Titans vs. Seahawks Odds, Predictions, NFL Betting Preview: This Week 2 Underdog Could Cover Sunday’s Spread
Getty Images. Pictured: A.J. Brown (left) and Russell Wilson.
|Titans Odds||+6.5 (-110)|
|Seahawks Odds||-6.5 (-110)|
|Time||4:25 p.m. ET|
Although we never want to overreact to what we saw in Week 1 of the NFL season, the Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans enter Week 2 seemingly headed in different directions.
While both of these teams had high expectations coming into the season, the Titans suffered a devastating 38-13 home loss to the Arizona Cardinals as 3.5-point favorites. Meanwhile, the Seahawks made easy work of the Indianapolis Colts in their 28-16 victory behind Russell Wilson’s four touchdown passes.
This Sunday, the Seahawks will host the Titans at Lumen Field, where they look to start the season 2-0 while the Titans hope to get things rolling after their dreadful Week 1 performance.
Although the lookahead line on this game was Seahawks -4.5, oddsmakers have made a one-point adjustment based on Week 1, opening the Seahawks as 5.5-point favorites with a total of 54. The market has since moved the spread to 6.5.
Is this adjustment warranted or are the Titans being undervalued? Let’s analyze both sides and find out!
The Titans appeared to be a clear regression candidate coming into this season.
For starters, Tennessee outperformed its Pythagorean Expectation by nearly two games in 2020.
Now, they’re without offensive coordinator Arthur Smith, who called plays for an offense that was second in EPA/play, third in Success Rate while also being historically great in the red zone, where they had 74.2% conversion percentage. Smith is now the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons.
Factor in a defense that was 29th in efficiency, as well as expecting a step back from Derrick Henry after he became the eighth running back in NFL to rush for 2,000 yards in a season, and it’s clear this team wasn’t going to win at the rate it did last season.
Although you never want to overreact to a one-game sample size, the Titans’ Week 1 loss was ugly.
The Tennessee offensive line struggled to hold up last week. Chandler Jones dominated left tackle Taylor Lewan to the tune of 5.0 sacks. Lewan is far better than what he showed on Sunday, as he had a PFF grade of 80.2, grading out positive in both run and pass blocking.
The Tennessee offensive line gave up a pressure rate of 25.6%, although it should fare better against the Seahawks, who have no one on the level of Jones and J.J. Watt.
Tennessee made its living offensively using play action when Smith was calling plays, but new offensive coordinator Todd Downing used play action on just 5% of offensive plays on early downs in the first three quarters last week.
With the offensive line struggling, Downing abandoned the run early. Henry had just nine first-half rushing yards and finished the game with 17 carries for 58 yards. The Titans offense finished the game with a -0.32 EPA and a 43% Success Rate, performing well under expectation in both the pass and the run.
The Titans fumbled on a kickoff return, and Ryan Tannehill fumbled and threw an interception. It was clear their Week 1 matchup was going to get away from them early.
Tennessee’s offense played about as poorly as it could have given its talented wide receivers in A.J. Brown and Julio Jones. This unit should bounce back against the Seahawks defense, which gave up a whopping 8.2 yards per pass last week.
On the injury front, rookie cornerback Caleb Farley has been ruled out for this matchup while wide receiver Josh Reynolds, who missed Week 1, will play this week. Bud Dupree is also questionable for this matchup, so be sure to monitor his status.
The Titans did have a COVID-19 outbreak in the preseason, and it appears that many of the training-camp issues had an impact on them in Week 1. We should expect a better performance from them in this game.
Russell Wilson made an early mark on the MVP conversation by throwing four touchdowns and 254 yards against the Colts in Week 1.
It remains to be seen what kind of impact Shane Waldron will have on this offense in the long run, but the Seahawks passed on early downs 51% of the time in Week 1. With one of the best quarterbacks in the league in Wilson, I’d like to see that number go up but the Seahawks were in control for much of this game.
Seattle should have its way offensively with this Titans defense, and we could see an even bigger output from Tyler Lockett (four catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1) and DK Metcalf (four catches for 60 yards and one touchdown). The Titans were 24th in Defensive Passing Success Rate last week, so the opportunity is there for this offense to put up a big number.
The Seahawks defense is in for a big test this week. The Colts didn’t test Seattle’s secondary much in Week 1, but it could be an issue this week against Brown and Jones.
Starting cornerback D.J. Reed is questionable for Sunday’s matchup with a calf injury, while Tre Flowers struggled for much of last season, when he ranked 77th among all cornerbacks with just a 35% success rate while allowing 8.9 yards per catch.
The Seahawks allowed a 53% passing success rate last week against the Colts despite playing Carson Wentz, who came off a preseason that saw him miss a lot of time with a foot injury and spend time on the COVID-19 list.
The Seahawks especially struggled to defend on early downs, as the Colts had a Success Rate of 62% and an EPA of 0.32 on early-down passes.
If the Seahawks can generate the pressure Arizona did with their front seven, they can negate that. Personally, I’m not seeing it.
Week 2 is always the most profitable week for sportsbooks, as the market always over adjusts based on what we saw last week. I believe this spread is too high, as we’ve gone from a lookahead line of 4.5 to 6.5.
My model makes this game Seahawks -5, so I think there’s value on the road team at 6.5. The Titans have historically performed well after losing by double digits in the Mike Vrabel era. Since 2019, the Titans are 7-0 straight-up following a double-digit loss.
Trends aside, the biggest advantage the Titans have is the matchup between their wide receivers in Brown and Jones against Reed and Flowers. If the Titans can protect Tannehill, I believe they can do enough to keep this game close. Tennessee hasn’t found itself catching a number as high as this often with Tannehill as its starter. That tells me this is a huge over adjustment.
Take the points with the road team.
Pick: Titans +6.5 (+100) at PointsBet