Week 16 O/U Pick: Saints vs. Titans

by | Dec 18, 2019 | nfl

New Orleans Saints (11-3 SU, 8-5 ATS) vs. Tennessee Titans (8-6 SU, 7-6-1 ATS)
NFL Football Week 16
Date/Time: Sunday December 22nd, 2019. 1:00PM (EST)
Where:Nissan Stadium Nashville, T.N.
TV:FOX

Point Spread:NO -2.5/TENN +2.5 (Bookmaker)
Over/Under Total: 50.5

Last Monday, Drew Brees posted a performance for the ages by completing 29 of 30 passing for 307 yards with four touchdowns as the Saints blew out the Indianapolis Colts 34-7. Brees passed Peyton Manning’s all-time NFL career touchdown mark during the performance and also staged an NFL record for the highest single-game completion rate (minimum 25 passes). With the Saints once again tied for the best record in the NFC at 11-3 SU, the possibility of capturing a home-field advantage in the playoffs looms over the final two weeks of the season. This Sunday the Saints will go on the road to battle a Tennessee Titans team that is surging with wins in 4 of their last five games.

Titans just 2.5 point underdogs against New Orleans

At first glance, the fact that the Saints (11-3 SU) are just mere 2.5 point favorites over the Titans (8-6 SU) seems a bit comical. However, Tennessee is playing great football with wins in six of their last eight games, including victories in four of their previous five games at home. Since taking over the starting job from Marcus Mariota, QB Ryan Tannehill is having an incredible 2nd half of the year, which has sparked the Titans late-season surge. Over the last five games, Tannehill has completed 71% of his passes while tossing 11 touchdowns with just two picks and three additional scores on the ground. Head Coach Mike Vrabel still maintains a run-first offense behind running back Derrick Henry who ranks 2nd in the NFL with 1,329 yards and 13 touchdowns.

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While the Titans rushing attack has caused problems for opposing defenses all year, Tannehill’s success has added another dangerous dimension to this Titans’ offense. In the last five games, the Titans have averaged 34 points per game, which ties with Baltimore as the best offense in the NFL in scoring over the past five weeks. Last week, Tennessee’s playoff hopes suffered a setback in a 24-21 loss to the Texans in a game to decide 1st place in the AFC South. Despite another solid effort on both sides of the football, Tennessee simply failed to make some critical plays to earn the victory. However, the Titans are still in a battle with Pittsburgh for the final AFC wild-card berth which makes this Sunday’s home game against the Saints extremely important to keep their postseason hopes alive.

Potential shootout looming in Nashville?

One of the reasons that the Titans appear to have a good chance at the outright victory includes the circumstantial desperation but also the fact the surging offense will face-off with a New Orleans’ defense that has been riddled with injuries in recent weeks. The Saints defense may have looked great on Monday Night Football against an anemic Colts offense, but there are legitimate match-up concerns in this Sunday’s pairing. I would also not let last week’s performance deter you from thinking the Saints defense is confident as the blowout on MNF is typical of Sean Payton’s Saints in big stage games.

For this Sunday’s game, I expect Tennessee to attack the New Orleans defense on the ground and deep in the passing game with WR A.J Brown, who has been one of the hottest receivers in the league over the last few weeks. However, I am still unsure if the Titans’ defense can contain the Saints’ offense to pull out the desperation victory. Offensively, the Saints look ridiculously good. Remember this is the same offense that hung 46 points against one of the best defenses in the NFL in a close loss to the 49ers two weeks ago. Drew Brees is playing great and perhaps lost in last Monday’s blowout win was another dominant performance by WR Michael Thomas, who has now eclipsed 100 yards receiving in seven of the previous eight games.Not only has Thomas been dominant but coach Sean Payton continues to get the best of his talent. Despite the somewhat struggles of running back Alvin Kamara, TE Jared Cook, RB Latavius Murray, and the versatile threat of Taysom Hill have all had “blow up” games in recent weeks. In another match that should push the pace this Sunday, I believe the Saints will have every opportunity for another enormous performance. If you like betting trends, the Titans have hit the “over” in four of their last five games outright and four of their previous five games at home. The Saints have also trended towards the “over” in four of their last six non prime-time games. Therefore, I believe the “over” will be the best bet on Sunday!

Jay’s Pick vs. the Betting Line: Over 50.5

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