NFL Picks: Take Mariota & Titans +108 to Upset Browns

Nikki Adams

Thursday, September 17, 2015 12:02 AM UTC

Thursday, Sep. 17, 2015 12:02 AM UTC

Titans and Browns collide in week 2 NFL but not without discord amongst bookies about which side is the true favorite. Find out what we think and what NFL picks were serving up.

Titans (1-0, 1-0 away)
The Tennessee Titans burst out of the gates with their first win of the season, beating the hapless Tampa Bay Buccaneers 42-14, marking one of the most lopsided results in week 1 NFL betting. In the process, the Titans came through as the 3-point underdogs and singlehandedly took care of the 40.5-point closing total.

Much of the clash was focused on the collision between the No.1 and No.2 draft picks, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota respectively. Tale told, No. 2 proved the winner, and he did it in grand style, throwing 4 touchdown passes as he outplayed, outmuscled and outshot his counterpart.

Mariota’s debut couldn’t have gone better had he scripted it himself. He looked comfortable, poised and sharp as the shot caller and made the transition from college football to NFL look easy. Frankly, he looked like he was enjoying a fun easy, breezy game of park football with friends. Mariote went 13-of-16 for 209 yards, four touchdowns and ZERO interceptions. Compared to Winston, who went 16-of-33 for 210 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Mariota, weighing in on his performance against the Bucs, warned not to put much stock in it. Sagely pointing out that like the Titans the Bucs were a mediocre 2-14 SU side in 2014. In so doing, he’s shown wisdom that belies his years and a keen sense of the uphill battle the Titans face this season and the need to continue improving. If you didn’t like the kid already, you have to now, not least admire his maturity as well.

He’s right. One win over a 2014 straggler isn’t an indication of a turnaround for the Titans, but it’s still a great result and one that should send them into week 2 NFL betting, a second road game, with a measure of optimism. Particularly, against a Cleveland Browns side that left much to be desired in week 1 NFL betting.


Browns (0-1, 0-0 home)
If week 1 were any indication, Johnny Manziel and the Cleveland Browns are set to take a step back this season. It’s never a good idea to make grand assumptions based on week 1 results, but a 31-10 loss to the NY Jets defies such reasoning.

Josh McCown started the game, but a quick injury in the first half saw Johnny Manziel call the shots from there onwards. Not that it changed what seemed to be the inevitable result – the Browns closed as the 3.5-point road underdogs.

The Jets manhandled the Browns forcing five takeaways, including an interception and two fumbles from Johnny Manziel en route to the victory at MetLife Stadium. The rain of yellow flags was incessant as well; Browns were called on 12 penalties for 109 yards. Overall, it was an abysmal opening account by the Browns that marked their 11th straight loss on opening day.


NFL Betting Odds Oscillating
In early NFL betting markets, the Cleveland Browns opened as the 3.5-point favorites at home to the Titans. That was before the Titans crushed the Bucs and the Browns slumped to defeat at Metlife. Since the book closed on week 1, the reaction across sports betting markets was spectacular. The NFL betting lines have dropped down to pick ‘em in some cases – such as 5Dimes, while other sportsbooks have completely jumped fence emerging with the Titans as their 1-point road faves.

On the flipside, money line markets tell a different story. For instance, at 5Dimes, where the Browns are matched on a pick’ em line in spread betting, they are trading as the -128 favorites to win straight up while the Titans are matched at +108 NFL odds for the upset. BetOnline, however, is trading the Titans at -120 NFL odds to win outright while serving up a home win on EVEN money. Others such as bet365 simply send the pair on a tight NFL betting line with the Browns matched at -105 NFL odds to Titans at -115 NFL odds.

With such contrasting outlooks across the board it’s difficult to make heads or tails of this matchup, never mind handicapping it with any measure of confidence. Nevertheless, we’re going to take a leap of faith with the Titans. Based on week 1 (yes, taken with a measure of reservation) the Browns are no better than they were last season. IF anything – dare we say it—they look worse. The Titans, meanwhile, might have hit the jackpot with the No. 2 draft pick without even knowing it until last week.  How can you not buy what the rookie is selling particularly in a winnable matchup, not unlike the week 1 matchup with the Bucs.

NFL Picks: Take the Titans +108 at 5Dimes to win straight up

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