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Tennessee Titans vs. Minnesota Vikings Point Spread - Pick

Tennessee Titans (2-0 SU, 0-2 ATS) vs. Minnesota Vikings (0-2 SU, 0-2 ATS)
Week 3 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, September 27, 2020 at 1PM EST
Where: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
TV: CBS

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: TEN -2.5/MIN +2.5
Over/Under Total: 45.5

The Tennessee Titans come to U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday for a week three matchup with the Minnesota Vikings. Each team has seen things go very differently the first two weeks of the season. While Tennessee hasn't necessarily been impressive, as they haven't covered the spread in either two weeks, they are still 2-0. In two hard-fought games, they managed to get the "W" and that all that counts (for them, if not the bettors). Minnesota, meanwhile, has seen their efforts in both of their games go sideways, with a pair of non-competitive losses to the Packers and then the Colts on Sunday. They face another AFC South team this week and look for a win before their season starts getting away from them. Who can notch their first cover of the season this Sunday in Minneapolis?

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If you consider the run they made last season and the start they've gotten off to in 2020, the Titans are winning. And that's with a lot of people coming up with reasons why they should not. People say maybe Derrick Henry or Ryan Tannehill will slow down, there's not a ton of great tools other than Henry, the O-line is a little iffy, the defense isn't that stout, and so on. But they're winning. We are seeing a cohesive team unit. And their will to win and clutch play on both sides of the ball were evident both in weeks one and two, where they had to dig deep and find something late to salvage the wins.

Henry has 200 yards through two games and it doesn't even seem like he has gotten started yet. He has clearly developed into the premier back in the league, or pretty darn close to it. After an efficient performance that was clutch in week one, we saw more of the same from Tannehill on Sunday, throwing four touchdowns on 18-for-24 passing, with blossoming targets Corey Davis, TE Jonnu Smith, and Adam Humphries all hauling in TD grabs. And an often-criticized line kept Tannehill out of trouble for most of the game.

The Tennessee defense wasn't as sharp as they were in week one, giving up almost 500 yards in offense to the Jaguars last week and allowing them to climb back into the game after building a two-TD lead after the first half. Even against an errant Cousins, this secondary can sometimes be picked apart. But as we saw in last season's run to a conference title game, the Titans can make up for their lack of stoutness with a big playmaking element. On Sunday, Harold Landry, III. and Kristian Fulton each had picks. They still might need a better 60 minutes from this unit on Sunday in Minneapolis.

One would have to assume the Vikings will get better from here, but Sunday was brutal. After taking an early 3-0 lead, the offense took the balance of the afternoon off in an awful display for their fans and whoever was unfortunate enough to bet on them. A late-game TD when matters were already decided was all they could manage. Kirk Cousins threw 3 picks and no TDs on 11-for-26 passing in one of his worst games ever. We see RB Dalvin Cook, who is being wasted as the Vikings are playing from behind so much this season. There's Adam Thielen and promising rookie Justin Jefferson. But after that, there isn't a ton of go-to guys upon which Cousins can rely. They did manage to put up 34 points in week one and being back at home will help, but it's not looking great.

One almost has to wonder if this Minnesota defense will be enough to get it done week-to-week. Their defense continues to slip from their high-water mark of a few seasons ago and has definitely taken a step back from last season. But let's also point out that the Packers are a pretty dependable offensive team and giving up 28 to the Colts on the road isn't really a crime, either. Still, it's not hardly a good enough defense that the Vikings can flop around on offense and expect to have any chance to win. Both elements of the team have to be in-sync.

At the beginning of the game on Sunday, the Vikings' defense looked pretty good, but then in the second quarter, the resistance waned and before you know it, rookie back Jonathan Taylor had his first 100-yard game with a touchdown, WR Mo Alie-Cox was over 100 with a TD, and Philip Rivers earned his first win as a member of the Colts. They might not have caught the easiest opponents the first few weeks and you don't want to go crazy over what is still just a two-week window of evaluation, but this "D" looks like it has a ways to go before it's a good defense. And a Vikings' team without a good defense is lost at sea.

This isn't a great spot for the Titans in the sense that they're out of their element. This might be the first and only time a lot of Titans players ever get to play on this field. It really comes down to whether or not you think your eyes deceive you when it comes to the Vikings. I think the truth lies in the middle somewhere. We're looking at a flawed team, but one that isn't as bad as it has looked in the first two weeks. I expect a better performance at home this week, with the Vikes covering the spread.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Minnesota Vikings plus 2.5 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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