Tennessee Titans (10-7) at New England Patriots (13-3)
|Date & Time||Saturday January 13, 2018, 8:15 PM (EST)|
The Line: New England Patriots -13.5 -- Over/Under: 48
Gillette Stadium will be coming alive on Saturday evening, as the Tennessee Titans visit the New England Patriots in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs.
Tennessee enters this game after a 9-7 mark in the regular season. The Titans started out a little sketchy at 2-3, but then hit their proverbial stride on six wins in seven games. Tennessee didn’t have much momentum coming into the playoffs, however, with three losses in their final four outings.
The Titans bagged an epic and improbable victory in the Wild Card Round against Kansas City this past Saturday, overcoming a 21-3 deficit to eke out a 22-21 win. Tennessee QB Marcus Mariota piloted the team to three touchdowns in the second half, and even through an insane touchdown pass to himself via a batted ball.
Over on the Patriots’ side, they’re rolling into this one strong following a 13-3 regular season, a division championship, a No. 1 seed in the conference and a first-round bye. New England’s lone blemishes this season came in losses to the Chiefs (Week 1), Panthers (Week 4) and Dolphins (Week 14).
Tom Brady once again leads the Patriots into the playoffs this season, and he’s coming off 4577 yards, 32 touchdowns and eight picks in a productive regular season. Leading the rush for New England is Dion Lewis on 896 yards and six scores, while Rob Gronkowski is tops in receiving on 1084 yards and eight TDs.
The Titans are 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall and 7-1 ATS versus a team with a winning record. Tennessee is also 3-1-1 ATS in their last five games in January and 5-2 ATS in their last seven playoff road games.
Meanwhile, the Patriots are 4-0 ATS in their last four playoff home games and 6-1 ATS in their last seven playoff games. New England is also 5-1 ATS in their last six Saturday games and 14-3 ATS versus a team with a winning record.
Anyone watching that Chiefs-Titans Wild Card Game who turned it off at halftime thanks to the blowout missed an epic comeback from Tennessee—and an epic meltdown from Kansas City. That one will be dissected all week, but the end result is a plucky Titans team facing down the defending champs in a tough, tough matchup. As for New England, they’re in the same situation they’ve been in almost every year for the last decade or so: they’ve overcome their minor weaknesses to emerge as the Super Bowl favorites. Realistically, Tennessee doesn’t have much of a shot here; the Pats are just too tough, especially at Gillette (and they won’t blow a big lead). Unless the line inflates to gargantuan thickness, I’ve got to take New England here.