Titans vs. Browns Odds & Picks: Bet This Rushing Prop On Sunday
Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images. Pictured: Cleveland Browns star running back Nick Chubb.
Titans vs. Browns
In a battle of teams with identical 8-3 records, the Titans welcome the Browns to Nissan Stadium as both teams look to cement a place in the crowded AFC playoff picture.
The Titans are currently positioned as the No. 3 seed while the Browns are two slots below at No. 5.
This should be a fun, free-flowing game as evidenced by the total — the temperature should be around 49 degrees with 4 mph winds and no precipitation in the forecast. Both teams are allowing at least 25.9 points per game, which is creating some favorable prop opportunities for over backers.
This game will be a good test for the Browns as they look to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2002.
They should have some chances to move the ball against a Titans team that surprisingly ranks 28th in Football Outsiders’ defensive DVOA despite their lofty record. The Titans will need to be at their best to contain Nick Chubb, who is averaging 6.3 yards per rushing attempt.
Chubb has rushed for more than 114 yards over his past three games and more than 100 yards in five of the seven games he’s played this season. Perhaps what’s even more impressive is that Chubb leads the NFL with 10 rushes of 20 or more yards.
The Browns will want to continue to get Chubb plenty of touches while Baker Mayfield essentially operates as a game manager. Mayfield has had fewer than 30 passing attempts in each of his last six games, so there seems to be a concerted effort to limit his throws in order to avoid any costly turnovers.
In 2019, Mayfield averaged 33.4 passing attempts per game with a 22-to-21 touchdown-to-interception ratio. In 2020, he’s averaging 26.7 attempts and has a 17-to-7 TD-to-INT ratio.
That said, I expect Mayfield to have a decent game on Sunday, especially considering that the Titans’ pass defense is ranked 27th in DVOA and 28th in the league with 268.5 yards allowed per game. They’re also ranked 27th in with a defensive drive success rate (DSR) of 78%, which captures the percentage of down series that end up in either a first down or touchdown.
If you’ve watched the Titans play this season, you already know that they almost never get off the field on third down. Per TeamRankings, they’re dead-last in allowing opponents to convert on third down at a 52.6% rate. That can be absolutely backbreaking for any defense, but especially against the Browns: They have a knack of cashing in on their drives once inside the red zone, converting 68.6% of their opportunities into touchdowns, seventh in the league.
Not bad for Mayfield and Co.
On the injury front, the Browns will be without starting wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge due to a hamstring injury. Backup wide receiver Taywan Taylor is also out with a neck injury, along with starting cornerback Denzel Ward. Backup center Nick Harris and backup defensive lineman Vincent Taylor are both questionable after being limited participants in practice this week.
The Titans will take on a Browns team that, despite their 8-3 start, are ranked 31st in strength of schedule per TeamRankings.com. Just last week, the Browns managed to hang on for a 27-25 victory over the lowly Jaguars. But seven of the Browns’ eight wins have come against teams with losing records heading into Week 13.
The Titans could be in line for a decent offensive day against a Browns defense ranked 19th in DVOA. Cleveland is allowing opponents four red-zone opportunities per game, which could prove to be disastrous against a Tennessee team ranked fifth with a 72.73% rate of turning those opportunities into touchdowns.
DVOA doesn’t show much of a disparity between Cleveland’s pass defense vs. its run defense. Defensively, the Browns are ranked 23rd in passing DVOA and 20th in rushing DVOA.
Their defense is below-average in both areas, which could cause some headaches against a Titans team ranked third in offensive DVOA. Tennessee fans will hope this plays out like one of those choose-your-own-adventure novels because there are multiple ways for the Titans to put up points.
And you can’t forget about Ryan Tannehill, who is fifth in the league with a 76.7 mark in ESPN’s Total QBR and holds a 23-to-4 TD-to-INT ratio.
If that’s not enough, All-Pro running back Derrick Henry can also make opposing teams pay with his 4.9 yards per carry. Henry is also second in the NFL with eight carries of 20 or more yards this season.
The Titans continue to be without cornerback Adoree’ Jackson, despite him being activated from the IR. Jackson has yet to play a snap due since injuring his knee in their season opener.
Defensive end Jeffery Simmons is also on the injury report due to a knee injury. After being a limited participant in practice on Thursday, Simmons did not practice on Friday and is listed as questionable for Sunday.
On offense, starting tight end Jonnu Smith will also be out due to a knee injury while left guard Rodger Saffold III is listed as questionable (ankle) despite not practicing this week.
The Browns are coming into this game a bit thin at wide receiver, which could place even more of an emphasis on their run game.
With Chubb amassing 6.3 yards per carry, I’m confident that Cleveland can run the ball on this Tennessee defense. The Titans’ problems on third down could also come back to bite them given Chubb’s effectiveness. If the Browns are to have any chance of winning on Sunday, they’ll need to jump on the back of Chubb and control the time of possession.
I like the over on Chubb’s rushing yards. I also like him as an anytime touchdown scorer. I would play his rushing yards over up to 87.
PICK: Nick Chubb Over 85.5 Rush Yards