Tennessee Titans (5-3) at Indianapolis Colts (3-4)
I was hoping we would get some value with the Colts this week, facing the Titans, who are coming off of upset home victories over the Bills and Chiefs, previously considered the two best teams in the AFC. The Titans played well in those two games, but this could be a let down spot against a team they have already beaten, with another tough game on deck against the Rams. Teams cover at just a 43.5% rate all-time after a home upset victory as underdogs of 4 points or more and the Titans are coming off two such games.
This is also still the same Titans team that was blown out by the Cardinals and that lost in overtime to the Jets for the Jets’ only victory of the season, so it’s not hard to see how the Titans could struggle in a rematch with the Colts, who they only beat by nine at home in Tennessee in a game in which the Colts had Carson Wentz playing through two bad ankles, without his two best offensive linemen Quenton Nelson and Braden Smith and top wide receiver TY Hilton.
Wentz has gotten healthy and is playing at a high level and he will have Nelson, Smith, and Hilton together for the first time all season this week, after they missed an average of five of the Colts first seven games. Despite those injuries, the Colts have been better than their 3-4 record through seven games, winning all three games by multiple scores, but losing two of their four losses by one score, against among the best teams in the league in Ravens and Rams. Unfortunately, the public and the oddsmakers seem to recognize that the Colts are better than their record, leading to them being favored by a field goal at home, suggesting they are actually seen as the slightly better of these two teams.
My calculated line has the Colts favored by just a point, so we’re actually getting some line value with the Titans. The Colts being favored also puts them in a bad spot, as favorites tend to disappoint before a short week, covering at a 41.9% rate before a Thursday game, and the Colts face the Jets on Thursday Night Football next week. That might not affect the Colts since they have a worse record and have lost to the Titans already this season, but it’s another reason not to take the Colts. There isn’t enough here for either side to be bettable, but I am taking the Titans at +3, as they still have a good chance to win outright and, if not, they have a good chance to at least push this number.
Indianapolis Colts 27 Tennessee Titans 26
Pick against the spread: Tennessee +3