Indianapolis Colts (3-2-1) at Tennessee Titans (3-2)
When these two teams met for the first time this season back in week 4, the Titans pulled the road upset by a final score of 24-17. With this rematch being in Tennessee, many are assuming that the Titans will have an easier time winning than they did in Indianapolis, but that’s not how divisional rivalries tend to go. In fact, when a team pulls a road upset against a divisional opponent and then is favored at home in a same season, regular season rematch, they only win the game about 59.3% of the time.
That might sound like a lot, but it’s not when you compare it to divisional home favorites in all situations, who win the game about 68.1% of the time. On top of that, divisional home favorites facing teams they already beat that season as road underdogs tend to struggle to cover the spread in the rematch, doing so at just a 42.6% rate. In the first matchup between these two teams, the Colts were the ones in a bad spot, having just pulled a huge home upset over the Chiefs the week prior (teams cover the spread at just a 41.3% rate after a home upset win as underdogs of 5 points or more), but this time around the Titans are more likely to be flat.
On top of that, the way the Titans’ won the previous game between these two teams was somewhat fluky, as the Titans won the turnover battle by three, which is not predictive week-to-week. In terms of first down rate and yards per play, which are significantly more predictive, the Titans had the slight edge in first down rate (1.12%), but were outgained by over a yard per play (1.13). The Colts also have the significant edge in schedule adjusted efficiency, which is based on yards per play and first down rate, ranking six points ahead of the Titans.
My roster rankings have these two teams closer than that, but the Colts still have a 1.5 point edge, so they should be considered the better team however you look at it. Despite being the better team in the better spot, the Colts are 2.5-point road underdogs in Tennessee, suggesting these two teams are about even. My calculated line is Indianapolis -1, even before you take into account the Colts being in a better spot, so the Colts should be the ones slightly favored in this game, rather than the Titans. I wish we were getting a full field goal with the Colts, but they’re still worth a small bet at +2.5 and the money line is a good value as well, as the Colts should be considered no worse than 50/50 to win this rematch.
Indianapolis Colts 20 Tennessee Titans 17 Upset Pick +120
Pick against the spread: Tennessee +2.5