Betting Thursday Night Football Colts -1 at Titans is a tie and/or push waiting to happen

Thursday, 12 November 2020 18:36 EST

After a year like 2020, you’d figure the Thursday Night Football producers would give NFL bettors a bit of break and schedule a more betting-friendly game, but nope – for week 10 of TNF, NFLbets et al get to ponder…

Indianapolis Colts +1 at Tennessee Titans, over/under 48½

Searches in all the usual statistical corners are turning up little to really enthuse about another bitch of an AFC South game to bet. Here’s the scattershot summary of what NFLbets trawled through.

The Colts bring to Nashville a top-5 defense tops in yardage allowed, interceptions and first downs allowed, though this must be tempered to some extent by level of competition: Indianapolis has played two teams with winning records thus far – the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens – and lost both SU/ATS.

Meanwhile, the Titans’ defense elicits the question “What happened?” nearly as frequently as “What is happening?” After surprising their way to the AFC Championship game via smart defense and just enough offense last week, the unit has disintegrated into a feeble ghost incapable of covering receivers and rushing quarterbacks. The Titans D is now bottom-5 in passing yardage, passing TDs and time of possession.

Then again, the Colts aren’t exactly packing a Mahomes at QB; Philip Rivers is averaging 7.2 yards per attempt and 260.7 yards per game to go with 10 TD passes against 7 interceptions and 7 sacks. And at a low-low 38.3% conversion rate, they’re also bottom-5 on third-down – quite unfortunate when facing the league’s worth defense in the stat.

None of this particularly inspires about betting either side, nor does either team’s play recently, with both stumbling to 2-2 SU/ATS marks in the last four games. Frank Reich’s Colts are 0-2 SU/1-1 ATS on Thursday night, while Mike Vrabel’s Titans are 1-1 SU/ATS in a couple of games against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Titans also managed the 6-point OT win against the Houston Texans in week 6 following the Covid-induced Tuesday night game.

Even the action is no indicator: All the early volume was on the Titans, who started as 2-point favorites; the line plummeted to “pick ’em” before easing back up to Titans -1 on Thursday. The sole real outlier stat is the odd imbalance between the Titans’ 6-2 SU and 3-5 ATS records, but upon further review, the difference can be put down to weeks 1-3 wherein the Titans won three games by a combined 6 points, failing to cover the spread as favorites each time. They’re 3-2 SU/ATS since.

So we’re not sure which side we like on this Thursday Night Football game, but we like the possibility of a defensive battle: We figure Indianapolis will attempt to grind out the offense against Tennessee’s middling run defense while the Colts will harass the stingy Ryan Tannehill, who’s surrendered just three interceptions this season but has taken 11 sacks. So will say take the under on an O/U of 48½ points.

Figuring on the under, then, we’ll also take the Indianapolis Colts +1 at Tennessee; you might as well take the point, despite the slightly better money line (ML) payout of -105. Hey, this is 2020 – are you certain this won’t end in a 24-24 tie…?

–written by Os Davis