Tennessee Titans at Philadelphia Eagles: 2022 Week 13 NFL Pick

Tennessee Titans (7-4) at Philadelphia Eagles (10-1)

The Titans are 7-4, but their wins haven’t been that impressive. Their only win against a team that is .500 or better right now came against the Commanders, who are 7-5 now, but were just 1-4 when they were starting Carson Wentz against the Titans, and all of their wins have been close, with several that could have gone either way. Only two of their wins have come by more than a touchdown and neither win was as impressive as that suggests, as they needed a defensive touchdown to push the margin to 9 against the Colts, while their 10-point win over the Packers came against a team in a terrible spot, playing on a short week after an overtime game, a spot in which teams are just 2-22 ATS all-time. 

The Eagles are an obvious step up in competition and have much more in common with the four teams that have beaten them than the seven teams they have beaten. The Eagles aren’t as good as their 10-1 record, as they’ve benefitted from a league best +13 turnover margin, which is not predictive week-to-week, but they also rank 5th in schedule adjusted efficiency, which is predictive week-to-week, so, even if they’ve benefitted from turnovers, it’s hard to argue they’re not at least one of the top few teams in the league. The Titans, meanwhile, rank 28th in schedule adjusted efficiency and, even if they’re not as bad as that suggests, the Eagles should be favored by more than 4.5 points at home against them. My calculated line is Philadelphia -9.5, so we’re getting good line value with the Eagles, enough for a big bet.

Philadelphia Eagles 27 Tennessee Titans 17

Pick against the spread: Philadelphia -4.5

Confidence: High

Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans: 2022 Week 12 NFL Pick

Cincinnati Bengals (6-4) at Tennessee Titans (7-3)

The Titans have won seven of their last eight games to go to 7-3 on the season, but their wins haven’t been that impressive, as their only win against a team that isn’t sub .500 came against the 6-5 Commanders and none of those wins have come by more than 10 points. Only two of their wins have come by more than a touchdown and neither win was as impressive as that suggests, as they needed a pick six to make the margin of victory bigger against the Colts, while last week’s 10-point win over the Packers came against a team in a terrible spot, playing on a short week after an overtime game, a spot in which teams are just 2-22 ATS all-time.

The Bengals, meanwhile, have one fewer win than the Titans, but four of them have come by more than 10 points and blowout wins are much more predictive of future winning than close wins. On the flip side, three of the Bengals’ four losses have come by three points or fewer, giving them a point differential of +50, significantly better than the Titans at +8. They’re also getting healthier, getting back stud interior defender DJ Reader last week and likely to get back top wide receiver JaMarr Chase this week.

The Bengals are favored on the road here, but they’re only favored by 2.5 points, which is pretty insignificant, with less than 1 in 10 games decided by 2 points or fewer, as opposed to 1 in 6 games decided by 3 points exactly. My calculated line has the Bengals favored by 4.5 points, so we’re getting significant line value with them. This isn’t a big bet, but in a game in which they basically just need to win to cover, the Bengals are worth at least a small bet this week.

Update: JaMarr Chase is surprisingly not playing. I already locked this bet in, so I can’t change it, but the line has dropped to 1 and I would take the Bengals even without Chase at that number.

Cincinnati Bengals 31 Tennessee Titans 26

Pick against the spread: Cincinnati -2.5

Confidence: Medium

Tennessee Titans at Green Bay Packers: 2022 Week 11 NFL Pick

Tennessee Titans (6-3) at Green Bay Packers (4-6)

In ordinary circumstances, I would like the Packers a lot this week. The Packers are a disappointing 4-6 and their 21st ranked schedule adjusted efficiency suggests they’ve played at about the level their record would suggest, but it hasn’t helped that they’ve only had four games at home, with their other six games, including a neutral site game, played away from Lambeau. The Packers routinely have among the biggest home/road splits in the league, in large part due to Aaron Rodgers’ having a much bigger home/road split in terms of QB rating than the average quarterback, and this year isn’t an exception, as they are 3-1 with a +6 point differential in their true home games, as opposed to 1-5 with a -37 point differential away from Lambeau.

The Packers are just 2-2 ATS at home this year, but that’s largely due to them being overrated to begin the year, which is not the case anymore now that they are 4-6, and if you look at Rodgers’ entire career, the Packers are 48-21 ATS in Lambeau in games that Rodgers starts and finishes, which is very encouraging for their chances of covering the spread against the Titans this week. Putting the Packers at even more of an advantage is the fact that they’re hosting this game on a short week, against a non-divisional opponent who isn’t familiar with them, a very tough situation for a road team, with non-divisional road underdogs covering at just a 37.1% rate all-time on Thursday Night Football.

It might be surprising to see the Packers favored by a full field goal at home over the Titans, considering the Titans are two and a half games better in the standings, but, in addition to the Packers having a huge homefield advantage on a short week, the Titans also haven’t played as well as their record would suggest, with all of their wins coming against teams that are .500 or worse and their average margin of victory being just 6 points per game. That’s despite the fact that the Titans have benefitted from a +3 turnover margin, which is not predictive week-to-week. In terms of schedule adjusted efficiency, which is much more predictive week-to-week, the Titans rank just 29th, about 3.5 points behind the Packers.

My roster rankings have a smaller gap between these two teams, but the Packers are still clearly the better team in that aspect as well. The Packers are far from healthy, missing two of their most important defensive players, linebacker De’Vondre Campbell and edge defender Rashan Gary, but the Titans aren’t healthy either, missing a pair of starting offensive linemen Taylor Lewan and Ben Jones, a pair of key edge defenders Bud Dupree and Harold Landry, talented starting safety Amani Hooker, and top linebacker Zach Cunningham. Overall, I have the Packers two points better than the Titans which, when combined with their significant homefield advantage, gives us significant line value with the Packers at just -3.

However, there is one significant problem with the Packers this week, which is that they are playing on a short week after an overtime game, a spot in which teams are just 2-21 ATS all-time. That makes sense, as teams are exhausted after overtime games and understandably find it tough to get up for another game just a few days later. There are a lot of reasons to take the Packers, but playing on a short week after an overtime game makes them unbettable. In fact, I am actually going to take the Titans for pick ‘em purposes, though this is a no confidence pick and I might change to the Packers depending on the final injury report. 

For the Packers, their two starting offensive tackles David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins and their best wide receiver Randall Cobb are all questionable, while stud Titans interior defender Jeffery Simmons is questionable as well. If all of the questionable Packers play and Simmons doesn’t, that would cause me to change my pick, but this is a no confidence pick either way, with both sides having good arguments for and against them. A push is also a strong possibility, given how many games are decided by exactly a field goal.

Green Bay Packers 20 Tennessee Titans 17

Pick against the spread: Tennessee +3

Confidence: None

Denver Broncos at Tennessee Titans: 2022 Week 10 NFL Pick

Denver Broncos (3-5) at Tennessee Titans (5-3)

The Titans have two more wins than the Broncos, so it may be surprising to see them only favored by a field goal at home, but the Titans haven’t been blowing teams out in their victories, with all coming by nine points or fewer and an average margin of victory of 5.8 points per game, and the Titans also enter this game with significant injury problems. Their offense at least gets a boost with quarterback Ryan Tannehill and wide receiver Treylon Burks likely to return from multi-game absences this week, but their defense will be without four of their most important players, interior defender Jeffrey Simmons, edge defender Bud Dupree, linebacker Zach Cunningham, and safety Amani Hooker.

The Titans are also in a tough spot, having to play again four days after this on Thursday Night Football, a spot in which favorites cover at just a 42.5% rate all-time. We’re not getting much line value with the Broncos, who return from their bye without top edge defender Bradley Chubb, who was traded away, leaving them without their top-3 players at the position, with Randy Gregory and Baron Browning out. However, the Broncos are still the slightly better pick for pick ‘em purposes, even if a push is the most likely outcome. At -2.5, I would take the Titans, that’s how close this one is for me.

Tennessee Titans 20 Denver Broncos 17

Pick against the spread: Denver +3

Confidence: None

Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs: 2022 Week 9 NFL Pick

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

Confidence: Low

Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans: 2022 Week 8 NFL Pick

Tennessee Titans (4-2) at Houston Texans (1-4-1)

The Titans have two key players who are highly questionable after not practicing on Friday, one on each side of the ball, starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill and stud interior defender Jeffrey Simmons. Both players could still play, but I want to lock in a bet on the Texans either way, as they are a good value as field goal home underdogs, especially if one or both of Tannehill and Simmons does not play. The Titans are 4-2, but they’re not blowing teams out, with their only victory by more than a touchdown coming in a game against the Colts in which they had a pick six and, even with that game taken into account, the Titans have a -13 point differential. 

Schedule adjusted efficiency paints an even worse picture, with the Titans ranking 28th, 4.5 points below average, as a result of an offense that ranks 24th in first down rate and a defense that ranks 29th in yards per play allowed. The Texans are one of the worst teams in the league, but the Titans shouldn’t be favored by a field goal on the road against them, especially without Tannehill and Simmons. With Tannehill and Simmons factored in as highly questionable, I have these two teams about 1.5 points apart in my roster rankings, giving us a calculated line that favors the Texans by a point. We would lose some value if Tannehill and Simmons both played, but this line will likely shift in Houston’s favor if one or both are ruled out, so I am locking this bet in now. The money line is a good value as well.

Houston Texans 17 Tennessee Titans 16 Upset Pick +130

Pick against the spread: Houston +3

Confidence: Medium

Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans: 2022 Week 7 NFL Pick

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

Confidence: Medium

Tennessee Titans at Washington Commanders: 2022 Week 5 NFL Pick

Tennessee Titans (2-2) at Washington Commanders (1-3)

These two teams are similar in some ways. Both teams entered the year without top edge defenders, Harold Landry for the Titans and Chase Young for the Commanders. Both teams have gotten off to underwhelming starts to the season, with the Titans and Commanders ranking 25th and 21st in schedule adjusted efficiency respectively. And both teams have also been further handicapped by injuries, with the Commanders losing a pair of starting offensive linemen Chase Rouiller and Samuel Cosmi and starting wide receiver Jahar Dotson and the Titans losing starting wide receiver Treylon Burks, starting left tackle Taylor Lewan, top linebacker Zach Cunningham, starting edge defender Bud Dupree, and starting safety Amani Hooker.

Despite that and the fact that this game is in Washington, the Titans are the ones favored in this game. Even if only by a couple points, we’re getting good line value with the Commanders as underdogs. My calculated line has Washington favored by two points. I would need the full field goal for Washington to be worth betting against the spread, but the money line is a good value at +110 as the Commanders should be favored to win.

Washington Commanders 26 Tennessee Titans 24 Upset Pick +110

Pick against the spread: Washington +2

Confidence: Low

Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts: 2022 Week 4 NFL Pick

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

Confidence: Low

Las Vegas Raiders at Tennessee Titans: 2022 Week 3 NFL Pick

Las Vegas Raiders (0-2) at Tennessee Titans (0-2)

Both of these teams made the post-season last year and now are essentially fighting for their playoff lives, seeking to avoid a 0-3 start. They may have identical records, but the Raiders are definitely better positioned going forward. Both of the Raiders losses have been close games that could have gone the other way, despite the fact that the Raiders have had a -3 turnover margin, which is not predictive going forward. In terms of efficiency, which is much more predictive, the Raiders rank 9th, despite their 0-2 start. The Titans, on the other hand, rank dead last in efficiency, with all three phases ranking among the five worst in the league. 

The Titans also had a much higher likelihood to regress coming into the season, finishing last season at 12-5, but ranking just 19th in team efficiency, benefiting from a 6-2 record in one-score games and a +4 return touchdown margin, two things that would be tough to maintain long-term. They especially struggled without AJ Brown last season, which is a problem because they traded him this off-season and, on top of that, they lost a pair of starting offensive linemen this off-season and top edge defender Harold Landry, who is out for the season with a torn ACL. 

Adding to the Titans injuries this week is their other top edge defender Bud Dupree, as well as starting left tackle Taylor Lewan, who are both missing their first game of the season this week. The Raiders have injuries of their own, with top linebacker Denzel Perryman and talented slot receiver Hunter Renfrow both out and starting safety Trevon Moehrig questionable, but they still have a significant edge in my roster rankings. However, it’s hard to be confident in the Raiders against the spread this week, for two reasons. 

For one, we’re just not getting much line value, with the public showing the Titans no respect after last week’s blowout loss in Buffalo. The Raiders are 2-point favorites here in Tennessee, suggesting they are the significantly better team, which they are, but that gives us next to no line value. The second reason is the Titans are better coached and that could give them enough of a boost to win a must win matchup. Since head coach Mike Vrabel took over in 2018, the Titans have especially been good as underdogs and after big losses, going 9-3 ATS after losing by 10 or more, including 5-1 ATS as underdogs. I’m still taking the Raiders for pick ‘em purposes, but this is one of my lowest confidence picks of the week and, if Moehrig doesn’t play, I might switch this pick. That’s how close this one is for me.

Update: Moehrig is out, so I am switching this pick, still for no confidence.

Las Vegas Raiders 24 Tennessee Titans 23

Pick against the spread: Tennessee +2

Confidence: None