Titans vs. Ravens Odds & Picks: How To Bet On Baltimore In A Revenge Spot
Will Newton/Getty Images. Pictured: Lamar Jackson
Titans vs. Ravens Odds
Lamar Jackson led the Ravens to a dream season in 2019.
With the Jackson crowned the league MVP and 12 straight wins to close the season, the Ravens finished with a 14-2 record, entering their 2019 AFC Divisional Round matchup against the Titans as 10-point favorites. But despite racking up 530 yards of offense, the Ravens saw their Super Bowl dreams die at their home stadium with a 28-12 loss to the Titans as Derrick Henry rushed for 195 yards on 30 carries.
Ten months later, the two teams meet again at M&T Bank Stadium, with both sitting at 6-3 and looking to rebound from Week 10 losses to keep pace in the AFC playoff race.
Can Jackson and the Ravens avenge their devastating playoff loss? Or will Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry and the Titans prove to be their Achilles’ heel?
The Titans come into this game reeling, losing three out of their last four games. If you’ve been watching them this season, you’re aware that their 31st-ranked special teams unit has been their Achilles’ heel, and it certainly came back to bite them in last Thursday’s loss to the Colts.
The struggles of kicker Stephen Gostkowski have been well documented, as he’s made just 12-of-20 field goal attempts and went 1-for-2 last week, missing a 44-yarder. However, it was Trevor Daniel’s blocked punt that the Colts returned that ultimately cost the Titans that game.
Things don’t get any easier this week as the Titans come into it with injuries on both sides of the ball.
The absence of left guard Rodger Saffold (ankle) and the questionable status of center Ben Jones (knee) are major concerns for an offensive line that is already missing left tackle Taylor Lewan, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 6. When you factor in right tackle Jack Conklin’s departure to the Browns over the offseason, the Titans will be without three — possibly four — players from the offensive line that helped them win last season’s playoff game against the Ravens.
Tennessee’s offense has been trending downward.
We’ve seen the Titans go from first in passing success rate, fourth in rushing success rate and first in total success rate through the first six weeks to 26th in passing success rate, 21st in rushing success rate and 26th overall over the past four weeks (per Sharp Football Stats). They also went from scoring 32.8 points per game and averaging 423.2 yards of offense to only 19.5 points per game with 313.75 average yards while producing fewer than 300 total yards in three of their last four games.
Although they’ve faced top-five defenses in the Steelers and Bears, the Titans still struggled offensively against lesser units, scoring just 20 points against the 30th-ranked Bengals defense.
One of their biggest issues over the past four weeks has been their third-ranked run/pass ratio on first down (62%/38%) despite having just a 43% success rate. With Tannehill facing second- and third-and-long frequently, we’ve seen this offense decline after its early-season success. Unfortunately, the Titans will also be without wide receiver Adam Humphries, who hasn’t played since suffering a concussion in Week 8.
The Titans are just as banged-up on defense as they are on offense.
Recent free-agent addition and linebacker Jadeveon Clowney (knee) has been placed on Injured Reserve while cornerback Adoree’ Jackson (knee) and defensive lineman Larrell Murchison (ribs) have been ruled out.
With cornerback Kareem Orr (groin) also questionable for Sunday, this doesn’t bode well for a defense that’s 24th in defensive efficiency, 25th against the pass and 19th against the run while allowing 54% of pass plays to be successful and 55% of runs to be successful (27th and 30th, respectively).
The Titans also tied for 31st in sacks (11) and 29th in pressure rate (17.9%), which means they’ll likely struggle to get to Jackson.
If the Titans end up winning this game, it’ll be because of their offense, which hasn’t been the same over the past four weeks.
The Ravens haven’t been much better.
They come into this game losing two out of the last three games, with their lone win coming on the road in a game in which we saw the Ravens struggle until a Colts fumble and subsequent 65-yard return for a touchdown completely changed the flow of the game.
Nevertheless, much of the talk heading into this matchup is whether opposing defensive coordinators have caught up with Jackson. I’m not so sure that’s the case, however.
Although the Ravens are just 24th in offensive efficiency, 22nd against the pass and 11th against the run, their issues mirror the Titans’ issues — the Ravens too have had issues on the offensive line. Future Hall of Fame right guard Marshal Yanda retired last offseason and they lost All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley for the rest of the season with a broken ankle.
They’ve also put Jackson behind the eight ball with their game script as they have the third-highest run/pass ratio but have just a 47% success rate. The Ravens are just 25th in early down success rate at 42.8%, which means they’ve faced a ton of unfavorable third-and-long situations.
Despite that, Jackson and the Ravens are scoring 27.1 points per game, good for 12th in the NFL. Even with a four-turnover performance against the second-ranked Steelers in Week 8, the Ravens scored 24 points and put up 457 total yards of offense and came within an incomplete pass to Willie Snead away from winning.
The Ravens have done a good job at beating up on bad defenses, particularly those with poor passing defenses:
- Week 1 vs. Browns: 38 points (20th defensive passing efficiency)
- Week 2 at Texans: 33 points (28th defensive passing efficiency)
- Week 5 vs. Bengals: 27 points (29th defensive passing efficiency)*
- Week 6 at Eagles: 31 points (21st defensive passing efficiency)
*impacted by rain
After last week’s monsoon-aided loss to the Patriots, this shapes to be a bounce-back spot for Jackson and the Ravens offense. Mark Ingram is back in the lineup, which should provide a boost to their run game, too.
The Ravens defensive is giving up just 18.3 points per game, first among all NFL teams. They’re also sixth in defensive efficiency, 10th against the pass and third against the run. However, this week they may have problems stopping Henry from having a repeat of his 30-carry, 195-yard performance in last year’s playoff meeting, as they could be missing defensive linemen Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams, who are both listed as doubtful.
There is some good news on the injury front, as their best run defender in L.J. Fort is set to play, as is cornerback Jimmy Smith and safety Anthony Levine.
Nevertheless, it won’t be easy for this Ravens defense this weekend.
The Ravens are a schoolyard bully.
Outside of last week’s loss to Bill Belichick’s Patriots and last season’s playoff loss to the Titans, the Ravens typically beat the teams they’re supposed to beat. And even with a 6-3 record, the Titans are a team that the Ravens are supposed to beat: The Titans have a point differential of only +14, which measures out to fewer than three points per win. As a result, their Pythagorean expectation tells us that the Titans should have won about five games while losing four.
At 6-3, the Titans have clearly over-performed their point differential. And teams that over-perform their point differential are likely to see regression.
If there’s a magic elixir for a Ravens offense, it’s the Titans 24th-ranked defense that is simply a step down in class compared to recent weeks.
My projections make this game closer to 7, however, I’m not willing to lay nearly a touchdown with a struggling Ravens run defense without Campbell and Williams against a run-heavy offense. That said, I do like the Ravens to avenge their playoff loss, so this is an ideal spot for a 6-point teaser.
Tease the Ravens down and pair them with the Eagles.
PICK: Tease Ravens