The Tennessee Titans have now lost two straight after a promising start to the season. Since beating the Cleveland Browns in their opening game they’ve dropped a close contest with Indianapolis and were then manhandled by the Jacksonville Jaguars’ defense in a 20-7 loss last weekend.
They’ll find the going much easier here against an Atlanta Falcons team that dropped to 1-2 on the season with a 27-24 loss to Indianapolis last time out. The Falcons entered the season as one of the more overrated teams in the NFC and despite their record are still overrated–that is evident in the respect they were afforded by the linesmaker at Indy last weekend and were installed as a near ‘pick’em’ play (closed as a +1 dog). The Falcons definitely lack the overall toughness of the Jaguars–it might be fair to characterize them as a ‘soft’ team. They’ve also been very careless with the football and quarterback Matt Ryan in particular–he’s been intercepted 6 times after throwing just 7 INTs all of last season.
Tennessee entered the season as one of the more underrated teams in the NFL. The sports media has a tendency to focus on Marcus Mariota’s struggles while ignoring all of the good things the Titans do. Their defense in particular is vastly underrated ranking in the top ten in all of the major categories. They’re especially good at defending against the pass and rank #3 in the NFL in passing yards against per game. That will be particularly important against the Falcons as the Atlanta rushing game is negligible.
Another Titans strength overlooked by many is their rushing game thanks to the development of running back Derrick Henry who should have a good day against a soft Falcons defensive front. Marcus Mariota should benefit from a marginal Falcons secondary that just lost safety Keanu Neal to a season ending injury. Atlanta is on a 14-23 run against the spread and a 10-15 ATS run as a favorite. They’re also on a 1-8 SU/0-9 ATS run in non-conference play. Titans have covered 7 of their last 10 as an underdog in this price range (+3.5 to +9.5) and have covered 6 of 8 against the NFC. They’ll get the outright win here.