The Titans had a pretty easy schedule in October but they still managed to lose twice against Texans, when DeShaun Watson picked their defense apart and against the Dolphins when their offense just couldn’t find the answer in Mariota’s absence. Still, the team managed to string together three consecutive wins and are coming off from an important home victory over the Ravens who will probably be one of the main contenders for the wild-card spot in the AFC if the Titans don’t win the AFC South. The Bengals on the other side are coming off from another loss, their second in last three weeks and their playoff hopes are slowly starting to fade away.
The Titans are 3-4-1 against the spread this season (2-1-1 at home) and they are 5-3 in Over/Under while the Bengals are 3-5 against the spread (2-2 on the road) and 3-5 in Over/Under. Total points for Sunday’s matchup are set at 40.5 and bookies are giving an advantage to the Tennessee Titans at -5. Very interesting duel is on the menu so let’s check some basic info about the teams’ form so far into the season.
The Titans are finally on the verge of taking the AFC South Championship for the first time since 2008. The Colts are without Andrew Luck and the Texans rookie QB who started the season great, DeShaun Watson is out for the season with a torn ACL, leaving the Jaguars as the only formidable opponent for the divisional title. The battle between Jacksonville and Tennessee will be one of the most interesting ones this year in the NFL but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Titans’ offense is one of the most unpredictable units this year. They are able to pick apart any defense when they are on the top of their game (33 points against the Seahawks in Week 2 or 37 points against the Jaguars in the season opener) but they are also prone to unusual stalls in efficiency (12 points against the Browns, 10 points against the Dolphins). The injuries of key players definitely do have a big impact on their performances and the main injury woe for the upcoming week will be running back DeMarco Murray who is listed as questionable.
On the stat sheet, the team is averaging 317.8 total yards in offense (199.9 passing yards and 117.9 rushing yards) per game and 5.3 yards per play. Offensively they rank 20th in the league (27th in passing and 10th in rushing). On the other side of the field, they allow 330.9 total yards (234.1 passing yards and 96.8 rushing yards) to their opponents and 5.0 yards per play. Their overall defense is ranked 17th in the league (18th in passing yards allowed and 10th in rushing yards allowed) while they also allow 24.1 points per game (23rd in the NFL).
Individually, QB Marcus Mariota who missed two games this season due to an injury leads the offense with 1519 total yards, six TDs and five picks while running back duo DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry top the team in rushing with 391 and 357 yards and five scores combined. TE Delanie Walker and WR Rishard Matthews top the receiving corps with 395 and 463 yards and two scores combined. On defense, linebacker Wesley Woodyard and free safety Kevin Byard lead the team in total tackles with 50 and 30 while LB Derrick Morgan has team-high 5.0 sacks.
Delanie Walker (ankle), DeMarco Murray (knee), Nate Palmer (ankle) and Quinton Spain (toe) are all listed as questionable for Sunday.
The Cincinnati Bengals were the first team in the 2017 season that made the coaching staff changes. After two initial defeats at home and only nine points scored over that span, the Bengals decided to part ways with their offensive coordinator Ken Zampese and moved on to Bill Lazor who was the team’s quarterbacks coach at the moment. The improvement was instantly visible in Week 3 against the Packers, but Cincinnati still lost to Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers in overtime. Since then, the team is 3-2 but the efficiency issues came into focus again last week when the team scored only 7 points in a road defeat by the Jaguars. Having in mind the strength of the AFC North, and the Bengals’ current record, postseason looks very far away at the moment.
Statistically, the team is averaging 369.8 total yards in offense (197.5 passing yards and 72.2 rushing yards) per match and 4.8 yards per play. The Bengals have the worst rushing attack in the NFL this season. Defensively, they allow 309.1 total yards per game (192.6 passing yards and 116.5 rushing yards) to their opponents and 4.6 yards per play. Their defense ranks 6th in total yards allowed and 11th in points allowed per matchup (19.8).
Andy Dalton has 1739 passing yards, 11 TDs and eight interceptions so far while rookie running back Joe Mixon leads the team’s ground attack with 284 yards and two scores. A.J. Green tops the receiving corps with 578 yards, 39 catches and four scores while TE Tyler Kroft has 287 yards and three scores. Safety Darqueze Dennard and linebacker Nick Vigil top the team in tackles with 34 each while DT Geno Atkins has team-high 5.0 sacks recorded.
WR Tyler Boyd (knee) is out while Pat Sims (calf), Jake Fisher (Illness), Kevin Minter (elbow) and Randy Bullock (back) are all listed as questionable for Sunday.
Titans vs. Bengals Betting Lines
The Titans are on a three-game winning streak and it is imperative for them to record another win in order to keep the upper hand in the AFC South title race. The only worry might come from the fact that Delaney Walker and DeMarco Murray, two cornerstones of the Titans’ offense are listed as questionable and they will, in the best case scenario have a limited role on Sunday. The Bengals on the other side received some good news on Monday when NFL announced that A.J. Green will not be suspended after his fight with Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey last weekend. Still, the absence of the running game and efficiency problems remain an issue. Bengals know that a potential 3-6 record after Week 10 will probably mean the end of their playoff hopes and they’ll need to approach this duel accordingly. I expect a close matchup but I’ll give the slight advantage to the home team. Over 40.5 points also seem like a good deal.