Titans-Colts Betting Preview: Who Has the Advantage in the Trenches?

Titans-Colts Betting Preview: Who Has the Advantage in the Trenches? article feature image

Brian Spurlock, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

Betting odds: Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans

  • Spread: Colts -1
  • Over/Under: 49
  • Time: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: CBS

>> All odds as of Friday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets

Betting market: Following their upset of the Patriots, the Titans are a trendy dog, getting nearly 60% of the spread bets, which has helped them move from the key number of +3 down to +1 (see live betting data here). — Mark Gallant

Trends to know: Unders are more profitable in high-total games (more than 44 points) featuring division rivals. What’s the theory behind this trend? Increased familiarity between teams tends to favor lower scoring games.

Betting division unders late in the season (Week 11 or later) has returned a profit of +51.64 units since 2003, per our Bets Labs data. — John Ewing

Against the Bills and Raiders, the Colts rushed for a combined 442 yards on the ground. Last week against the Jaguars, Indy mustered only 81 yards on the ground. In Andrew Luck’s career, he is 23-14-2 ATS (62.2%) when the Colts rush for fewer than 100 yards in their previous game, profiting bettors 7.9 units. When Luck plays that game at home, the Colts are 14-7-1 ATS (66.7%). — Evan Abrams

Did you know? Andrew Luck is 9-0 in his career vs. the Titans. Only one other QB who has a better perfect career record against one single opponent: John Elway vs. Pats (10-0).

Meanwhile, the Titans have won six straight in the division and beat the Colts in both matchups last season — although Luck played in neither — Stuckey

Sneaky storylines: Let’s start on the other side of the ball, where the Colts’ rush defense looks to have a major advantage over the Titans’ run offense, which I never thought I’d be saying this season.

The Titans are only averaging 3.9 yards per carry (28th in NFL) — in large part due to ineffective offensive line play. Not only does their O-line rank dead last in adjusted sack rate, it also falls 26th in adjusted line yards, per Football Outsiders.

Indy boasts the ninth-best run defense DVOA and has only allowed 3.9 yards per rush on the season thanks to three dominant run-stoppers.

Last week was a perfect example of the Colts’ run defense prowess, as Indy held Fournette to 53 yards on 24 carries.

In a matchup of two top-10 run defenses, it’s actually the Colts that are better suited to run the ball. Indy’s offensive line ranks in the top five in that same adjusted line yards metric.

This might just end up being the difference in helping the Colts move the sticks a little more efficiently, which would be huge in a game that should be tight.

Remember, Indy leads the NFL in third down conversion percentage at a sparkling 52.38% — almost 10 percentage points better than Tennessee. — Stuckey

Which team is healthier? Titans

The Colts are getting healthy at the right time, but so are their division rivals. Overall, the only Colts thought to be at risk of missing Sunday’s game are safeties Mike Mitchell (calf) and Malik Hooker (hip), along with cornerback Nate Hairston (ankle).

The Titans are expected to welcome back right tackle Jack Conklin (concussion) and linebacker Derrick Morgan (shoulder), but it’s going to be tough for No. 2 receiver Taywan Taylor (foot) to suit up.

Note: Info as of 6 p.m. ET Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff. — Ian Hartitz

DFS edge: The Colts’ offensive line has done a tremendous job of protecting Andrew Luck. Overall, he’s been pressured on just 29.7% of his dropbacks, and he’s been sacked on just 8.6% of those dropbacks.

He should have all day to throw against a Titans defense that is stronger against the run than the pass. Luck has thrown for three or more touchdowns in six-straight games and is priced as the sixth-most expensive quarterback ($5,900) on DraftKings. —Justin Bailey

Bet to watch: Colts -1

This line opened at Colts -3 but has been bet down to -1, presumably because the public just witnessed the Titans topple two of its darlings, the Cowboys and Patriots.

There was no value on the Colts at open — our power ratings project the true spread at Colts -2.5 — but give me the team playing at home with better quarterback to win the game all day. — Chris Raybon

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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