The Tennessee Titans were arguably the biggest surprise in the NFL last season in starting 2-4 and looking dead in the water with Marcus Mariota under center, but then Ryan Tannehill took over. A switch flipped and Tannehill and NFL rushing king Derrick Henry drove the Titans to a shocking spot in the AFC title game before losing to the eventual champion Chiefs. Is Tannehill for real or was he a flash in the pan? NFL fans should find out Monday night in Denver where the Titans are 2.5-point favorites on the NFL odds after opening as 2-point dogs.
It was possible the 2020 season could have been the last for Henry in a Tennessee uniform, but he and the team agreed to a four-year, $50 million extension on July 15 just minutes ahead of the deadline to do so for players slapped with the franchise tag. It has been a productive offseason for the team after also locking up Tannehill long term in the winter. Henry might be the only realistic chance any running back has this year of winning league MVP honors. The Titans also recently got much better on defense with the addition of Jadeveon Clowney.
Tennessee is scheduled in three prime time games this NFL campaign after just one in 2019. The Week 1 game in the Mile High City is the first Week 1 Monday night game in Titans history. The front half of the schedule is home-heavy (no road October games) so Tannehill & Co. could get off to a fast start. However, five of the Titans' final seven are on the road and they might only be favored in one of those five: Week 14 in Jacksonville.
The Week 16 Sunday night trip to Green Bay features the Titans' first game against their former offensive coordinator, Matt LaFleur, who was hired as the Packers' head coach before last season. Tennessee has six games against teams that went to the playoffs in 2019. It marks the first time since 2009 that the Titans have been scheduled for a Sunday night game (they were flexed into one in 2018).
The Titans were 10-8-1 against the spread last year (including playoffs). They covered the spread twice in the first six games with Mariota calling the shots, but the long-time Dolphins starter took over in the third quarter of a Week 6 loss in Denver.
Tennessee won six of its first seven games with Tannehill as the starter, covering the spread in five and hitting the Over in all seven. After a pair of SU and ATS losses, the Titans won and covered in three of their last four.
TENNESSEE TITANS BETTING PROFILE
2019 record: 9-7 (second, AFC South)
2019 against the spread: 10-8-1 ATS
2019 ATS margin: +4.9
2019 Over-Under: 11-8 O-U
2020 strength of schedule: 20th-toughest; Titans opponents combined for a .498 winning percentage last year (127-128-1).
WILLIAM HILL 2020 TENNESSEE TITANS FUTURES ODDS
Win total: 8.5 (Over -120)
To make playoffs: Yes -140, no +120
Division: +175 to win AFC South
Conference: +1700 to win AFC
Super Bowl: +3500 to win SB 55
MVP: RB Derrick Henry 40/1, QB Ryan Tannehill 66/1
Defensive ROY: CB Kristian Fulton +2800
Comeback POY: CB Malcolm Butler +6600
Coach of the Year: Mike Vrabel +3000
SportsLine Model's projection: 8.4 wins (lean to the Under)
Week 1 at Denver, 10:10 PM ET (Monday): The Broncos have won and covered the spread in five of six meetings in the altitude since 1985.
Week 2 vs. Jacksonville, 1 PM ET: The Titans have won six home matchups in a row, covering in the last four.
Week 3 at Minnesota, 1 PM ET: The Vikings have won and covered the spread in five of the six meetings since the Titans moved from Houston.
Week 4 vs. Pittsburgh, 1 PM ET: The Over has hit in four of the past five home meetings (dating to 2002).
Week 5 vs. Buffalo, 1 PM ET: The teams have met four times in Nashville since the Music City Miracle propelled the Titans to Super Bowl XXXIV, and Buffalo has covered in three.
Week 6 vs. Houston, 1 PM ET: The Under is 4-0 in recent home meetings, with the Titans covering in three in a row before a 24-21 loss in Week 15 last season.
Week 7 BYE: The Titans are 3-0-1 off their bye week since 2016.
Week 8 at Cincinnati, 1 PM ET: The Under is 7-1 in the last eight matchups in Cincy, with the Titans winning six and going 4-3-1 ATS.
Week 9 vs. Chicago, 1 PM ET: The teams have met five times since the Titans moved, and the Bears have covered in four, including all three in Nashville.
Week 10 vs. Indianapolis, 8:20 PM ET (Thursday): Tennessee has won just once (and covered twice) in the past eight home meetings.
Week 11 at Baltimore, 1 PM ET: The Titans have won and covered in three of the past four road meetings, and the Under has hit in seven straight.
Week 12 at Indianapolis, 1 PM ET: The Titans have won and covered in two of the past three in Indy after losing nine in a row (covering once).
Week 13 vs. Cleveland, 1 PM ET: The Over is 4-1 in the past five at Tennessee, with the teams combining for at least 54 points four times (including a 41-38 Cleveland win in 2001).
Week 14 at Jacksonville, 1 PM ET: The Under is 8-2 in the past 10 in Jacksonville, with the teams combining for more than 36 points just three times in that span.
Week 15 vs. Detroit, TBD ET (Saturday or Sunday): Tennessee has won five straight meetings (dating to 2001), covering the spread in the past four.
Week 16 at Green Bay, 8:20 PM ET: The Titans have won four of the five meetings since 2001, going 3-1-1 ATS, and the Over is 4-1.
Week 17 at Houston, 1 p.m. ET: A 35-14 win in the 2019 regular-season finale clinched a playoff spot and broke a seven-game Titans losing streak in Houston in which they covered just once.
EXPERT PICK FROM FORMER VEGAS BOOKMAKER MICAH ROBERTS: Over 8.5 wins (-135).
Tannehill found himself a home with the best running back in the league and a sleek group of speedy receivers that took the Titans one game from the Super Bowl. Can they do it again? In many cases, the team that falls in the championship game takes the next step to win it the next season. Look for nine to 10 wins from the Titans and a legitimate run towards the Super Bowl.
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