Tennessee Titans Preview

DraftKings has Derrick Henry with +650 odds to lead the NFL in rushing yards.

There are several different ways to look at the Tennessee Titans 2021 season.

On one hand, they overcame a serious injury to star running back Derrick Henry, earning the top seed in the AFC and smashing their season win total of nine games with a 12-win campaign. Head coach Mike Vrabel proved his worth along the way, cashing tickets for Coach of the Year at 25-1 odds.

The other lens saw Tennessee lose to Cincinnati as a home favorite in the playoffs, letting a potential Super Bowl season slip by in disappointing fashion. The Titans were just two home victories away from a spot on the biggest stage in football.

GM Jon Robinson has added a wave of new talent and cap space to go along with a veteran-heavy roster heading into the 2022 season. The Titans will have a healthy Henry back on the field, which should take pressure off quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who struggled without his star running back last year.

Tannehill’s touchdown-to-interception ratio went from 33-7 in 2020 to 21-14 last year, with a drop in air yards per attempt as well. He will be without top wide receiver A.J. Brown, who was traded on draft day. However, the Titans immediately filled that role with first-round pick Treylon Burks, who is a big body on the outside.

Former Los Angeles Ram Robert Woods also landed in Nashville via a trade, but he is coming off an ACL injury that he suffered in mid-November. The Titans added veteran free agent tight end Austin Hooper and rookie Chigoziem Okonkwo to make up for the loss of Jonnu Smith.

Henry will remain the focal point of the offense, though. He still finished ninth in the NFL in rushing yards last season, despite playing less than half of the year. Henry was well on his way to adding a third rushing title before breaking the fifth metatarsal in his right foot—DraftKings has him at +650 to win the title this year.

Defensively, it all starts with big man Jeffery Simmons up front. He has shown flashes of dominance at his defensive tackle position, combining with Denico Autry to form a strong push on the line. Harold Landry, who had 12 sacks and 22 quarterback hits last year, earned a five-year, $87.5 million deal this offseason.

Former Pittsburgh linebacker Bud Dupree was coming off an ACL surgery when he signed a five-year, $82.5 million deal last offseason, so the Titans are hoping for big things from him this year. There is a lot of depth in the secondary to go along with free safety Kevin Byard, who is one of the best in the league at his position.

Finally, Tennessee’s kicking game should be solid with the ever-consistent Brett Kern at punter to go along with re-signing kicker Randy Bullock. The Titans could use some help in the return game, but that no longer plays a crucial role in the NFL.

As for Tennessee’s schedule—which ranks 12th-hardest based on season win totals—the Titans are currently favored in seven games, underdogs in six games and a pick’em in four games. Seven of their games are lined inside of a field goal, so there is a ton of variance potential for this team.

Tennessee is priced at +170 to win the AFC South, putting the Titans behind Indianapolis (-125). They are 18-1 to win the AFC and are 35-1 long shots in the Super Bowl futures market. DraftKings has them lined at -110 both ways to make the playoffs.

My pick: Titans U9.5 wins (-135) at FanDuel

There are a variety of numbers floating around for Tennessee’s season win total, with juice ranging all over the place. I prefer the ‘under’ at 9.5 with a little extra vig compared to taking ‘under’ 9 at -115, though.

The Titans have been overperforming for several years, winning most of their games that have been lined near a pick’em. They will need to do that again this season if they want to cash the ‘over,’ as there are seven games lined inside of a field goal.

I don’t feel as good about that happening this year, though. There is going to be a lot of pressure on a rookie wide receiver and a veteran coming off an ACL injury in the passing game, especially if Henry shows some regression. I am also concerned about a lack of depth along the offensive line and a ton of youth on defense.

The bottom line is this: Tennessee is going to take a small step back this season in order to set itself up for success in the future. The Titans are not viewing this as a make-or-break campaign, which is a good thing. But it also means the value is on the ‘under’ in the season win total market.

Bonus tip: If you are bullish on the Titans, the Westgate SuperBook has multiple odds boosts for Tennessee customers. They are offering the Titans at 60-1 to win the Super Bowl, 30-1 to win the AFC and +250 to win the AFC South. Henry has also been boosted to 100-1 to win the MVP.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *