Titans vs. Rams Odds, Picks, NFL Predictions: An Expert’s Guide To Betting Sunday Night Football
Getty Images. Pictured: Jalen Ramsey and Ryan Tannehill
- Rams-Titans odds continue to move in the direction of L.A., with the spread now at Rams -7.5 as kickoff rapidly approaches.
- So where is the betting value on Sunday Night Football? Our expert previews the matchup below.
|Time||8:20 p.m. ET|
Week 9 features a strong edition of Sunday Night Football between two teams with Super Bowl aspirations.
The 6-2 Titans — who are fresh off three impressive wins over the Bills, Chiefs and Colts — will travel to Los Angeles to take on the 7-1 Rams. Coming into this matchup, the Titans sat in the No. 1 overall spot in the AFC and hold an important tiebreaker thanks to a win over the Bills, who have the easiest remaining schedule in the NFL.
Meanwhile, the Rams would have been the No. 5 seed in the NFC playoffs if the season ended after last week despite having a better record. L.A. obviously plays in the much tougher division and has already dropped a game to fellow NFC West foe Arizona, so every game is critical for the Rams from here on out if they want to secure that highly-coveted bye that goes to the top seed in each conference.
Click the arrow to expand injury reports
Titans vs. Rams Injury Report
- RB Derrick Henry (foot): Out
- G Nate Davis (concussion): Out
- LB Rashaan Evans (ankle): Out
- CB Greg Mabin (ankle): Out
- WR Julio Jones (hamstring): Questionable
- WR A.J. Brown (knee): Questionable
- LT Taylor Lewan (knee): Questionable
- LT Kendall Lamm (back): Questionable
- DL Sebastian Joseph-Day (chest): Out
- LB Von Miller (ankle): Questionable
- CB Jalen Ramsey (knee): Questionable
- WR Robert Woods (foot): Questionable
- LB Ernest Jones (illness): Questionable
Titans vs. Rams Matchup
|Titans Offense||DVOA Rank||Rams Defense|
|Titans Defense||DVOA Rank||Rams Offense|
|Football Outsiders’ DVOA measures efficiency by comparing a team’s success on every play to the league average based on situation and opponent.|
Titans’ Outlook Without Henry
Tennessee received some brutal news this week in regards to star running back Derrick Henry, who will miss significant time with a foot injury. He’s not only the best running back in the league with the ball in his hands, he’s also critical in drawing defense up into the box to set up Tennessee’s lethal play-action passing attack, led by Ryan Tannehill and one of the best wide-receiver duos in the NFL, A.J. Brown and Julio Jones.
As a result of the injury, the Titans signed Adrian Peterson to add depth to the backfield. You can also expect to see much more of Jeremy McNichols, who excels in the passing game out of the backfield.
As you saw above, Tennessee’s injury report does not look rosy on the offensive side of the ball. In addition to the loss of Henry, the Titans are dealing with some injuries along the offensive line and with both receivers. I expect Brown to play despite his questionable tag, but it remains to be seen if and how much Jones can give on Sunday night. Even when he has been available, the former Falcon has been fairly limited on the field.
Tennessee’s offense steers the ship and the defense just tries to get a few timely stops. It’s not a great unit by any stretch, but the defensive line has been better than advertised so far this season.
In order for the Titans to have a realistic shot at a Super Bowl, they simply need a fully healthy offense (which is elite when at full strength) and for the defense to perform at a league-average level. I didn’t believe that was possible coming into the season, but think that’s now a possibility after what I’ve seen from the defensive line and secondary when healthy. They will really benefit when their best corner Kristian Fulton comes off the IR.
Rams Keeping Ramping Things Up
As many expected, the Rams are an offensive juggernaut. Not surprisingly, replacing Jared Goff with Matthew Stafford made Sean Mcvay’s offense much more potent. For the season, Los Angeles ranks No. 1 in the NFL in Expected Points Added (EPA) per offensive play (0.191) and dropback EPA per play (.388). For reference, Arizona has the second-highest dropback EPA per play at .284. The schedule hasn’t necessarily been daunting, but even after adjusting for the opponent, this has been the best offense in football.
Meanwhile, the defense ranks ninth overall DVOA. However, I do think this unit might be a bit overrated after just coming off the following four-game stretch:
- Seahawks (when Russell Wilson got hurt)
The Rams lost a lot of talent on the defensive side of the ball in the offseason, so it’s very much a stars and scrubs based unit. Although, it does help when those two stars are Jalen Ramsey and Aaron Donald — the best in the league at their respective positions.
L.A. also went out and acquired Von Miller to boost the talent level of this defense. We will see if he can give it a go and provide this defense with a much-needed additional edge rusher to complement Leonard Floyd.
I don’t think the defense has the same ceiling as last year’s dominant group, but it doesn’t need to perform at that level with Stafford under center for the offense. An above-average defense is all the Rams need to have a realistic shot at hoisting the Lombardi in February. I don’t think anybody can question the fact that this is a top-five team in the league.
NFL Pick: Titans vs. Rams
There are some significant matchup advantages here for the Rams. Defensively, they could decide to use Ramsey as a shadow on Brown. While he hasn’t been doing that this year, it would make a ton of sense in this particular matchup, especially if Jones can’t go or is limited.
Ramsey can play any corner position and has shadowed in the past. For reference, he’s played almost an equal amount of snaps in the slot compared to outside so far this season. Brown, meanwhile, has lined up in the slot on about one-third of his snaps in 2021.
Brown is the straw that stirs the drink for this Tennessee passing attack. A healthy and productive Jones would provide a massive boost, but it’s hard to expect that right now. The Rams also don’t have to worry as much about defending the run with Henry’s absence. Donald also has some favorable matchups in the interior, which could cause the pocket to collapse early.
On the other side of the ball, the Rams offense should shred on the ground against a poor Tennessee rush defense. Plus, there’s no reason why Stafford can’t absolutely light up this underwhelming and undermanned Titan secondary.
Tennessee’s pass defense has actually performed a bit better than I had expected so far this season (middle-of-the-pack DVOA) — especially with the key injuries it has suffered in the secondary. The primary catalyst has been the pressure it has been able to generate with the likes of Harold Landry (second in the NFL in sacks) and Jefferey Simmons, who both rank in the top 10 in Pass Block Win Rate among their respective position groups.
Throw in defensive end Denico Autry and the Titans have three players who rank in the top 10 in the NFL in total pressures through Week 8. That’s been a pleasant surprise for a defense that has struggled to generate pressure in recent seasons.
However, you can’t really expect Tennessee to get much pressure against a sturdy Rams offensive line that features two bookend tackles in Rob Havenstein and Andrew Whitworth.
Additionally, with presumably plenty of time to throw, Stafford should have no issues exposing a Titans corner group that has been ravaged by injuries. This understaffed group could be in real trouble against a Rams team that likes to spread opponents out and use empty-set formations at times.
After adjusting for the injury to Henry and some of the other Tennessee injuries, I projected this spread at Rams just over a touchdown. If you’re curious, I only think Henry is worth about a point to the spread. Yes, he’s the best in the business and an integral part of the Titans offense, but he’s still just a running back. Henry is one of the few running backs who does matter, but just maybe not as much as you might think in terms of the spread.
I do also have concerns about some potential fatigue for the Titans after three emotional wins. Although, it’s worth noting that Mike Vrabel has been a cash cow as an underdog. He’s 16-5 against the spread (76.2%) as an underdog of three or more points in his coaching career.
While I personally don’t see any value on either side, I do think the Rams are a solid teaser piece here. In regards to the total, I make it close to the current market price. I’d lean over but it really comes down to the health of Jones, which I can’t confidently project.
Lastly, I’m generally not a props player, but I would look to target Van Jefferson here. With DeSean Jackson no longer on the roster, Jefferson becomes the primary deep threat. He should have plenty of opportunities to hit some big plays here, especially when lined up against Jackrabbit Jenkins, who is very susceptible to double moves.
Pick: Pass; Target Rams in teasers
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