The Titans pulled a shocker last week in Kansas City, but they’ll really have their hands full when they visit the Patriots for an AFC divisional-round playoff bout Saturday evening up in Foxboro (8:15 pm ET, CBS). This game involves a double-digit point spread; do we take the points with our free NFL playoff pick? Or give ’em?
Most NFL playoffs betting odds opened New England at -13.5, with an over/under of right around 47. Through the week the only real movement saw the total bumped to 48.
AFC Divisional-Round Match-Up
Tennessee (10-7 SU, 9-7-1 ATS) is back in the divisional round of the playoffs for the first time since 2008, thanks to its 22-21 come-from-behind victory at Kansas City last week. The Titans, getting eight points on the betting line, looked terrible in the first half of that game, and trailed 21-3 into the locker room. But the defense stepped up, QB Marcus Mariota scored on a near-miracle rebound pass to himself and threw a score to Eric Decker and RB Derrick Henry found a groove, as Tennessee won the second half 19-0 and the game.
So including last week Tennessee is 4-2 SU, 4-1-1 ATS against teams that made the playoffs this season.
New England (13-3 SU, 11-5 ATS), meanwhile, extended its playoff string to nine straight seasons this year, won the AFC East again and earned the top seed in the AFC bracket. The Patriots only started 2-2 but they’re 11-1 SU, 10-2 ATS since, including a 26-6 decision over the Jets in Week 17, covering as 17-point chalk.
On the season New England is 5-2 both SU and ATS against teams that made the playoffs.
These teams last met two seasons ago, a 33-16 Patriots victory also at Gillette Stadium. New England led by double-digits basically all day, and in the end kicked a field goal with a minute to go to cover as 15-point favorites.
Overs are 9-8 in Titans games this season, which are averaging 43 points.
Unders are 9-7 in Patriots games, which are averaging 47 points.
Free NFL Playoffs Pick
There’s not too much doubt as to the winner of this game; NFL double-digit favorites are 29-4 SU this season. But they’re also only 15-17-1 ATS. Ultimately, Tennessee can do a couple of things underdogs need to do to keep games like this close; they can run the ball, and they can play some defense. We’re hoping the Titans avoid the turnovers, maybe create a couple themselves and hit Tom Brady a few times. We’ll take the points here with Tennessee.