Tennessee Titans (5-2) at Kansas City Chiefs (5-2)
Both of these two teams are 5-2, but they have arrived at that point in very different ways. While all five of the Titans’ wins have come by close margins, with no double digit victories, the Chiefs have three double digit victories in their five wins, which tends to be much more predictive than close wins. As a result, the Titans actually have a negative point differential at -6, while the Chiefs rank 3rd at +51.
The gap between these two teams is even bigger than that suggests too, as the Titans have faced a significantly easier schedule and have benefited more from the turnover margin (+2 vs. 0), which is not predictive week-to-week. In terms of first downs and yards per play, which are much more predictive, the Titans rank 26th in first down rate and 20th in yards per play allowed, leading to them ranking six points below average in overall schedule adjusted efficiency, about 15 points behind the Chiefs (1st in first down rate and 16th in yards per play allowed).
The Titans are underdogs of 12.5 points in this game in Kansas City, despite their record, and they could get regular starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill back from a one-game absence, after he got some limited practice work in this week, but, even if Tannehill plays, I think we are getting some line value with the Titans, as I have this line calculated at Kansas City -15 in that case. My calculated line would shoot up to Kansas City -18.5 if Tannehill sat, leading to third round rookie Malik Willis making his second career start after an underwhelming debut against the Texans last week. Unless we know Tannehill isn’t playing and the line doesn’t move, I probably won’t bet on this game at such a high number, but the Chiefs should be the right side for pick ‘em purposes either way.
Kansas City Chiefs 31 Tennessee Titans 15
Pick against the spread: Kansas City -12.5