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Tennessee Titans vs. Baltimore Ravens Point Spread - Pick

Tennessee Titans (10-7 SU, 9-7-1 ATS) vs. Baltimore Ravens (14-2 SU, 10-6 ATS)
AFC Divisional Playoffs
Date/Time: Saturday, January 11, 2020 at 8:15PM EST
Where: MT&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland
TV: CBS

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: TEN +9/BAL -9
Over/Under Total: 47

The Tennessee Titans come to AT&T Bank Stadium on Saturday for a divisional playoff showdown with the conference's top seed—the Baltimore Ravens. Tennessee can't be overlooked with the heart they showed first in getting into the postseason and then in upsetting the defending champion Patriots in the Wild Card round on Sunday, 20-13. The big road win was huge for the Titans, but this is where most predict the run will end—facing a 14-2 home Ravens team that ended the season with 12 straight wins, led by all-but-certain MVP Lamar Jackson. Who will get the upper hand in this one?

The Titans are an interesting darkhorse team. And despite some different liabilities and perceived weaknesses, they have some interesting dimensions. After a 2-4 start and some late-season slipups, they still managed to muscle their way into the playoffs. And while it was clear that something was wrong with New England toward the end of the season, seeing an underdog Titans team come into Foxborough to beat a 12-win conference power like the Patriots shows that they might not be the sacrificial lamb in this spot that the odds may suggest. They have a lot going for them, with a positive feeling in the locker-room, making them a dangerous team in this spot.

The Tennessee offense got a boost with the addition of Ryan Tannehill. Perhaps some forgot what a good QB he can be when he has some good stuff around him. He's great under pressure and can make things happen when in a pinch. But the real weapon on this offense is peaking running back Derrick Henry. At times, he can carry this team on his back. Against New England, his ability to break off consistently-productive runs proved to be the decisive part of the game. Baltimore has done well both against the run and the pass this season, but they haven't faced a back like this. Having a rushing champion in high-flying form can go a long way in these spots. But after a fairly-meager day of aerial production against the Pats, the Titans will be looking for a more-complete offensive performance this week. After all, they're going to need to keep pace with an offensive machine no one has really been able to stop this season.

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The Titans' defense fared well on Wild Card Weekend. Holding a home Patriots team to 13 points was a nice development for a Tennessee defense that hasn't always had a defense befitting a playoff game-winning team. They are pretty tough up front, as they showed on Saturday against the Patriots, who didn't thrive on the ground. Through the air, they've been a lot more exploitable. For the purposes of this game, their lack of stoutness across different areas and namely through the air, are points of major concern. One flip side to that coin is that the defense, and the secondary in particular, can make a lot of difference-making plays

This is where we see if the dominance the Ravens showed for most of the season will translate in this elevated context. And even with everyone fully aware of how powerful they are, they still cover spreads left and right, failing to deliver for bettors only once since week six. Most of the wins were of a lopsided nature and in this 12-game win streak, they boast of wins over some pretty good teams like the 49ers and Seahawks. In their last ten games (10-0), only the NFC's top-seed in San Fran and Buffalo so much as came within one score of the Ravens.

Lamar Jackson will be the MVP this season, doing some things not quite seen before in this league. His passing stats improved dramatically. With nearly two-thirds completions with 36 TDs and just 6 picks, his numbers looked the part of a semi-elite aerial force. Add the dimension of being a top-flight runner who gained over 1200 yards and nearly 7 yards a scamper and you have a very unique force that no defense has really been able to fully curtail. They have a lot more, with another 1000-yard rusher in Mark Ingram, along with productive backs like Gus Edwards. They can run the heck out of the ball. Whether they cover the number in this game will depend a lot on how well the aerial game comes off against a Tennessee defense that suffers in this area. But with Mark Andrews leading the way, with Marquise Brown and Willie Snead, the aerial attack doesn't necessarily excite. They have a good tight end and a group of receivers who are on some games and off in others.

Having one of the league's best defenses really gives the Baltimore postseason cause some legitimacy. Solid in an all-around sense, they allow an average of just 17.6 points per game. There is no area where they really suffer, as they are equally stout against the run and the pass. They can get after the quarterback and between Marcus Peters, Marlon Humphrey, and Earl Thomas, they can make game-changing plays and they secure a lot of turnovers as a team defense. For the purposes of covering this spread, a lot comes down to this unit and how well they can curtail Derrick Henry.

It's a tough one to call. On one hand, something about the Titans makes me hesitant to sell them short. And it's been such a weird season that one almost wants to go more off-the-grid when predicting these games. The other side of that coin is that doubting the Ravens up until now hasn't paid off. It's been a losing proposition. Still, I see the Titans and Henry, with some big plays on defense, keeping them within a whiff of winning the game, thus covering the spread Saturday in Baltimore.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Tennessee Titans plus 9 points. Did you know... that you could be wagering on the Tennessee vs. Baltimore game at discounted odds? There's a better than good chance that you're laying -110 odds (or more) with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to 5Dimes Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!

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