Falcons vs. Titans NFL Picks: Tennessee's Poor Offense Suggests Backing 'Under' 47

Jason Lake

Saturday, October 24, 2015 6:41 PM UTC

Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015 6:41 PM UTC

Marcus Mariota is confirmed out for the Tennessee Titans, but there's still a 47-point total on the NFL odds board for Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Jason's 2015 record as of Oct. 23: 22-15 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 14-24 Total

I'm usually quite content with the logic behind our NFL picks here at the home office. Totals are a bit more frustrating – okay, a lot more frustrating. There are so many factors in play, it's all too easy to miss the gorilla in the room. The gorilla in this case is the awful turf in San Francisco, or should I say Santa Clara. Why would anyone ever choose the OVER in a game at that stadium? Apparently I was too slow to learn the lessons I should have learned at Notre Dame.

As it turns out, the sod for Sunday's game in Nashville (1:00 p.m. ET, FOX) between the Atlanta Falcons and the Tennessee Titans isn't the best in the world, either. We could focus on this aspect, but it's not nearly as critical in this case – maybe later next month after the turf at Nissan Stadium (formerly LP Field) has taken more of a beating. At press time, there's a total of 47 points on our NFL odds board, with 61 percent of bettors preferring the UNDER.


Mettenberger Hill 
It's official: QB Marcus Mariota is out for the Tennessee Titans. He hasn't practiced since suffering a sprained MCL in last week's 38-10 loss to the Miami Dolphins (OVER 44), so Zach Mettenberger is being pressed into service. Mettenberger made six starts for the Titans last year as a third-string rookie, during which the OVER went 4-2. Wait, what?

That's right, Al. Even though Mettenberger was one of the least productive quarterbacks in the league (No. 40 out of 44 in passing DYAR and DVOA), the Titans made the OVER the right pick when he played. Blame it on the defense: Tennessee ranked No. 29 overall in efficiency, as per Football Outsiders. The Houston Texans scored 75 points combined in two games during that stretch. The Texans~!


None Shall Pass
Okay, so the Dolphins just scored 38 points against the new-look Titans with Dick LeBeau in charge of the defense. But that included a pick-six and two touchdown drives that began in Tennessee territory. And did we mention it was against a Dolphins team coming off a bye week with a coach who's not Joe Philbin? Yes, yes we did.

Even after that loss, the Titans check in at No. 9 overall in defensive efficiency – although there's a strange imbalance against the pass (No. 6) and the rush (No. 32). Maybe Atlanta will exploit this and run up the score on Sunday. We'll invest in Tennessee's limited offensive capacity instead. Don't forget, the Titans are also missing their starting center, Brian Schwenke, and we found out on Friday that WR Harry Douglas (ribs) will be sitting out, too. Throw in a 50-percent chance of rain on that aforementioned sod, and we'll take the UNDER, much obliged.

NFL Picks: Take UNDER 47 at GTBets

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