The following story was written by VSiN’s Josh Appelbaum.
The Tennessee Titans were arguably the most surprising team in the NFL last season. They started the year 2-4 and looked like a lost cause but then struck gold when they switched quarterbacks from Marcus Mariota to Ryan Tannehill. Under Tannehill, the Titans went 7-3 the rest of the way to finish 9-7.
But that wasn’t all. The Titans made serious noise in the postseason, winning a pair of incredibly impressive road playoff games. In the wild-card round, Tennessee waltzed into Foxboro and beat the New England Patriots 20-13 and then turned around and upset the Baltimore Ravens 28-12 in the divisional round. The Titans even held a 17-7 lead over the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game before Patrick Mahomes led a furious comeback to beat Tennessee 35-24.
This offseason, the Titans focused on keeping the band together. Tennessee locked up Tannehill to a long-term deal and placed the franchise tag on star running back Derrick Henry. The Titans let go of aging veterans Delanie Walker, Cameron Wake and Jurrell Casey. Their lone free-agent splash was signing former Falcons edge rusher Vic Beasley to a one-year deal. In the draft, Tennessee selected towering Georgia offensive lineman Isaiah Wilson in the first round and LSU cornerback Kristian Fulton in the second round.
In two seasons under head coach Mike Vrabel, the Titans have gone 18-14, posting a pair of 9-7 seasons. Should bettors expect another 9-win season in 2020?
According to the oddsmakers, yes.
Tennessee’s 2020 win total is 8.5 across the board. Nearly ever book is juicing up the over, signaling market-wide agreement. Both Circa Sports and FanDuel are hanging over 8.5 at -130 (under +110). DraftKings also is over 8.5 at -130, with the under +107. PointsBet is even more bullish, posting over 8.5 at -141 (under +115).
Why are sportsbooks forcing bettors to pay such an expensive price on the over? Because smart money and house liability are on the Titans going 9-7 or better in 2020.
Tennessee has a relatively easy schedule this season. The Titans’ 2020 opponents went a combined 127-128-1 (.498) in 2019, giving them the 13th-easiest schedule overall.
Here is the full Tennessee schedule for 2020:
Week 1: at Denver Broncos
Week 2: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 3: at Minnesota Vikings
Week 4: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 5: vs. Buffalo Bills
Week 6: vs. Houston Texans
Week 7: Bye
Week 8: at Cincinnati Bengals
Week 9: vs. Chicago Bears
Week 10: vs. Indianapolis Colts
Week 11: at Ravens
Week 12: at Colts
Week 13: vs. Cleveland Browns
Week 14: at Jaguars
Week 15: vs. Detroit Lions
Week 16: at Green Bay Packers
Week 17: at Texans
Tennessee is expected to make the playoffs again this season. The Titans are a -159 favorite to make the postseason at DraftKings and a +130 underdog to miss the postseason.
The Titans are a short +180 dog to win the AFC South. The Colts are the favorite at +110. The Texans are +350 and the Jags are a distant +2000.
Tennessee is +1300 to win the AFC and +3000 to win the Super Bowl.
If you’re looking to target player props, Tannehill’s over/under passing yards is 3,450.5 and touchdown passes 22.5. Last season, Tannehill threw for 2,742 yards and 22 touchdowns in only 12 games.
Derrick Henry’s over/under rushing yards is 1,325.5. Henry led the league in rushing last season with 1,540 yards.
A.J. Brown’s over/under receiving yards is 1,000.5. Brown hauled in 1,051 receiving yards in his 2019 rookie season.
Vrabel is +2000 to win Coach of the Year, tied for the fifth-best odds overall. Bill Belichick is the favorite at +1000.