Chiefs vs. Titans Odds & Picks: KC Overvalued with Patrick Mahomes’ Return?

Chiefs vs. Titans Odds & Picks: KC Overvalued with Patrick Mahomes’ Return? article feature image

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Patrick Mahomes

  • The Kansas City Chiefs welcome Patrick Mahomes back for Sunday's matchup at the Tennessee Titans.
  • Our experts analyze the betting odds and make their picks.

Chiefs at Titans Odds & Picks

  • Odds: Chiefs -5.5
  • Over/Under: 48
  • Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: CBS

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Patrick Mahomes could be back under center for the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, hence why they’re 5.5-point favorites at the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.

But are they being overvalued as road favorites against the Tennessee Titans?

Our experts break down every angle of this matchup, from the biggest mismatch to how to bet the spread.

Chiefs-Titans Injury Report

Which team is healthier? Chiefs

The Chiefs are getting healthier with Mahomes (knee) returning to full practice. They could also get defensive lineman Frank Clark (neck), cornerback Kendall Fuller (thumb) and offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (ankle) back with all returning to limited practice. However, none played last week despite limited practices, so there’s still a possibility some are held out.

One of the Titans’ more notable injuries is Corey Davis (hip), who hasn’t been able to practice after getting banged up in Week 9. His potential absence would free up 16% of their market share of targets.

The outlook for defensive lineman Jurrell Casey (shoulder), meanwhile, isn’t looking great with his continued absence in practice dating back to last week. Casey grades out as one of the best defensive linemen in the league, and he’s a key cog in their run defense. Justin Bailey

Note: Info as of Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.

Biggest Mismatch

Derrick Henry vs. Chiefs Run Defense

With Mahomes close to full health, the most pressing weakness for the Chiefs is their porous run defense. They rank 28th in Football Outsiders’ run defense DVOA and have been gashed by opposing running backs at an average of 4.77 yards per carry. They’re also allowing the most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs.

Derrick Henry
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Derrick Henry

Henry tends to become more effective toward the end of season. Starting in Week 11 of 2018, Henry averaged 133 rushing yards and 1.6 rushing touchdowns per game. This is a prime spot for Henry to receive a ton of volume as the Titans will need to keep Mahomes off the field.

Kansas City’s pass defense has been one of the most underrated units in the NFL, currently ranking fourth in pass defense DVOA, even more efficient than Buffalo. With conservative quarterback Ryan Tannehill under center, the Titans are averaging only 196 passing yards per game.

The Titans would be foolish to challenge Kansas City through the air more than necessary.

Henry is one of the NFL’s most elusive running backs with the third-most evaded tackles (57) per PlayerProfiler. At 6-foot-3 and 247 pounds, he presents the biggest mismatch against a Chiefs run defense that recently allowed 5.2 yards per carry to Green Bay’s Aaron Jones, 4.6 to Houston’s Carlos Hyde and 4.6 to  Indianapolis’ Marlon Mack. Mike Randle

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

  • Projected Spread: Chiefs -4.5
  • Projected Total: 47.5

Mahomes appears set to return from a knee injury that’s kept him out of the past two games. The Chiefs managed to go 1-1 without him, and while the market appeared to value him as being worth seven to eight points to the spread, I’m hesitant to give them the full points back quite yet as he isn’t likely to be 100% quite yet.

There’s a chance he could have limited mobility on Sunday. And while he isn’t necessarily known for his rushing ability, he does use his legs to avoid pressure, extend plays and buy time for his receivers to get open for a huge play. We might not see that Mahomes in Tennessee, but a more conservative version.

One silver lining regarding his knee injury is that the time off has likely allowed him to overcome an ankle injury that had been nagging him previously. Getting that ankle closer to 100% could be the blessing in disguise. Sean Koerner

Expert Picks

Koerner: Titans +5.5

There’s some slight value on the Titans getting 5.5 points here if it appears Mahomes will be less than 100%. There’s also a non-zero possibility Mahomes has an in-game setback, forcing the Chiefs to bring Matt Moore back in.

If Moore were to start, the line would be closer to Titans -2.5 to -3, so there’s some hidden upside taking the Titans here as a result.

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