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Titans vs Bills Picks, Predictions for Monday Night Football

Titans vs Bills Picks, Predictions for Monday Night Football article feature image
Credit:

Wesley Hitt/Getty Images. Pictured: Ryan Tannehill.

  • The Bills are 10-point favorites tonight against the Titans.
  • Buffalo beat the Rams convincingly last week, while Tennessee lost to the Giants at home.
  • Anthony Dabbundo previews the game and makes his pick below.

Titans vs Bills Odds

Monday, Sept. 19
7:15 p.m. ET
ESPN
Titans Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+10
-110
47.5
-110o / -110u
+360
Bills Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-10
-110
47.5
-110o / -110u
-480
Odds via Caesars. Learn about the Caesars Sportsbook promo code offer or get live NFL odds here.

Tennessee and Buffalo played one of the most exciting games of the entire regular season last year on Monday Night Football, when Josh Allen slipped and fell on a fourth down sneak attempt as the Titans made the stop to secure a 34-31 comeback victory at home.

The rematch will take place on Monday night, this time in Buffalo, as the Bills look to make a second consecutive primetime statement win following their demolition of the Rams on opening night. The Titans blew a late lead and missed a game-winning field goal at home against the Giants in Week 1.

From a buy-low, sell-high perspective, this seems like a natural place to come back on the Titans in Week 2 following a loss as a favorite at home. But the Titans have now beaten the Bills in consecutive seasons, and this is also a prime revenge angle for Buffalo at home.


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Titans vs. Bills Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Titans and Bills match up statistically:

Packers vs. Vikings DVOA Breakdown
Offense
Defense
Edge
Overall DVOA 10 1
Pass DVOA 1 1
Rush DVOA 28 2
Offense
Defense
Edge
Overall DVOA 6 19
Pass DVOA 4 16
Rush DVOA 32 26

The biggest question mark for the entire Titans season, and for handicapping this game, is what you make of their run offense. The reality is Tennessee’s rushing attack has regressed considerably in each of the last three seasons. In 2020, the Titans finished first in Rushing Success Rate and second only to the Ravens in rushing EPA/play.

Fast-forward to 2021, and the Titans fell to 21st in Rushing Success Rate and 13th in rushing EPA/play. Even if you control for the Derrick Henry injury and only count when he played, they were eighth in EPA/play.

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The Titans’ offensive line finished Week 1 ranked 10th in Run Block Win Rate, and yet the offense never got the run game working consistently. Only the Bengals have a lower Rushing Success Rate thus far. The passing offense was mostly fine against the Giants with a top-10 EPA/play rating, but the Titans were unable to move the chains on the ground.

What has made the Titans a nightmare matchup for Buffalo over the past two seasons was Tennessee’s physicality on the offensive line, Henry on the ground and A.J. Brown through the air. If the Titans can’t successfully grind down possessions, it’s hard to see how they keep pace with the Bills’ elite passing attack.

Buffalo’s run defense was a weakness in the past, but it’s not clear that it will continue to be one in 2022. The Bills held the Rams to a 29.4% Rushing Success Rate, and only Jacksonville has been better to this point. The Bills also didn’t blitz a single time last week and got pressure against the Rams, but I do expect the Titans’ offensive line to hold up better in pass protection.

Betting Picks

NFL teams that lose straight up in Week 1 as a favorite are 32-20-2 (61.5%) ATS over the last 17 seasons in Week 2.

The rationale is pretty clear. When a team that was expected to be good underperforms in Week 1, the market overreacts and creates an excellent opportunity to bet them at a better number in Week 2. Though the Packers closed as an underdog in Minnesota last week, it’s a similar situation with them.

With that being said, I’m lower than the market on the Titans and I believe they’re a generally overrated team based on how well they ran in close games last season. Their Pythagorean Win Total was just the 11th-best in the NFL at 10.3, while Buffalo finished first at 13.3. So even though the Titans won head-to-head and finished with a better record last year, the market is pricing Buffalo as three wins better than Tennessee.

I don’t like laying double digits in the NFL and I think Buffalo is too big of a back-door risk to lay 10 points, but I also have no interest in taking the Titans with the points given their concerning run-game splits and the Bills’ potentially improved run defense. There aren’t enough paths to offensive success for Tennessee to keep pace long enough to take the 10.

If Buffalo steams up to 11, I would bet Tennessee, but I don’t have a bet on the side or total on the current number.

The Titans did run the ball considerably less in their opening game though, and that is notable. They’ve relied heavily on Henry, but his workload may be more managed this year, and his efficiency might not be quite as good either. Tannehill attempted 33 passes last week despite the Titans leading for the majority of the game.

The Titans’ run percentage overall was considerably lower than past years. They ran the ball 48.8% of the time in 2019 (third-most often), 50.3% in 2020 (second) and 48.8% in 2021 (second). In Week 1 with a positive game script, that number dipped to just 43%.

A more pass-heavy Titans approach may become more prevalent week-to-week this season. A likely negative game script with Buffalo leading will lead to more Tannehill pass attempts, especially in the second half.

Pick: Ryan Tannehill Over 31.5 Pass Attempts (-115) at BetMGM

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