worth a small bet if you can get it. The Titans are more talented than they’ve played lately and the 49ers still have a lot of holes on their roster.
Tennessee Titans 19 San Francisco 49ers 17 Upset Pick +120
Pick against the spread: Tennessee +3