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Matchups Week 1: Titans vs. Giants

Tennessee Titans vs. New York Giants 

Spread: Titans -5.5.

Game Total: 43.5

Team Totals: Titans (24.5), Giants (19)

Weather: Outdoors, no current concerns.

The Line Report

  • The consensus spread for this contest is Titans -5.5.
  • This game opened as Titans -6.5.
  • This line has fluctuated between Titans -5 and Titans -6.5.
  • DraftKings Pick’Em has Titans -5.5.
  • Circa Sports Millions Pro Football Contest has Titans -6.
  • The consensus total for this contest is 43.5 points.
  • This total opened between 43.5 and 44 points. This totals floor has been 43.5 points, with a brief peak at 45 points.

Notable Injuries

Titans: EDGE Harold Landry III (IR), LB Monty Rice (Out)

Giants: EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux (Doubtful), EDGE Azeez Ojulari (Doubtful)

The Titans Offense vs. the Giants Defense

Offensive line play has been one of the strengths of Mike Vrabel’s Titans. That is not the case this season. At full strength, the Giants defensive line would have a significant advantage in this matchup. With both of the Giants EDGE starters listed as doubtful for this contest, that advantage is greatly reduced.

What makes that particularly concerning for New York is that they face Derrick Henry in this contest. Tackling Derrick Henry is a unique experience for NFL defenders. Players as big and strong as Henry do not run as fast as he does. That’s why if he gets to the second level, especially against uncommon opponents like the Giants, Henry becomes a real problem for opponents. Henry did not quite look like himself when he returned from a foot injury late last season. But if he’s back to being himself, he could be an unsolvable problem for the Giants’ abysmal linebacker group. When you factor in the Giants injury ravaged front four, this is a good looking matchup for Henry.

Notes and Observations

  • The Titans were 10-7 against the spread in 2021.
  • The Titans were 8-9 on overs in 2021.
  • Per The Edge, the Giants surrendered the sixth most rushing yards and tenth most receiving yards to running backs last season.
  • New York allowed the ninth fewest yards to wide receivers in 2021.
  • Tennessee has a much different wide receiver corps this year with veteran Robert Woods, No. 18 overall pick Treylon Burks, and returning role player Nick Westbrook-Ikhine.
  • The Giants allowed the 14th fewest yards to tight ends last season. 

The Giants Offense vs. Titans Defense

The Giants young, blue chip offensive tackle duo could be the foundation of this franchise for the next decade. Right now, the Giants line is still a volatile unit with a debuting rookie right tackle and an improved, but still limited interior. Titans EDGE Harold Landry III’s injury reduces the ceiling of the Titans formidable front four. That said, Tennessee still marches out an elite interior duo in Denico Autry and Jeffrey Simmons. The Titans’ strength is the Giants’ weakness in this matchup.

Notes and Observations

  • The Giants were 6-11 against the spread in 2021.
  • The Giants were 5-11-1 on overs in 2021.
  • Per The Edge, the Titans allowed the second fewest rushing yards and the 15th most receiving yards to running backs last season.
  • Giants running back Saquon Barkley is coming off two frustrating seasons that were derailed by injuries.
  • The Titans surrendered the second most receiving yards and the second most receptions to wide receivers last season.
  • Tennessee gave up the most PPR points to wide receivers lined up in the slot in 2021.
  • Giants’ wide receiver Kadarius Toney saw a target in nine games during his rookie season. He had nine or more targets in four of those contests.
  • The Titans allowed the fifth fewest receiving yards to tight ends last year.

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

A bet on the Titans is a bet on an old school, physical football team that has consistently exceeded expectations throughout the Mike Vrabel era. It’s also a bet on a team that lost multiple impact players this offseason along with EDGE Harold Landry III due to injury. If you’re betting on Tennessee, you’re betting on the Titans defensive line dominating this contest. If you’re considering a bet on the Titans in this spot, you want this to be more of a Derrick Henry game than one Ryan Tannehill needs to win. 

A bet on the Giants is a bet on a first-year head coach turning around a franchise that still has a bottom tier roster. It’s a bet on that coaching staff winning their debut against last year’s Coach of the Year in Mike Vrabel. A popular theme this offseason is that Giants quarterback Daniel Jones will improve under Brian Daboll. I don’t know what that means, because Daniel Jones would have to improve to become a Mitch Trubisky level quarterback. If that’s the expectation for Jones, that’s perfectly reasonable but it’s probably not enough for the Giants to take a major step forward with this limited roster. If you’re betting on the Giants, you’re counting on New York’s offensive line to manage Tennessee’s premium interior duo. Lastly, you’re getting the Giants at a worse number today than you could have had a few days ago.

Winner/ Confidence Pool: Tennessee will be a standard selection in most winner pools. In your confidence rankings they are a solid top-five selection. I will consider moving Tennessee above the Colts as a slight differentiator this week.

Spread Pool: I have no interest in this game from a spread perspective.

Survivor: The Titans are the second biggest home favorite on the Week 1 slate. The Titans are the kind of team that scares the daylights out of me in survivor. On the positive side, they will likely be less popular than the Ravens, the 49ers, and the Colts. If you’re not using the Titans here, you’re probably targeting them at home against Jacksonville in Week 14 or Houston in Week 16. The downside here is you’re starting your season off with a Titans roster that’s lost some significant talent since this time last year. Week 1 is a difficult survivor week, which is why I expect to play the Titans in at least one of my pools.