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NFL Free Pick from Linebacker: Titans vs Ravens

NFL Free Pick from Linebacker: Titans vs Ravens

Tennessee Titans vs Baltimore Ravens (BAL -9, O/U 47)

Lamar Jackson will attempt to win his first NFL playoff game this Saturday night when the Ravens host the Titans. Tennessee has been a revelation since installing Ryan Tannehill as its starting quarterback in Week 7, leading the NFL in yards per play (6.94) and ranking fourth in scoring (30.4 ppg). Baltimore had an extra week to prepare for Arthur Smith’s newly minted offense thanks to their NFL-best 14-2 record. The betting markets seem to think the Ravens will have no issues disposing of the Titans, currently listing them as 9-point favorites across the industry. After disposing of Tom Brady in the wild-card round, Mike Vrabel will now try to slow down Lamar Jackson and advance past the shoo-in MVP.

Our model projects the Ravens to win by a score of 26.9 - 20.1, giving us a solid edge on the Titans against the spread. The 9-point spread seems a bit high for us, so we’re suggesting a $41 wager on TENNESSEE +9 for an average $100 bettor.

The Linebacker’s model was 129-75 ATS (63.2%) for +26.85 units and 117-98 (54.4%) on OVER/UNDERs for +21.04 units during the regular season, producing a profit of $4,789. Head over to thelinebacker.com to sign up and receive detailed betting projections for every NFL playoff game.

Why will Tennessee Cover the Spread?

  • Tennessee’s offense nearly matched Baltimore’s efficiency by season’s end, overcoming the 2-4 start when Marcus Mariota was under center. Despite the sluggish start, Tennessee finished the season averaging 6.0 yards per play. That ranks fourth-best in the NFL and is just one spot behind their divisional round opponents, who finished at 6.1 yards per play under Lamar Jackson.
  • Derrick Henry and the Titans rushing attack should be able to keep Lamar off the field and limit his possessions. Baltimore’s defense is much better against the pass, ranking sixth in the NFL with 6.1 yards per pass attempt allowed. Their rushing defense is more suspect, permitting 4.4 yards per carry on the season (21st). Tennessee ranked third in the NFL with 5.0 yards per carry during the regular season.
  • Mark Ingram is questionable with a calf injury and will not be 100 percent healthy even if he suits up. His status is extremely important, as he averaged a sixth-best 5.0 yards per carry among running backs. He was their top offensive target this offseason after the Chargers shut Baltimore down in the playoffs last year by playing seven defensive backs. Baltimore is hoping Ingram can punish smaller defensive backs with his physical running style, and any semblance of a calf injury will certainly impact his explosiveness. Tennessee has also defended the run well this season, allowing just 4.1 yards per carry (eighth-fewest).
  • Baltimore led the NFL in time of possession by nearly two minutes per game in the regular season. Tennessee has shown it can score quickly with Tannehill, leading the NFL in yards per play since he took over. Their 30.4 points per game over that span ranks fourth in the NFL, and would be second to only the Ravens if extrapolated to a season-long average.

How to Bet the Total in Titans vs Ravens:

The Linebacker projects a final score of 26.9 - 20.1 in favor of the Ravens. With 47 projected points and an OVER/UNDER of 47, we have no suggested wager on the total in this one.

Need-to-Know Stats for Titans vs Ravens

  • 19 rushes, 95.4 yards, 0.8 TDs - Derrick Henry led the NFL in rushing this season and promptly posted 182 yards against the Patriots in the first round of the playoffs. While we don’t expect him to have as dominant an outing, his success rate should be high (projected 5.02 ypc) while having a great chance to reach pay dirt for the second straight week. His 0.8 rushing touchdown average in our simulations is one of the highest marks all season for a running back, and we see no reason why the Titans won’t continue to feed him in the red zone.
  • 4 receptions, 50 yards, 0.35 TDs - Mark Andrews leads the Ravens in all of our projected receiving statistics this weekend. It certainly makes sense after he led the team in targets, catches, yards and touchdowns this season, but it is even clearer when we take a look at the Tennessee defense. They’re primarily a zone defense, opening up holes for tight ends to catch plenty of passes over the middle. Tennessee permitted TEs to tally 916 yards against them (seventh-most) and nine touchdowns (third-most) on 80 catches (11th-most). Andrews should find plenty of success Saturday night.
  • 18/27, 207.4 yards, 1.2 TDs, 0.4 INTs, 11 rushes, 64.5 yards, 0.5 TDs - Let’s be honest, Lamar Jackson is the primary reason millions will be watching on Saturday night, as he looks to win his first playoff game after leading the Ravens to an NFL-best 14-2 record. Jackson finished sixth in the NFL in rushing despite only playing 15 games, and blew everyone out of the water with his 6.9 yards per carry. Our projections show some faith in the Tennessee defense, suggesting they can limit him to 5.86 yards per carry. We also don’t think Lamar will reach 30 pass attempts, projecting a 66.7 percent completion rate with a great chance to throw at least one touchdown.