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The Future May Be Here For The Titans

The Tennessee Titans bandwagon is getting mighty full nowadays. Few teams in the NFL are set for the coming years the way coach Mike Mularkey and company are. They have a franchise quarterback, numerous young weapons on offense and a defense that is close to being above average.

The Titans offered some glimpses of how good they can be last season with victories over the Green Bay Packers, Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs. Marcus Mariota and the offense had a span in the middle of the season in which they were, arguably, the best in the NFL.

The two biggest holes on the Titans roster in 2016 were at receiver and cornerback. Both of those areas were aggressively addressed this offseason by drafting Corey Davis and Adoree’ Jackson plus signing Logan Ryan and Eric Decker. If those new additions play up to their capabilities, then the Titans will have one of the most well-rounded rosters in the entire NFL.

It seems as though many NFL pundits and fans have been saying that the Titans are a team of the future but the future might be now. So, here is a look at some of the Titans futures bets entering the 2017 season:

Super Bowl: +3300

There is little doubt that the Titans have some of the best Super Bowl value on the board. They sit on the bottom of what I would call the realistic tier of teams that could hoist the Lombardi Trophy. I wouldn’t fault anyone for taking a punt on this betting line but there are some issues that are playing against the Titans.

First, the Titans have not played a playoff game since 2008, which means a bulk of this roster has never seen postseason action. The talent is undeniably there but succeeding in the regular season and the postseason are two very different things — just ask the Cincinnati Bengals.

In addition to that, getting out of the AFC almost certainly means beating the New England Patriots. As mentioned above, the Titans showed they can beat some of the best teams in football last season but taking down the Pats, likely in Foxborough, in the playoffs is another animal entirely.

I still think the Titans offer tremendous value but I don’t know if I’m rushing to the bookie this year without a more proven track record.

AFC South: +200

The Titans have not won the AFC South since 2008 when they had Kerry Collins, Chris Johnson and Albert Haynesworth. But between Tennessee’s huge potential and the questionable position of the rest of the division, this could be the year that drought ends.

The Jaguars have a quarterback competition between Blake Bortles and Chad Henne, a surefire sign that you’re maxing out at six wins. The Indianapolis Colts have Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton, but little else on the roster worth note. The Houston Texans might be the biggest threat to the Titans as long as they get the quarterback position settled — which likely means starting Deshaun Watson.

However, Mularkey and company need to finally beat AFC South competition. The Titans have gone 7-23 within the division over the past five seasons and haven’t posted a winning record against the AFC South since the previously mentioned 2008 season.

Win Total: 8.5

It seems as though the Titans are set to continue to make progress and after going 9-7 last season, it’s hard to imagine them not finishing above .500. To ensure this, the Titans need to get off to a better start offensively this year.

Tennessee went 1-3 through the first four weeks in 2016 while averaging just 15.5 points per game. Considering the first four weeks of this season include games against the Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks and Houston Texans, the team cannot falter like that again. The back half of the schedule is forgiving to the Titans, so they can afford some slip-ups early on but they can’t afford to be digging themselves into holes consistently.

Marcus Mariota To Win MVP: +3300

Mariota was inconsistent at times during his first two seasons in the NFL but that is to be expected from a young signal-caller who has been handed the keys to the offense. But there was a stretch during his sophomore campaign that should entice Titans fans, bettors and basically anyone who watches football.

From Week 5 to Week 12 last season, Mariota completed 68.5 percent of his passes with 21 touchdowns and three interceptions. If you extrapolate those numbers in that span over an entire season, Mariota would throw for 4,146 yards and 42 touchdowns.

In addition, Mariota should have an even better offense surrounding him in 2017. The offensive line was good last season but the young tackle duo of Jack Conklin and Taylor Lewan has room to get better. The receiving unit got a revamp by drafting Corey Davis fifth overall and signing Eric Decker to complement Rishard Matthews and Delanie Walker. And opposing defenses will still need to worry about the tandem of DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry in the backfield.

Everything is in place for Mariota this season. As long as he is healthy and shakes some inconsistencies, an MVP award is almost certainly in the future.

2017 Tennessee Titans Futures Odds
MarketOdds
Super Bowl+3300
AFC Championship+1800
AFC South+200
Win Total8.5

Odds as of August 22 at Bovada

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