Struggles on both sides of the ball have contributed to Tennessee’s current two-game slide.
Photo by @BoclairSports (twitter).
- Tennessee Titans are still favored in the AFC South odds despite their worst performance of the season, a 31-20 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals
- Indianapolis Colts pulled even with Tennessee with Sunday’s 41-21 rout of Detroit, but continue to lag behind the Titans in the NFL Divisional odds
- We’ve got you covered with all the odds and trends as the close battle for the top of the AFC South standings continues
The Tennessee Titans turned in another sloppy performance on Sunday, dropping a 31-20 decision to Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals to fall into a tie with the surging Indianapolis Colts atop the AFC South standings. But despite their recent struggles, the Titans remain favorites in the NFL divisional odds, pegged as a diminished -143 bet to claim their first AFC South crown since 2008.
Odds to Win AFC South
Odds taken Nov. 1 from BetMGM.
Sloppy Titans Fall Flat in Week 8
Perched as strong -233 average chalk entering Week 8, the Titans came out flat for a second straight week against the Bengals. Burrow enjoyed a steady afternoon under center, leading Cincinnati to a 17-7 halftime lead, and snuffing out a Titans fourth-quarter rally with a pair of scoring passes in the final frame.
Bengals up on #Titans 17-7 at the half.
Tannehill- 6/13, 86 yards, 1 INT
Henry- 58 yards rushing, 1 TD
Davis- 60 yards receiving, has most targets with 4
— Kayla Anderson (@KaylaAndersonTV) November 1, 2020
The loss to the Bengals as 7-point road favorites marks the second time in as many weeks that the Titans have spotted an opponent a double-digit lead before seeking to close the gap late in the game. The team saw their perfect 5-0 start end last week with a 27-24 loss to the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers that was not as close as the score indicates.
Super Bowl 55 Odds Tracker
Power Outage, Porous Pass Defense Cause for Concern
The squad’s current struggles to produce consistent offense come in stark contrast to the 37 points per game they averaged over their past four wins. But what may be of greater concern as the season progresses is the Titans’ inability to shut down opposing passers. With Burrow’s two late scores on Sunday, Tennessee has now surrendered 16 total TD passes over its past six outings.
#NFL Worst 3rd down conversion rate on defense since 1991 thru 6 games
1. 2020 Titans – 61.0% 😲
2. 2018 Falcons – 56.2%
3. 2019 Falcons – 56.0%
4. 2007 Dolphins – 53.8%
4. 2020 Giants – 53.8%
6. 2020 Bills – 53.5%
— Scott Kacsmar (@ScottKacsmar) October 27, 2020
And with no shortage of gunslingers to face over the next five weeks, the Titans must find a way to tighten up a pass defense that entered the weekend ranked 26th while allowing 272.0 yards per game. While the Tennessee defense may enjoy a reprieve in next weekend’s date with Chicago, that contest is followed by a four-game stretch that is likely to define their season. In addition to a home-and-home with the Colts, the Titans visit Baltimore and play host to the Cleveland Browns.
Rivers Looking Comfortable in Indy
Meanwhile in Detroit, Philip Rivers remained on a roll, tossing for three scores to lead Indianapolis to a decisive 41-21 win over the Lions. The victory marks the Colts’ fifth win in six outings, and pulls them even with Tennessee at 5-2. But with Tennessee currently sporting the better divisional record, the Colts continue to lag with a +100 price tag in the AFC South odds.
Gotta be pointed out: Philip Rivers — especially in the face of pressure — has been lethal today. Carving up the Lions.
17-21 for 194 yards and 3 TDs in the first half alone.
Second game in a row the 38-year-old is playing exactly like the Colts need him to.
— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) November 1, 2020
While Rivers’ has looked steadily more comfortable in his new home in Indianapolis, it is hard to overlook which teams the Colts’ early success has come against. Five of Indianapolis’ first six opponents this season entered Week 8 with pass defenses ranked among the bottom nine in the NFL, with the lone exception being the Bears, who proved effective in containing Rivers despite falling 19-11 to Indy in Week 4.
Timing may be on the Colts’ side. Indianapolis returns home to face a Baltimore Ravens squad that has struggled defensively over their past two outings. The Colts are also set to face just one opponent sporting a top-10 pass defense the rest of the way, when they visit Pittsburgh in Week 16.
Season-Defining Matchups on November Schedule
However, it is likely the two upcoming dates this month with the Titans that will decide this season’s divisional race, starting when the Colts visit Tennessee in Week 10 on Thursday Night Football. The Colts have largely owned the Titans over the past decade, posting wins in 19 of 23 head-to-head meetings since October 2008, a run that includes an impressive 9-2 road record.
Next four games for #Colts:
@ Titans (TNF)
It’s put up or shut up time to see if Indy is a legit contender.
— Locked On Colts Podcast (@LockedOnColts) November 1, 2020
Rivers also enjoys a track record of success against the Titans, connecting on over 70% of pass attempts and tossing for 17 scores while going 7-2 in nine career matchups. And with these two teams neck-and-neck, but currently trending in opposite directions, it is the Colts that present the best value to claim the AFC South crown.
Pick: Colts to win AFC South (+100)
Daniel has been writing about sports and sports betting for over 23 years. The seasoned pro has contributed to the likes of Sports Illustrated, Sportsnet, NESN, Bleacher Report, OddsShark, the Globe and Mail, and The Nation magazine.