Tennessee Titans (4-0) -3, 33 at Baltimore Ravens (2-1), 1 pm Eastern Sunday, CBS
by Zman of Predictem.com
One of the last three undefeated teams in the league after the first month of play tries to keep its record unblemished when the Tennessee Titans go up against the Baltimore Ravens Sunday afternoon in Crab City.
NFL Bookmakers are listing Tennessee as three-point road favorites for Sunday’s game, with a total of 33. That total has dropped from its opening at 35. The Titans are also listed at around -145 on the various off-shore moneylines, with Baltimore getting +130 as the home underdogs.
Tennessee may have made a change at quarterback, but they’re also probably better for it. The Titans opened this season with a tough 17-10 home win over division-rival Jacksonville. In that game, Tennessee QB Vince Young went 12/22/110 passing, with a TD and two INTs, and got banged up a bit. Then he went on a bit of an adventure, and had family and team officials worried about his safety and state-of-mind.
So veteran Kerry Collins was appointed the starter, and since then the team has reeled off three more wins in a row, over Cincinnati, Houston and, last Sunday, Minnesota, and has averaged 28 points per game in the process.
Baltimore opened its season, under new head coach John Harbaugh and with a rookie starting at QB, with a 17-10 home win over the Bengals. The Ravens then unexpectedly got a week off when Hurricane Ike caused the postponement of their game in Houston vs. the Texans. Baltimore then bounced Cleveland 28-10 in week 3, but lost a tough one Monday night in overtime in Pittsburgh 23-20.
Tennessee is also a perfect 4-0 against the spread this season, covering twice as favorites and winning outright twice as underdogs. And the totals are 2-2 in Titans games this season, which are averaging 37 total points.
Last season, Tennessee went 8-8 against the spread, 5-3 ATS on the road. And the totals went a lop-sided 5-10-1 in Titans games last season, which averaged 37 total points.
Meanwhile, the Ravens are a perfect 3-0 ATS this season, 2-0 vs. the numbers at home. And the totals are 2-1 in Baltimore games this year, which are averaging 36 total points.
Last season, Baltimore went a league-worst 3-13 vs. the numbers, 2-2 ATS as home underdogs. And the totals went 9-5-2 in Ravens games last season, which averaged 41 total points.
Through their first four games of this season, the Titans rank 22nd in the league in total offense at 306 YPG, 8th in rushing at 136 YPG, 5th in total defense at 264 YPG and 8th vs. the run at 87 YPG. And Tennessee leads the league in scoring defense at 11.5 PPG.
Through its first three games of this season, Baltimore ranks 25th in total offense at 291 YPG, 3rd in rushing at 161 YPG but 31st in passing at 130 YPG. On the other side of the ball, the Ravens lead the league in total defense at a stingy 187 YPG and rank 2nd both vs. the run at 69 YPG and in scoring at 14 PPG.
In relief of Young, Collins has completed 57% of his passes this season for a 6.9 yards-per-attempt average, which is average, and a 2/1 TD/INT ratio.
Meanwhile, Baltimore rookie Joe Flacco has hit on 56% of his throws this season for a 5.7 YPA average, which is low, and a 1-2 TD/INT ratio.
These two teams have played one common opponent so far this season. The Ravens outgained Cincinnati by 204 yards in their 17-10 victory over the Bengals in week 1, while the Titans outgained Cincy by 80 yards in their 24-7 win over the Bungles in week 2.
Zman’s Pick: I absolutely LOVE Baltimore in this spot. I am sacking up and predicting Tennessee gets SHUT OUT Sunday. Bet is straight up, against the spread and parlay it with your other favorite bet of the week (Arizona hint, hint) You heard it right here first!