Final score update: The Titans knocked off the favored Patriots thanks to a monster game from Derrick Henry. Tennessee’s stud running back rushed 34 times for 182 yards and a touchdown and added a 22-yard reception. The Titans won 20-13 after Logan Ryan capped the game with a pick-six in the closing seconds. The Titans covered the spread and the game came in under the point total of 43.5.
The New England Patriots host the Tennessee Titans in one of the two AFC Wild Card games to open the 2020 NFL Playoffs. The Patriots are a 4.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook. If the Patriots win, they will advance to face the Kansas City Chiefs in the Divisional round. If the Titans win, they will advance to face the Baltimore Ravens.
Tennessee needed a win in the last week of the season against a resting Houston to clinch a playoff birth, but it would be unwise to underestimate this team. They have a +71 point differential, and have been a completely different team since Ryan Tannehill took over as the team’s starting quarterback in Week 7.
- With Marcus Mariota: 2-4 record, +6 point differential, 5.3 yards per play (28th)
- With Tannehill: 7-3 record, +65 point differential, 7.3 yards per play (1st)
This is a bit of a tough draw for the Patriots, as the Titans would have been in much better position to win the AFC South, or at least be the fifth seed, had Tannehill started for the team all year. Tennessee plays average defense to go along with it — 16th in Football Outsiders DVOA. But that is passable when you have the league’s top offense. Aside from Tannehill, Derrick Henry has been on a rampage, totaling 896 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns over his final 6 games.
New England was once the most dominant team in football, starting out 8-0 with talk of having the league’s greatest defense, perhaps ever. Unfortunately, they have not been nearly as strong to end the year, going 4-4 in the second-half of the season, including a loss last week to the lowly Dolphins, stripping them of a first-round bye. All isn’t lost, as the Patriots still have a +195 point differential, but Tom Brady is very clearly in decline. He is just 17th in adjusted net yards per pass attempt in 2019. We all know how magical Belichick and Brady have been in the playoffs, and New England’s defense is still fantastic, but this is going to be their toughest playoff run yet.
Titans at Patriots
Point Spread: Titans +4.5
Total Points: 43.5
Money Line: Patriots -215; Titans +185
Overall: Titans 9-7; Patriots 12-4
ATS: Titans 8-7-1; Patriots 8-7-1
O/U: Titans 10-6; Patriots 7-9
Out: WR Adam Humphries (ankle)
Questionable: S Dane Cruikshank (illness), WR Cody Hollister (ankle), WR Kalif Raymond (concussion)
Questionable: LB Ja’Whaun Bentley (knee), S Terrence Brooks (groin), LB Jamie Collins (shoulder), WR Julian Edelman (knee, shoulder), CB Jonathan Jones (groin), CB Jason McCourty (groin)
- The Patriots have won each of their last nine postseason games at Gillette Stadium.
- The Patriots have failed to cover the spread in each of their last four games against teams that held a winning record.
- Nine of the Titans’ last 10 games have gone OVER the total points line.
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