Saints vs. Titans Odds, Predictions, NFL Picks: No Alvin Kamara Spells Trouble for New Orleans In Week 10
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images. Pictured: Titans’ A.J. Brown.
- Saints vs. Titans odds continue to position New Orleans as a 3-point favorite with and over/under of 43.5 points as of Sunday morning.
- Find out how our analyst is betting Saints-Titans with his predictions and picks in the preview below.
Saints vs. Titans Odds
|Time||1 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.|
Editor’s Note: This preview was written before the Titans placed Julio Jones on the injured reserve.
After trailing the Atlanta Falcons 24-6 in the fourth quarter last weekend, the New Orleans Saints mounted an impressive comeback to take a 25-24 lead with one minute remaining.
Unfortunately, their efforts would come up short, as the defense allowed a walk-off field goal in defeat. Building on that fourth-quarter spark could be difficult this week as well with Alvin Kamara out. Head coach Sean Payton will need to reach deep into his bag of tricks to save this debilitated offense against the Tennessee Titans.
The Saints aren’t the only ones with questions on offense. The Titans might have been able to score 28 points in their win over the Los Angeles Rams last week, but that is mostly credit to its defense for coming within two yards of two pick-sixes. The Saints will cause similar problems up front like the Rams, but they lack the backend talent L.A. has.
This game will likely come down to whether or not Julio Jones and A.J. Brown can be the dynamic duo we anticipated during the preseason.
Despite the questions surrounding these teams, they’ve managed to hold up against the tougher competition. Let’s take a deeper dive to see which team continues that trend.
Click the arrow to expand injury reports
Saints vs. Titans Injury Report
- RB Alvin Kamara (knee): Out
- S C.J. Gardner-Johnson (foot): Out
- T Terron Armstead (knee/shoulder): Out
- WR Ty Montgomery (hamstring): Questionable
- DE Carl Granderson (shoulder): Questionable
- S Dane Cruikshank (knee): Out (Editor’s Note: Since writing, Cruikshank has been placed on Tennessee’s injured reserve.)
- LB David Long (hamstring): Out
- CB Greg Mabin (ankle): Out
- WR Julio Jones (hamstring): Question (Editor’s Note: Since writing, Jones has been placed on Tennessee’s injured reserve.)
- LB Rashaan Evans (ankle): Questionable
- DL Teair Tart (groin): Questionable
Saints vs. Titans Matchup
|Saints Offense||DVOA Rank||Titans Defense|
|Saints Defense||DVOA Rank||Titans Offense|
|Football Outsiders’ DVOA measures efficiency by comparing a team’s success on every play to the league average based on situation and opponent.|
Saints Injury Troubles Continue
New Orleans has zigged when everyone else has zagged in the league. As more teams look for the next great quarterback or flashy playmaker, the Saints have turned to their defense and running game.
The key to building a game plan like this though is being able to convert in high-leverage moments, and the Saints have been one of the best at that. They’re tied for fourth in turnover differential, creating opportunities for their hampered offense while not putting their defense in a spot.
On top of turnover control, the Saints also dominate in the red zone and fourth down. In both scenarios, New Orleans ranks top 10 in offensive and defensive conversion rates.
We will need to see if the Saints can continue that success without their star offensive player, though. Kamara has done all the heavy lifting of late, as he leads the Saints in rushing and has been their most-targeted player.
Fearing something like this might happen, the Saints did bring back Mark Ingram in a trade with the Houston Texans. Ingram has shown no rust from leaving the Saints either, as he has averaged 4.7 yards per carry.
Defensively, the Saints have found success by completely removing opposing run games, ranking first in run DVOA. While their pass defense ranks a respectable 13th per DVOA though, there might be some cause for concern. They currently rank 23rd in net yard per attempt and are 29th in PFF’s pass rush grade.
If New Orleans fails to continue forcing interceptions, its pass defense could be exposed.
Titans Hanging In There Without Henry
Tennessee found a way to come together and beat the Rams, but it’s safe to say its offense underachieved. The Titans were only able to create 194 yards against Los Angeles and averaged a season-low 3.46 yards per play. None of the Titans’ skill position players ended with more than 50 yards of total offense.
Despite those struggles, I think there’s optimism for this team moving forward. On the ground, the Titans were held to less than a yard before contact per carry, which was far below their season average of 2.3, per Pro-Football-Reference.
It was also the first real action for any of these running backs, as Derrick Henry pretty much handled all the ground work. As the new guys get more work, they should get a better feel for where the holes will be.
As for the passing attack, my faith comes from believing in Jones and Brown. These are elite receivers, both still grading top 25 at the position, per PFF, and should get open. While we have seen Brown come back to life recently, Jones hasn’t found consistent production. Similar to the new running backs, there just haven’t been enough reps between him and Ryan Tannehill to find their rhythm.
Defensively, the Titans have a chance to lean on their strength to help their weakness. Tennessee has played its way to the eighth-best pass defense, per DVOA. Unfortunately, its rush defense hasn’t performed the same, ranking 24th overall.
The good news is the Saints are starting a non-threatening quarterback in Trevor Siemian and will be without their only receiving option who scares you one-on-one in Kamara. This should allow Tennessee to commit more defenders to the run and help cover up their weaknesses.
NFL Pick: Saints vs. Titans
Against the Saints, the Titans should face similar troubles to what the Rams presented. Good run defenses will force them to throw and New Orleans’ top corner will follow Brown. Fortunately, they do have the additional playmaking threat in Jones. We have only seen Jones be a big contributor against Seattle this year, but he did play a key role in their comeback attempt last week.
As for the Saints offense, we saw them struggle for three quarters against a woeful Falcons defense. Now, New Orleans will have to overcome a better defense without its best offensive weapon. I know Sean Payton is an offensive genius and the Saints play to their competition, but at some point injuries are too much.
When it comes down to it, I believe in the Titans to force Siemian to beat them and that the Saints have no answer for Jones. Take the Titans to extend their lead in the AFC.
Editor’s Note: This pick was made before the Titans placed Jones on the injured reserve.
Pick: Titans -2.5 | Bet to: -4
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