Free NFL Picks: Take Titans (+6) at Home Against Panthers

Swinging Johnson

Thursday, November 12, 2015 8:54 PM GMT

Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015 8:54 PM GMT

The Panthers are coming off their biggest win of the season against the Packers while the Titans scored a huge victory in New Orleans. Here we determine which team to back with our NFL picks.

Carolina Panthers (8-0 SU, 6-2 ATS)
The Carolina Panthers have done many impressive things this season but none more so than what they did last Sunday against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Cam Newton was a one-man wrecking crew as he scorched the Packers defense for three touchdowns through the air and added a one-yard run of his own. It was dominating performance by a team that won last year’s anemic NFC South with a 7-8-1 record and remains undefeated.

Perhaps the only concern the Panthers have after reflecting upon their big win over the vaunted Green Bay Packers is that they allowed them to claw their way back into the game after opening up a 27-7 lead at the half. When the final gun sounded Carolina celebrated one of their biggest victories in recent memory by the score of 37-29 and those who backed the Panthers cashed in their NFL picks. Defensively the Panthers held Aaron Rodgers to a 33.7 total QBR Sunday. Carolina already has six games this season where they have held opponents to a QBR under 50 which is tied with the Rams for most in the league. Last season they totaled five all year and four came in the last four weeks.

 

Tennessee Titans (2-6 SU, 4-4 ATS)
In what has been a season of frustration and futility the Tennessee Titans got a critical win last week over the Saints and they did it down on the Bayou. Marcus Mariota, the number two overall pick in the 2015 draft, showed everyone why he was worthy of such a lofty selection last Sunday. All the kid from Honolulu did was launch four touchdown passes and wreaked havoc on the Saints’ secondary to the tune of 371 yards. It was an inspiring performance from one of the most promising young passers who went toe-to-toe with one of the greats in Drew Brees and beat him in his own playground 34-28. The question is, was the Titans’ effort a reflection of a rebirth on offense or was it due to the afterbirth that is the Saints’ secondary?

It was a new beginning of sorts as Mike Mularkey was installed as the interim head coach for the ousted Ken Whisenhunt and made his debut as head coach with the Titans a winning one. Whatever magic recipe he added into Tennessee’s offense it certainly worked. On Wednesday Mariota was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week, only the second rookie in the history of the award to be named twice, for his dazzling performance in Sunday’s 34-28 overtime win in New Orleans. Mariota returned to the team after a two game absence with a knee injury and the offense responded. His 13 touchdowns are the most ever by a Titans’ rookie quarterback and the season is only half over.

 

Betting Analysis
The public will be all over the Carolina Panthers especially since the NFL odds makers are hanging this number below a touchdown for the road favorites. However the Panthers just won a statement game against the Packers and could easily overlook this one after reveling in their victory last week. Carolina generates plenty of pressure on the quarterback and is ranked 4th in sacks so Mariota will have to be sharp as a razor. But the Titans’ defense is ranked 7th in sacks so they too will be applying a boatload of pressure on the man who calls himself Superman.

I truly believe that the public doesn’t understand that the home field advantage is bigger in football than in any other sport. I also know that it can mitigate the disparity between a truly good team and one that is bordering on average (notice I didn’t say a great team versus a lousy team). This one will be closer than many believe and though I would love to get a full TD head start I will still stick with the home dog here.

NFL Picks: Play the Titans +6 at Bovada

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