Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts
Line: Tennessee -2
Where: Nissan Stadium
When: Thursday, 11/12, at 8:20 p.m. ET
This week’s Thursday Night Football matchup will be the most important one so far this season.
Tennessee has a chance to cement itself as the favorite in the AFC South, while Indianapolis can
extend its dominance in Nashville and tie the Titans at the top of the standings. The Colts have
won in eight of their last nine trips to Tennessee, but they are two-point underdogs this season.
Oddsmakers opened the line on this game with the Titans at -2.5 and total at 50.5. The early
betting action has been on the underdog and the ‘under,’ with the spread dropping to -1 and the
total falling to 48.5. Since falling to -1, the number is back up to -2.
Indianapolis has taken care of business against bad teams this season, but the Colts have
struggled to break through against quality opponents. Their five wins have come against the Jets,
Vikings, Lions, Bengals and Bears. They have lost their last six games as underdogs.
Tennessee has sputtered on the offensive side of the ball over the last few weeks, but the Bears
were not able to take advantage last week. The Titans bounced back from a disappointing loss to
Cincinnati with a 24-17 win against Chicago. They have not scored more than 24 points in any of
their last three games and one of the touchdowns last week came on defense.
Indianapolis boasts the No. 1 defense in the NFL right now, allowing just 290.0 yards per game.
The Colts’ No. 3 rush defense will attempt to slow down the league’s leading rusher in Derrick
Henry on Thursday night. Henry has picked up 843 yards on 182 attempts, averaging 4.6 yards
He is currently in the midst of possibly his worst three-game stretch over the last two seasons,
averaging just 85 yards over the last three games. Henry ran for a combined 231 yards and two
touchdowns in two games against Indianapolis last year.
Tennessee quarterback Ryan Tannehill has completed 65.7 percent of his passes this season. His
most impressive stat line is his touchdown-to-interception ratio, throwing 19 touchdowns to just
The Titans defense is likely going to be without pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney, who was
inactive against Chicago on Sunday. Clowney has yet to record a sack this season and is part of a
defense that ranks in the bottom third of the league.
Indianapolis will be hoping to take advantage of the mediocre defense on Thursday. Philip
Rivers has not been very good this year, throwing 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He
could get a boost this week, as wide receiver T.Y. Hilton returned to practice early in the week.
Head coach Frank Reich said the indoor workouts will gauge whether Hilton is able to go this
week. He suffered a groin injury in Week 8 against Detroit and was inactive in the Colts’ loss to
Baltimore on Sunday.
Indianapolis has done a nice job of bouncing back from poor outings under Reich, going 5-0-1
ATS in its last six games following a double-digit loss. The Colts are also 7-3 ATS in their last
10 divisional contests.
Tennessee is 3-6 ATS in its last nine games, with the ‘over’ cashing at a 5-2 clip in its last seven.
The Titans have won four of their last five home games, but will need to snap out of their 1-7
streak against the Colts in Nashville.
The Pick: Tennessee -2
While this feels like a game where the Colts could hide Rivers’ deficiencies against a bad pass
rush, Tennessee has established itself as the best team in the AFC South. The Titans have played
in a couple of flat spots against mediocre teams, but they should be fully motivated against a rival
that has come into their house and dominated them over the last decade. It’s tough to know
exactly how good Indianapolis truly is—the Colts have taken an advantage of a soft schedule,
but they have failed to show up against good teams. Tennessee played well on a short week
against Buffalo earlier this season.