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Matchups Week 2: Titans vs. Bills

Titans vs. Bills

Monday Night Football: Tennessee Titans (0-1) at Buffalo Bills (1-0)

Spread: Bills -10.

Game Total: 49.5.

Team Totals: Bills (29.75), Titans (19.75)

Weather: Outdoors, significant chance of rain.

The Line Report

  • This line opened as Bills -10.
  • This line has moved slightly down to Bills -9.5 as of Friday.
  • DraftKings Pick’Em has the Bills -9.5.
  • Circa Sports Millions Pro Football Contest has the Bills -10.
  • This total opened at 49.5 points.
  • This total moved down to 48.5 as of Friday. This movement could be attributed to weather concerns.

Notable Injuries

Bills: CB Tre’Davious White (Out), DT Ed Oliver (Questionable), CB Dane Jackson (Questionable).

Titans: Edge Harold Landry III (IR), LB Monty Rice (Out), RB Dontrell Hilliard (Questionable), WR Kyle Phillips (Questionable), RG Nate Davis (Questionable), CB Kristian Fulton (Cornerback).

The Bills Offense vs. the Titans Defense

The Titans have a premier interior line duo in Denico Autry and Jefferey Simmons that presents a problem for anyone. Edge rusher Bud Dupree is healthy after missing most of last year with a torn ACL. However, Tennessee's other highly-paid edge rusher, Harold Landry, tore his ACL before Week 1. Therefore, from a macro sense, this trench matchup is a relative draw. That’s before factoring in Josh Allen’s ability to extend plays.

This offseason, I discussed in my Titans team preview that if Tennessee’s defense is going to improve this season, their young secondary has to take a step forward. That group will be tested in a big way by Buffalo’s wide receivers this week. Rod Woodson discusses the matchup between the Bills wide receivers and the Titans defense.

Notes and Observations

  • The Bills are 1-0 against the spread this season.
  • The Bills are 0-1 on overs this season.
  • Per The Edge, Josh Allen was 24th in play-action pass percentage on opening day.
  • Among opening day starters, Allen was 19th in air yards per attempt in Week 1.
  • When these two teams met last season, the Titans won in a 34-31 shootout. Allen led the way for Buffalo, throwing for 353 yards and three touchdowns. Each of the Bills' three starting receivers at the time (Diggs, Sanders, Beasley) saw at least eight targets in that matchup.
  • On opening day, the Titans lost a close, ugly game to Brian Daboll’s Giants. Daboll was the offensive coordinator for Buffalo last season.
  • The Titans held Daniel Jones to 25-yards rushing on opening day, the eighth-most rushing yards allowed to a quarterback in Week 1.
  • Tennessee had a 48.3% pressure rate on opening day, the second highest in Week 1.
  • Tennessee allowed the most rushing yards and the 16th most receiving yards to running backs last week. Giants running back Saquon Barkley shredded the Titans in the opener.
  • The Titans allowed the 17th most receiving yards on the eighth fewest receptions to wide receivers in Week 1.
  • Tennessee completely shut out Giants tight ends in Week 1.

The Titans Offense vs. the Bills Defense

The Buffalo Bills front was the driving force being their blowout of the defending champs on opening night. Buffalo sacked Matthew Stafford seven times in the opener. Offensive line play has been one of the Titans strengths during the Mike Vrabel era. But that is not the case this year, as Tennessee’s line is more of a bottom-tier unit. The Bills have a significant edge in the trenches in this matchup, particularly in the passing game.

When the Titans upset the Bills 34-31 on Monday Night Football last season, Derrick Henry ran for 143 yards, and three touchdowns on 20 carries in that contest. Henry suffered a foot injury last season that cost him a huge portion of the 2021 campaign. When he returned late in the year, he did not look like himself, nor did he look like himself on opening day against the Giants.

Notes and Observations

  • The Titans are 0-1 against the spread this season.
  • The Titans are 0-1 on overs this season.
  • Per The Edge, Ryan Tannehill was seventh in play-action pass percentage on opening day.
  • Among opening day starters, Tannehill was seventh in air yards per attempt in Week 1.
  • On opening day, Tannehill was 22nd among starters in rating while being pressured.
  • The Bills sacked Matthew Stafford seven times on opening night while posting the 14th highest pressure rate in Week 1.
  • The Bills allowed the fourth fewest rushing yards and the 13th fewest receiving yards to running backs on opening day.
  • Buffalo surrendered the 11th most receiving yards on the second most receptions to wide receivers on opening day.
  • The Bills gave up the 17th most receiving yards on the 11th most receptions to tight ends in Week 1.

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

A bet on the Bills is a bet on MVP candidate Josh Allen’s ability to carry this offense both in good times and bad. Buffalo is a Super Bowl contender coming off a long week of rest after dismantling the defending champs on the road on opening night. After derailing the Rams offense with seven sacks, the Bills front will have a trench advantage against the Titans. If you’re betting on the Bills in this spot, you are betting on Buffalo to continue being who they are. You’re also betting against Ryan Tannehill’s ability to keep up with Josh Allen’s offense, assuming Buffalo at least meets the expectation of their implied 29.75 team total.

A bet on the Titans is a bet on a physical football team that has been a tough out in every season since Mike Vrabel took over. Derrick Henry drove Tennessee's offense when the Titans knocked off the Bills last season. A bet on the Titans is either a bet on Ryan Tannehill exceeding expectations or a bet on Derrick Henry looking more like himself than he did on opening day. If you’re considering Tennessee here, you are doing so knowing that Buffalo’s defense has a trench advantage in this contest. If you’re betting on the Titans, you will need their pass defense to exceed expectations in this contest.

Titans vs. Bills Pool Picks

Winner/ Confidence Pool: Buffalo will be a near-universal pick in standard winner pools. The Titans have some appeal as a differentiator option in larger winner pools with weekly payouts. Tennessee beat Buffalo and a few other heavyweights last season, but their path to victory here is pretty narrow. In one of my confidence pools, I will rank Buffalo third; in the other, I will rank them fifth.

Spread Pool: I’m going to stay away from this game in ATS tournaments. 

Survivor: Buffalo is a viable survivor pool option here, but I'm planning to use them later in the year.