The Titans head into this game with a 95 percent chance of making the playoffs (per the N.Y. Times) and a need to win in order to hold first place in the AFC South.
The Lions enter the game dead last in the NFC North, with a one percent chance of reaching the postseason.
Oh, did we mention it's looking increasingly doubtful that Lions starting quarterback Matthew Stafford (injured ribs) will play in the contest? Those are just a few of the reasons the betting data on this game are so outrageous in some respects.
Let's take a closer look:
Moneyline – 86.5% of bets have been on the Titans to win
It's hard to imagine this line paying much of a reward, considering how much will have to be wagered on the Titans. But if you're looking for some near certainty, this game would appear to provide it – again, assuming Stafford does not play.
There is simply too much incentive for the host Titans, who need to keep winning if they want to secure their first division title – and home playoff game – since 2008. The Lions have played competitively for Darrell Bevell in the last two games, but without Stafford, they don't have the firepower to match scores with the Titans.
Detroit Lions vs. Tennessee Titans Spread Odds
Spread – 51.1% of bets have been on the Titans
This is obviously a huge spread, and it's worth noting we've seen a lot of bettors teasing the Titans and going for a slightly smaller spread. That's understandable, even considering the Titans won by 21 on the road against a bad Jacksonville team last week. Still, if there's any game to think a team will comfortably cover an 11-point spread, this appears to be one.
The Titans have scored at least 30 points and produced more than 420 yards for four consecutive weeks, no small feat even in today's offensive-minded NFL. They'll be going up against a Lions defense that's allowed at least 30 points in seven games this season – including each of the past three. Titans running back Derrick Henry, who's averaged nearly 150 yards per game over the past month, should pile up big numbers against a Detroit defense that's fourth-worst overall – and fourth-worst against the run.
Detroit Lions vs. Tennessee Titans Total Points Odds
Total points – 54.1% of bets have been on the game going OVER the total points line of 51.5
I can see the temptation in taking the over here, but it makes me a little nervous nonetheless. It's reminiscent of the Titans' over/under line last week against Jacksonville, when that same 51.5-point line was set. The Titans held up their end of the offensive bargain scoring 31 points, but Tennessee's defense was better than expected, holding Jacksonville to just 10 points.
To me, a decision on this week's over/under line comes down to one question: Does Stafford start for the Lions? If not (and he didn't practice on Wednesday or Thursday), a Chase Daniel-led Detroit offense won't score many points. If Stafford somehow does start – and I think that would be foolish, given Detroit's postseason odds and the chance of further injury to Stafford – then he will find a way to slice up the Titans' shaky pass defense. The Lions are likely to score enough points to put the teams over the 51.5-point mark.
|Team||ML Odds||Point Spread|
|Tennessee Titans||-556||-11 (-113)|
|Detroit Lions||+475||+11 (-108)|