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Titans Seek to Avenge Last Year’s Playoff Defeat Against Heavily Favored Pats

Coming off a Monday night win against the Cowboys, the Tennessee Titans have an opportunity to take down the red-hot Patriots in a rematch of their divisional round playoff game last year, which they lost 35-14.

The Patriots are coming into this game winners of six straight, including last weekend’s 31-17 win against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. New England opened as a 7-point favorite in Tennessee, with the total set at 46.5.

Shark Bites
  • The Titans are 12-3 SU and 11-3-1 ATS in their last 15 games at home.
  • The Patriots are 9-0 SU and 8-1 ATS in their last nine games before a bye (avg. winning margin: 22.33 points).
  • The Patriots are 16-3 SU and 14-5 ATS in their last 19 games on the road.

Patriots vs Titans Game Center

My pick: Patriots to beat the spread

This will be the last game for the Patriots before they head to their Week 11 bye, and they’ve been unstoppable in recent history before their week off, going 9-0 SU and 8-1 ATS while beating teams by an average margin of 22.33 points.

When comparing these two teams, the most glaring difference is the offenses. After stumbling out of the gates in the first three weeks of the season, the Patriots have quietly become one of the best offenses in the league. They only managed to put up 10 points against the Lions in Week 3, but since that game they haven’t scored less than 25. Their average of 30 points per game this season is good enough for fourth in the league, while they’re ranked ninth in the league in offensive yards per game with 387.6.

The Titans, on the other hand, have been an offensive disaster in most games. They were shut out by the Ravens at home in Week 6, and they’ve only managed to score more than 20 points twice all year. They rank 30th in the league in yards per game with 288.2. They’ll need another performance like they had against the Cowboys last week, when they put up a season-best 28 points, if they want to have any chance of hanging with the Patriots.

The UNDER is the strong total play

The discrepancy between the offenses does not exist to the same extent on the defensive side of the ball. When it comes to points allowed per game, the Titans are the best squad in all of football, only allowing 17.6 points per contest. The Patriots aren’t quite as impressive but they’re not too far off, allowing 22.4 points per game, which is good enough for 11th in the league. This number includes their blowup game when they allowed an abysmal 40 against the Chiefs in Week 6.

With the total currently set at 46.5, it seems to be on the high end of the spectrum when looking at how many points have been scored in games involving these teams so far this year. The Titans’ average combined score per game is 34.4 (the lowest in the league), while the Patriots’ is 52.4. The halfway mark between those two averages is 43.4, so I think the total is set a little high at 46.5.

Mike Vrabel will face his old coach for the first time

Mike Vrabel will face his former coach Bill Belichick for the first time in his career as a head coach. He was a star linebacker for three different Super Bowl-winning Patriots teams, all of which were coached by Belichick.

Since retiring as a player at the end of the 2010 season, Vrabel was hired on at his alma mater Ohio State as a linebacker coach. In 2014 his made the transition to coaching in the NFL when he got a job as the linebackers coach with the Houston Texans, and eventually became their defensive coordinator in 2017. It didn’t take him long to grab a head coaching gig, as the Titans announced him as the new man to lead Tennessee this past offseason.

His rookie season as head coach hasn’t quite gone as well as he would have wanted, as the Titans are sitting at .500 with a 4-4 SU and 5-3 ATS record. This will be their fourth home game of the season, and the Titans are 2-1 SU and ATS on home turf to this point.

One thing that you can be assured that Vrabel inherited from Belichick is his ability to discipline his team in the penalty department. Both teams sit at the bottom in offensive penalties committed this year. The Patriots have only given up 43 penalties, and Vrabel’s Titans are the league’s best in the category, only committing 37 offensive penalties to date.

I like the UNDER along with the Patriots to win by the spread in this AFC matchup.

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