Titans at Patriots – Wildcard Playoffs Analysis and Free Pick – 1/4/20

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Tennessee Titans vs. New England Patriots – Wild Card NFL Betting Analysis

Tennessee Titans (9-7 8-7-1 ATS) at New England Patriots (12-4 8-7-1 ATS)

The Patriots have not been the Patriots of old and they lost their last game of the season, which cost them a first-round bye. However, they are at home and a 4.5-point betting favorite hosting the Tennessee Titans with a total sitting at 43.5.

The spread has not moved since opening while the total has gone from 41.5 to 44.5 as of Wednesday.

In their last games, the Pats lost to the Miami Dolphins 27-24 in their last game and the Titans beat a shorthanded Houston Texans team 35-14.

Tom Brady has not had the best season, but this is the playoffs and he has had pretty good success in the post-season in his career, to say the least.

The Titans only gave up 14 points in their last game but 62 in the previous two games, which were both losses. Can the Tennessee defense step up in Foxboro in this game? Big question.

The Patriots are 5-1 ATS in their last six games facing the Titans.

The Patriots’ last loss to the Dolphins was at home and on the season they are 6-2 on the road and the Titans are 5-3 on the road.

Run the Rock

The Titans have the league rushing leader in Derrick Henry, who rushed for 211 yards and three TD in the season finale win over the Texans.

Henry is the big gun in the backfield for the Titans and while the Pats lost their last game their defense stuffed the run.

Ryan Tannehill has been more than solid since taking over under center for Tennessee in Week 7. He has a good WR corps and Henry in the backfield and has completed over 70% of his passes. He has seven TD and only one INT in his last eight games and this is his first look at the playoffs.

The Patriots allowed the Dolphins to rack up 326 passing yards and they have to shore up their secondary.

New England still ranks 2nd in the league defending the pass even though they did not do that well in the last game and also rank 6th in the league defending the run.

Unfamiliar Territory

While the Pats are, obviously, no stranger to the playoffs they are one not having a bye. Their last loss was at home where the pass D struggled and Brady had another decent game but not one that will add to his GOAT status.

In the last game, Brady passed for 221 yards with two TD and one INT and Sony Michel rushed for 74 yards. This duo and WR Julian Edelman are the key offensive cogs for New England that has lacked those this season. Michel has been up and down and Brady has been steady but unspectacular.

The Tennessee defense has to pressure Brady in this game and get him out of the pocket. Their defense played well in the last game in the win over the Texans, but Houston was without QB Deshawn Watson and other starters saw limited time. Overall, the Titans’ defense ranks 12th in run defense but only 24th in pass defense.

Jason’s Pick

The home team has covered in four of the last five games between these teams. On top of that, the Pats have covered the spread in seven of their last nine home games.

The Patriots have their issues and have not been the dominant team we are used to seeing and the Titans are legit. Still, New England at home with Brady in the playoffs? I will not jump off that bandwagon for this game. Look for the Patriots to find a way to get it done and they will defend the run well winning and covering at home.

PICK: Patriots -4.5

 

Bettorsworld’s Pick – We’re with Jason on this one. We’re not quite ready to stick a fork in Brady and Belichick.

For Starters, the Titans have one win all season over a playoff team. That came at home in a 35-32 win over the Chiefs in week 12.  They lost to the Bills, Texans and Saints this year and all of those games were at home. You have to toss the final weeks win over Houston as it meant nothing for the Texans.

We forgive the Pats for taking the Dolphins lightly in week 17. It happens. While there’s lot’s of talk about problems with Brady and the Pats offense, the Pats defense slips under the radar.

Guess who had the #1 defense in the NFL when using yards per point to rank? Yup, the Patriots. The Pats gave up an average of 14 points per game with no team scoring more than 17 points in Foxboro (with the exception of Miami week 17)

The point being, it’s more than just Tom Brady here and quite frankly, even if Brady and the offense are down a notch, they still finished #5 overall in the NFL this year (using yards per point).

Brady still has the talent to do what it takes to win a home playoff game and he’ll have a ton of help from that fantastic Patriots defense on Saturday night.

This may be a year where the Pats don’t advance to the Super Bowl, but we don’t see them making an exit in the Wildcard round. If they get the win, they’ll likely cover the small spot.

Predicted score – Pats 24 Titans 10

1* Key Release Patriots -5