Saturday night’s Division match-up features the Super Bowl favorites against a team that scored last weekend’s most improbable victory on the road against the Patriots. Tennessee will be looking to shock the NFL for a second consecutive weekend with a victory over the high-flying Ravens.
To score another eye-catching victory, the Titans will need to overcome a projected defeat of nine points. Oddsmakers are highly skeptical of Tennessee’s chances to walk into Baltimore and physically dominate the line of scrimmage against the Ravens’ defense. The Titans rode Derrick Henry to their victory in Foxborough and will be looking to do the same thing again in the Charm City.
Nine points is a big regular season line. It’s an even bigger postseason line. That should be setting off alarm bells in your head. If you want to really figure out which side to bet in this game, you need to check out our exclusive Statschecker Site. I’ll give you five facts from the site here, but it’s just a sampling of everything available on the full site.
1. The Ravens are white hot
Baltimore have emerged as the favorite to win the Super Bowl this season for plenty of good reasons. One of those reasons is the fact that the Ravens come into the postseason on the strength of a 12-game winning streak. They’re playing great football at the best time of the year.
Lamar Jackson’s emergence as an MVP has revolutionized this offense. It seems like forever ago that fans in Baltimore had legitimate questions as to whether or not Jackson should replace Joe Flacco. That seems like a very silly debate now.
2. The Titans defense is just average
It’s easy to think of Tennessee has a team that pairs a physical running game with an elite defense. The numbers just don’t back that up for the Titans in 2019. Instead, they’ve given up a very mediocre total of 20.2 points per game.
That number would be even worse if this wasn’t a franchise that runs the ball so often. That effectively shortens games for the Titans. Giving up 20.2 points per game profiles a lot more like a team that gives up 25 points per contest given their general advantage in time of possession.
3. Tennessee plays better on the road
If the Titans had played as well at home as they did on the road during the regular season, then they could’ve secured at least one home playoff game. Their 6-3 record away from Nashville should get the attention of the Ravens’ coaching staff.
Henry and the ground game are tailor made for grinding out results away from home. The physical running back will be the foundation of everything Tennessee tries to accomplish on offense this Saturday.
4. 33.2 is a massive number
Jackson’s leap from intriguing quarterback to MVP has powered the Baltimore offense to impressive new heights. They’ve averaged an eye-popping 33.2 points per game coming into this match-up. If they hit that average against the Titans then they will move on to the next round of the playoffs.
The Ravens will put a ton of pressure on the Tennessee secondary in this one. Jackson will try to get outside and hurt the Titans with his legs. Look for Baltimore to take some deep shots down the field early in the game to loosen things up as well. If Jackson hits on one of those early throws, it will prove to be disastrous for the Titans hopes of keeping this game close.
5. The Ravens are dominant at home
Baltimore’s home record of 7-1 this season isn’t all that different from their franchise history. Since 2010, the Ravens have won just a tick under 75% of their home games.
That doesn’t bode well for a Titans team that comes into this game with a significant disadvantage in terms of roster talent. Tennessee only has one chance to keep this game close. Henry must play like an MVP running back against a decent, but unspectacular Ravens defense.
This game has back door cover written all over it
The Ravens are a great bet to win this game but giving up nine points in the postseason is downright terrifying. The same move here is to take the Titans +9 points. Tennessee is going to experience some measure of success running the football. Don’t be surprised if Henry breaks off just enough big runs to keep his team within striking distance. A late touchdown by the Titans will give them a frustrating back door cover for fans convinced the Ravens are going to roll.