The Tennessee Titans are away to the Baltimore Ravens in a vital matchup for the playoff picture (1pm ET Sunday; TV: Live on CBS).
Both of these AFC teams have gone from contenders to their playoff hopes on life support after losing two of their last three games. Currently the Ravens would be the 7th and final playoff team in the AFC and the Titans would be on the outside looking in if the season ended today. Thankfully for them we have much more football to play. This is a must-win NFL game for both with them each sitting at 6-3 on the year.
Here are our Tennessee Titans vs Baltimore Ravens predictions for this preview, along with the USAbetting picks for this NFL game.
Can the Ravens Passing Game Wake Up?
The Titans’ defense can be exploited through the air, but can the Ravens take advantage of this mismatch? Tennessee ranks 28th in the NFL in average passing yards allowed per game (277.4), but the Ravens have been bad at moving the ball through the air.
Lamar Jackson and the passing game has been stagnant and has had to rely on their strong running game for much of the season. The Ravens rank 31 out of 32 teams in average passing yards per game (184.1) and are also 31st in average passing attempts per game (27.8). If they get behind they have had difficulties coming back to win.
Lamar Jackson is 25th in the NFL with 1,762 passing yards. In comparison, Josh Allen (2,871) and Russell Wilson (2,789) each have over 1,000 more passing yards than Jackson. Can Jackson and the passing game get going against a Titans secondary that has been a weakness? I’m not so sure.
At the trade deadline the Titans added All-Pro cornerback Desmond King from the Chargers and starting corner Adoree’ Jackson may return this week. Jackson would be a huge addition to a Titans’ secondary that has had its struggles. Jackson has yet to play this season with a knee injury sustained before their opening game, but was activated off the IR last week and is currently questionable this week.
The Titans’ run defense has been the stronger of the two units, which lends well to a matchup against the run-heavy Ravens. The Titans rank 18th in the NFL allowing on average 120.7 rushing yards per game. This is the biggest mismatch of the game with how good the Ravens’ run offense has been so far this season. They rank 2nd in the NFL in average rushing yards per game with 164.0. They were 1st prior to last week against the Patriots when they went well under their average with only 115 rushing yards in the game. This was likely more due to the monsoon-like conditions we saw on Sunday night.
I expect the Titans to sell out against the run and slow down the Ravens’ potent attack, which is much easier said than done. They will make Jackson try to beat them through the air.
The Ravens are desperately missing their best offensive lineman, Ronnie Staley who went down for the year with a severe ankle injury against the Steelers. The dominant tackle was a force in both the running and passing game. This was quite the devastating injury and has had an impact on their scoring output. The Ravens haven’t scored more than 24 points since. Prior to Staley’s injury they scored 27 or more points in five of their first six games and 30 or more in four of their first six.
If the Titans can slow down the run they should be able to cover comfortably and may be a live dog to win outright. We have seen the Titans’ offense’s ability to score throughout the season. They rank 10th in the NFL scoring on average 27.7 points per game. If they can get out to an early lead the Ravens will be in trouble trying to come back with their inept passing attack.
Our Preview’s Tennessee Titans vs Baltimore Ravens Predictions & Betting Picks Verdict
This preview from USAbetting is going to be supporting the road underdog Tennessee Titans. The line is currently sitting at +6pts with the main sportsbooks serving residents of the States. That feels too high for teams that are similarly skilled.
I think the Titans will focus on stopping the run and forcing Baltimore to beat them through the air, which we have yet to see them do much so far this season. I think the Titans have enough on offense to score and keep up. I could see them winning this game outright if they are able to limit Jackson and the strong rushing attack, similar to the Patriots last week.
The Titans have a strong rushing attack of their own, which should help open the passing game up for some to their weapons like AJ Brown, Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith. We saw the Patriots successful run for 173 yards on the Ravens, which gives me hope for Derrick Henry to do the same.
I see the Titans controlling the ball on the ground and making a few plays through the air to keep this game close. I could see them winning this game (they are currently +220 with Bovada on the moneyline), but I felt most comfortable taking the points. I see this being a 20-17 victory for the Ravens, but could easily argue the Titans win 20-17 as well. It may be worth a sprinkle on the ML if you are feeling risky. Otherwise, this is the one bit of betting picks’ advice for our Tennessee Titans vs Baltimore Ravens predictions: