The suddenly resurgent Titans find themselves in first place in the AFC South following back-to-back road upsets over Baltimore and Indianapolis. The Browns, meanwhile, head to Nashville in the AFC's top wildcard spot after posting three straight victories – over Houston, Philadelphia and Jacksonville.
Can the Titans remain a step ahead of the Colts in the division? Can the Browns stay ahead of the Colts in the conference?
Here's what the betting data says.
I'm a little surprised only 50.4% percent of the bets so far have the Titans winning this one. A lot of people seem to have jumped on the Cleveland bandwagon here of late, as the traditionally downtrodden Browns finally look they might make a return to the playoffs for the first time since 2002.
But even at 8-3 and riding that three-game winning streak, what have the Browns really accomplished so far? The combined record of the teams they've beaten in their last three games is 8-24-1, and the combined margin of victory was 10 points.
I'm not saying the Titans are a powerhouse, but Tennessee has three quality wins this season (Buffalo, Baltimore and Indianapolis) compared to one (the Colts) for Cleveland. The Browns were thumped on the road by both Baltimore and Pittsburgh. Derrick Henry is running like a locomotive for the Titans these days, which should open up the passing attack as well. I think that in the end, the Titans will have too much firepower for the Browns.
Cleveland Browns vs. Tennessee Titans Spread Odds
A large chunk of the betting – 60.2% – has the Browns covering the six-point spread. This makes more sense to me, even though I think the Titans will win. Cleveland has the NFL's best rushing attack – even better than the Titans with Henry – and Tennessee's defense is only average against the run. I can see the Browns keeping enough possession of the ball, and putting enough points on the board, to keep the contest close. Another factor to consider: One of the Browns' two stud defensive ends – Myles Garrett or Olivier Vernon – will be lining up against third-string Titans tackle David Quessenberry, which might help keep Tennessee's offense in check.
Cleveland Browns vs. Tennessee Titans Total Points Odds
Most of the money so far – 54.5% – has the teams covering the 53.5 over/under line, which makes sense to me. After a few sluggish weeks, the Titans' offense seems to have recovered its mojo during the current two-game winning streak. Thanks to Henry's 311 rushing yards in those two contests, the Titans have put a combined 75 points on the board against quality defenses. Another tidbit to keep in mind: The Titans have scored on their first possession in each of the last three weeks. That's led to back-and-forth offensive contests the last two weeks. Cleveland doesn't have a potent offense, but the Browns should be able to contribute enough points to push this total over 53.5 points.
|Team||ML Odds||Point Spread|
|Tennessee Titans||-245||-6 (+100)|
|Cleveland Browns||+220||+6 (+106)|