Tennessee Titans (5-0), -8, 35.5 O/U at Kansas City Chiefs (1-4), +8, 35.5 O/U
Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, M.I., 1:00PM Eastern, Sunday
by Jay Horne of Predictem.com
Two teams on very different paths meet early Sunday afternoon as the Kansas City Chiefs host the Tennessee Titans. Kansas City has had major struggles this year only winning 1 of their first 5 games including a 30-0 shutout in their last outing against Carolina. The Chiefs have had a bye week to try and regroup and they will get that chance against the undefeated Titans.
Tennessee is 5-0 on the year and possibly one of the surprise stories of the league. The Titans last outing came with a 13-10 defensive game two weeks ago in Baltimore and they have had a bye week and extra time to prepare for Kansas City. Tennessee will look to keep the undefeated season alive this weekend and improve to 6-0.
Tennessee has based their success this year off defense. The Titans have the #4 ranked defense in the NFL only allowing 267 yards per game. More impressive than that, the Titans have held teams to staggering 11 points per game ranking them the best scoring defense in the league. QB Kerry Collins has taken over place for Vince Young as he has had off the field issues. Collins has been consistent enough to keep the Titans offense effective completing 56% of his passes with 3 TDs and 3 picks. The veteran QB has been able to keep control of the pace of the game and not allow many turnovers and that has been key to the Titans success.
Kansas City has had their share of offensive struggles averaging only 13 points a game, only one other team in the NFL has averaged less. On top of that, the defense has struggled to keep teams out of the end zone. The Chiefs have allowed 26 points per game ranking them in the bottom 6 teams in the league. Kansas City has not scored over 20 points in a single game this year. The Chiefs must find some answers on offense and perhaps the bye week gave them some time to find some solutions.
Most books have opened the line at -8 for the Tennessee Titans. Early betting action (check out our NFL consensus picks where we fade the public in certain spots) has 75% of the public siding with the undefeated Titans. The over/under total opens at 35.5 with slightly over half the early action betting on the over total for the game. Moneyline numbers have Tennessee listed at -350 and Kansas City +290.
Kansas City problems have been inconsistency at the QB position. Damon Huard and Tyler Thigpen have shared time and both have struggled. In lieu of poor performance at QB, youngster Brodie Croyle will get the starting spot on Sunday. Croyle in his 3rd year in the league out of Alabama, has only thrown 19 passes all season. Croyle could perhaps become the starter for the remainder of the season as long he plays halfway descent. A bright spot for the Chiefs offense has been the play of running back Larry Johnson who has 97 carries for 437 yards on the season averaging 4.5 yards a carry.
Tennessee has not had an over dominate offensive unit, but one thing they have done is controlled the ball. The Titans lead the NFL with a turnover ratio of +6 with 14 takeaways. Tennessee has also been one of the best defenses in the AFC in sacks, getting to the quarterback 15 times in their first 5 games. If the Titans can find away to score a few more points in every game, they could really start looking like a Super Bowl caliber team as they certainly are there already on defense.
Kansas City is 1-13 in their last 14 games SU and 1-6 ATS in their last 7 at home. The total has gone on the under in 5 of the Chiefs last 7 games. Tennessee is 5-0 ATS this season, and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games. The total has went on the under in 6 of their last 8 games.
Jays Pick - Tennessee -8 (Update: Larry Johnson is suspended due to breaking team rules.)