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Matchups Week 4: Titans at Colts

Titans Colts

Tennessee Titans (1-2) at Indianapolis Colts (1-1-1)

Opening Spread: Colts -3.

Opening Game Total: 42.5.

Opening Team Totals: Colts (22.75), Titans (19.75)

Weather: Dome.

The Line Report

  •         This line opened as Colts -3.
  •         This line has moved to Colts -3.5 as of Thursday night.
  •         DraftKings Pick’Em has the Colts -3.5.
  •         Circa Sports Millions Pro Football Contest has the Colts -3.5.
  •         This total opened at 42.5 points.
  •         This total remains at 42.5 points as of Thursday night.

Notable Injuries

Colts: Questionable: DT DeForest Buckner, LB Shaquille Leonard, S Julian Blackmon.

Titans: IR: Taylor Lewan. Questionable: TE Austin Hooper, OG Nate Davis, Edge Bud Dupree, LB Zach Cunningham, S Amani Hooker.

The Colts Offense vs. Titans Defense

The Colts offensive line struggled in pass protection against the Chiefs last week, to an alarming degree. The strength of the Titans front is their interior duo of Jeffery Simmons and Denico Autry. The Colts two best linemen are left guard Quenton Nelson and center Ryan Kelly. I’m treating this matchup as a relative draw in the trenches due to the Titans injured edge rush, but the Colts offensive line is not as stable as I was anticipating entering the season.

Notes and Observations

  •         The Colts are 1-2 against the spread this season.
  •         The Colts are 0-3 on overs this season.
  •       Per The Edge, Matt Ryan is 14th in yards passing and 23rd in yards per attempt.
  •         Keep in mind that the Colts were shut out in Jacksonville in Week 2 and have yet to exceed 20 points through the first three games.
  •         Jonathan Taylor is fourth in the league in yards rushing with 286.
  •         Among running backs, Taylor is 33rd in yards receiving while teammate Nyheim Hines is third.
  •         The Titans have allowed the fifth most yards rushing and the 11th fewest receiving yards to running backs this season.
  •         The Titans held Jonathan Taylor to 70 and 64 yards rushing last season.
  •         In their two meetings last season, Michael Pittman had 12 and then 15 targets against the Titans. Pittman went 6-68 in the first meeting, and 10-86-2 in the second.
  •         Through the first three games, the Titans have allowed the fourth most yards receiving on the 12th most receptions to wide receivers.
  •         Tennessee has given up the 12th fewest yards receiving on the tenth fewest receptions to tight ends this season.
  •         A Colts tight end has not yet breached 50 total yards receiving on the season. 

The Titans Offense vs. Colts Defense

With left tackle Taylor Lewan now sidelined, the Titans truly have a bottom-tier offensive line. The Colts have an advantage in the trenches as long as DT DeForest Buckner suits up for this contest.

Notes and Observations

  •         The Titans are 1-2 against the spread this season.
  •         The Titans are 2-1 on overs this season.
  •       Per The Edge, Ryan Tannehill is 24th in the league in yards passing but sixth in yards per attempt.
  •         Derrick Henry is 13th in yards rushing and 21st in yards receiving among running backs.
  •         Against the Colts last season, Henry ran for 113 yards on 28 carries at home and 68 yards on 28 carries in Indianapolis.
  •         Henry is coming off his best game of the season against the Raiders last week, but he still hasn’t truly looked like the difference maker that he was before his foot injury last season.
  •         The Colts have allowed the fourth fewest yards rushing and the 11th most yards receiving to running backs this season.
  •         The Titans wide receiver group has been underwhelming through the first three games. Veteran Robert Woods leads the team in target share (20.5%) and air yards share (29.9%).
  •         Rookie Treylon Burks is second on the team in receiving yards, and his playing time is increasing.
  •         The Colts have allowed the seventh-fewest yards receiving on the 11th fewest receptions to wide receivers this year.
  •         Titans tight ends Geoff Swaim and Austin Hooper are both seeing considerable playing time, while Hooper’s 10.3% target share just edges out Swaim’s 9% mark.
  •         Indianapolis has given up the fifth most yards receiving on the eighth most receptions to tight ends this season.
  •         The Colts limited Travis Kelce to 58 yards receiving and a score on four receptions last week.
  •         Colts’ linebacker Shaquille Leonard has missed each of the first three games. If he’s able to return this week, that will be a considerable boost to the Colts’ defense.

This is What You’re Betting On in Colts vs. Titans

A bet on the Colts is a bet on a good, but not great football team that usually wins behind physicality and strong defensive efforts. The Colts offense continued to be underwhelming during their narrow win against the Chiefs last week. Through the first three games, Matt Ryan’s offense lacks considerable ceiling and has not yet exceeded 20 points. If you’re betting on the Colts in this divisional matchup, you’re betting on the advantage their defensive line has against the Titans declining offensive line. If linebacker Shaquille Leonard suits up for the first time this season, that’s a boon to the Colts defense. That may even be a requirement for me if I’m betting on the Colts.

A bet on the Titans is a bet on a Tennessee team that is losing a steady stream of significant players to injury for the second year in a row. You could argue that every position group on the Titans offense is worse right now than they were this time last season. If you’re betting on Tennessee against their division rival, you’re betting on their offense improving. The Colts offensive line struggled against the Chiefs front last week. If you’re betting on the Titans, you’re betting on their front led by their premium interior duo giving Matt Ryan’s Colts similar problems. Your biggest concern as a Titans bettor is their bottom-tier offensive line against the Colts rock-solid front.

Awards Market Ramifications: None.

Winner/ Confidence Pool: I’ll be taking the Colts in winner pools. I’ll be ranking them above most other -3 to -4 favorites in confidence pools this week.

Spread Pool: I would consider taking the Colts if I could get them as 3-point favorites, but I’m going to pass on them if I have to give up the hook. I have no interest in betting on the Titans.

Survivor: A divisional game like this should be avoided in survivor when possible.

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