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Road underdog Tennessee Titans look to extend win streak
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Derrick Henry and the Titans face Indianapolis Colts in AFC South showdown on Sunday
The Tennessee Titans opened the season with an embarrassing loss. But since then, they’ve been one of the hottest teams in the NFL, with wins over a couple of pre-season AFC favourites to their credit.
The Titans were 2-2 through the first four weeks of the season, getting soundly defeated by the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1 and then losing in overtime to the New York Jets in Week 4.
They have won three consecutive games since then, defeating the Buffalo Bills in a classic Monday Night Football showdown and then keeping the Kansas City Chiefs offence in line, allowing just three measly points against.
Now, Tennessee will face the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. It’s an important matchup in the AFC South, as Tennessee looks to run its record to 6-2 and strengthen its lead on the division, while the Colts could get back to .500 and within one game of the Titans with a victory.
The Titans were small favourites earlier in the week, before the line moved towards the Colts (-2.5) at PlayNow.com as of Thursday morning. The Colts, themselves, have won two consecutive games, putting in a much better defensive effort in rain-soaked conditions in Week 7 against the 49ers.
The biggest challenge for Indianapolis will be trying to stop Derrick Henry.
The Titans running back went off against the Colts run defence last season, rushing for 281 yards on 46 carries (an average of 6.1 yards per carry) in two games a year ago. Looking just as unstoppable this year, Henry continues to lead the NFL in rushing, with 869 yards on 191 carries. That’s after a slow week for him last Sunday, when he rushed for just 86 yards on 29 carries against Kansas City.
The Colts defence has given up an average of 4.2 yards per carry this year, which ranks them right in the middle of the league for that category.
Bolstering Tennessee’s offence is the recent play of wide receiver A.J. Brown.
The 24-year-old Brown had a slower start to the season, which included a hamstring issue early on, but appears back to his dynamic self. He posted 133 yards receiving on eight catches last week against Kansas City, after seven catches for 91 yards against the Bills in Week 6.
The Titans won the first meeting of the season between these teams, by a score of 25-16. Both teams are 5-2 against the spread. The favourite between these teams has covered the spread in eight of the last 10 meetings.
Bengals move to double-digit favourite against the Jets
The Cincinnati Bengals continue to garner attention as one of the biggest surprises of this NFL season.
They began the year with the fourth longest odds at PlayNow.com to win the Super Bowl. But after building up a 5-2 record and dominating the second half on the road last week against the Baltimore Ravens to take the lead in the NFC North, the Bengals outright odds have shifted dramatically from 151.00 at the end of September to 41.00 at PlayNow on Thursday.
And they enter rare territory again this week, as double-digit favourites against the lowly New York Jets.
The Bengals were 8.5-point favourites, but have moved to Bengals -10.5 as of Thursday.
The Jets are 1-5 on the season, and now have an even bigger issue at quarterback this week.
Jets rookie QB Zach Wilson is injured. That forced New York to trade for veteran QB Joe Flacco, but since he is unlikely to be ready for Sunday’s game, the Jets have named third-year pivot Mike White out of Western Kentucky as their starter against Cincinnati.
Overtime is exciting to watch but if your wagering behaviour has you constantly on the edge of your seat, it may be time to take a break. If you gamble, use your GameSense. Must be 19+ to play.