Tennessee Titans (1-2) at Indianapolis Colts (1-1-1)
The Colts surprisingly got their first victory of the season last week in an upset win over the Chiefs, but the Chiefs missed a makeable field goal and extra point in the 3-point loss, so the Chiefs easily could have won, even though they lost the turnover battle. In terms of first down rate and yards per play, the Colts lost by 5.50% and 1.50 and those are much more predictive week-to-week than turnovers and opponents’ missed kicks.
That win also puts the Colts in a tough spot this week, as teams tend to struggle off of big home upset wins, covering the spread at just a 41.5% rate all-time the week after a home win as underdogs of 5 points or more. Making matters even worse for the Colts, they have to play another game against the Broncos in four days and favorites cover at just a 42.9% rate before Thursday Night Football. It wouldn’t be a surprise at all to see the Colts overlook the 1-2 Titans a little bit in this spot.
That being said, I am not going to bet on the Titans this week because of all of their injuries. Already without talented left tackle Taylor Lewan and top edge defender Harold Landry for the season, the Titans will also be without top linebacker Zach Cunningham and talented starting safety Amani Hooker in this game, while the Colts could get back stud linebacker Shaq Leonard for the first time this season, which would be a huge re-addition.
I’m still taking the Titans because I think this line is fair, favoring the Colts by 3.5 points, a bigger line than you might think, given that 1 in 4 games are decided by 3 points or fewer, and because the Colts are in such a bad spot. However, the only way I would bet on the Titans is if not only Leonard didn’t play for the Colts, but also stud interior defender DeForest Buckner, who is considered a gametime decision. If they’re both out and this line stays above three, I would probably bet on the Titans, but, unless that happens, this pick is for pick ‘em purposes only.
Indianapolis Colts 23 Tennessee Titans 20
Pick against the spread: Tennessee +3.5