Tennessee Titans vs. Oakland Raiders Pick 12/8/19
Tennessee Titans (7-5 SU, 6-5-1 ATS) vs. Oakland Raiders (6-6 SU, 6-6 ATS)
NFL Week 14
Date/Time: Sunday, December 8, 2019 at 4:25PM EST
Where: RingCentral Coliseum, Oakland, California
Point Spread: TEN -2.5/OAK +2.5 (GTBets)
Over/Under Total: 47
The Tennessee Titans take on the Oakland Raiders at the Coliseum on Sunday in AFC action in week 14. For the Raiders, their playoff cause has taken a big hit in the last few weeks with losses to the Jets and then the Chiefs last week. Outscored 74-12 in their previous two games, they look to either stay in the picture or fade into the night this week. The incoming Titans, meanwhile, are getting a spurt at just the right time with three straight wins and five in their last six. On Sunday, the Titans went into Indy and registered a thorough 31-17 win over the Colts in a key divisional win. Now with both the Texans and a wild card spot in sights, what can they come up with?
Raiders Plummeting But at Home
The last few weeks paints the Raiders in a bad light. Getting blown out by the Jets was awful, and the Jets losing to a winless Cincy the next week only made it seem worse. And falling to the Chiefs is no major crime, other than the fact that they put up such little fight in a 40-9 loss, their second royal butt-whipping in as many weeks. After how hard they worked to get to 6-4, it was a puzzling time to hit a wall as dramatically as they did. And the things that led to that could really cost them in this game; turnovers in bunches, an off-key offense, and a sagging defense that has lost all its edge. And frankly, it doesn’t say much about their overall wherewithal that they couldn’t come up with better the last few weeks.
Against an opportunistic Tennessee defense, the mistakes and lack of rhythm on offense could really be exploited this week, as can a defense that is suddenly very exploitable. Let’s also point out the last two weeks were road games. At home this season, in front of an Oakland throng that knows they’re down to their last few chances to see their beloved team, it’s been different. There’s a real vibe there, and we’ve seen the team rise to the occasion, winning all but one game there, with a loss to their tormentors in Kansas City being their only setback at the Coliseum in ’19.
Titans Peaking on Both Sides of Ball
At quarterback, Ryan Tannehill has this Titans offense on the move. With 108 points of combined scoring in the last three weeks, we now see an offense taking over games. Taking the lead is surging Derrick Henry, who is once again saving his best for the second half of the season. Normally, run-defense would be considered a strength of Oakland’s, but Henry is in fearsome form, with almost 500 yards rushing in his last three games, along with five scores on the ground. Through the air, they really have a lot of targets with ten ball-catchers with triple-digits in receiving yardage. Against a beleaguered Oakland secondary, all these differently proportioned and skilled receivers could wreak havoc.
Can Oakland Get it Together?
It’s not easy to justify a stance on a team that was playing for their whole season and then puts forth two gigantic clunkers where they missed covering the spread by a combined 53.5 points. You see a Titans team making a real move and coming into their own, and it’s hard to conjure a winning Oakland image in your head. But this is their second-to-last home game. Ever. With a win, they’d be 7-6, and that second wild-card spot is really wide-open, albeit hotly-contested by a handful of teams. Granted, their failure to play in a manner befitting the urgency of their situation the last two weeks was alarming, but maybe being at home will change that. Then again, it’s not easy to argue with those who feel they’re finished based on the last few games.
More Picks: Chargers vs. Jaguars Week 14 ATS Prediction >>>
This isn’t an easy place to play, especially in these heightened conditions. Tennessee thrived last week against the Colts in a road spot, but this is their second straight game away from home when you can see some things start to go awry. They don’t always deliver on the road, getting blanked by Denver and scoring seven at Jacksonville being among their road lowlights of the season. And just in terms of what team you will see, it’s almost easy to justify any stance on Tennessee. They’ve been in winning form lately, but the range of overall results we’ve seen this season has been wide indeed. What makes sense on paper doesn’t always resonate on the field with this Titans’ bunch, particularly on the road.
The Tennessee defense makes a lot of plays. On highlights, you’ll see them changing the game with either key turnovers, big sacks, and the like. And while they’ve been stiff lately, they’ve been playing some mediocre offenses. At home, maybe Derek Carr can clean it up and get back to efficiently hitting his aerial weapons, with RB Josh Jacobs getting back on track with his big rookie season. They will be facing a road Tennessee defense that isn’t always stout, especially against the pass. So it’s not like it doesn’t make some football sense for the Raiders to shine on Sunday, in addition to the aforementioned more-sentimental aspects.
Take the Home Dog
In the interests of full disclosure, the Raiders could put forth a dud here without so much as a ripple registering on the shock-meter. It would be a continuation of what we’ve seen in the last few weeks. At home and with something to play for, however, a case can be made that a better Raiders’ team surfaces this week. In a game that has a toss-up appeal to it, I’m taking the points on Oakland.
Loot’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Oakland Raiders plus 2.5 points.
50% Free Play up to $1,000