NFL Picks: Will Titans History As Strong Home Team Repeat When Facing Chargers In Preseason Week 1?

Tennessee Titans

Mark Lathrop

Friday, August 12, 2016 8:43 PM UTC

Friday, Aug. 12, 2016 8:43 PM UTC

Our NFL handicapper spots a strong preseason trend that is as close to an autobet as you can get in the strange game of wagering on preseason NFL football. Read on as he reveals the trend and makes his Saturday NFL Pick.

San Diego Chargers vs Tennessee Titans
It’s Preseason Week 1, which means we have a slate of games in early August featuring 2nd and 3rd string guys on their respective rosters. The exception, of course, is teams that are very young, putting in new systems, or have a new starting quarterback. That would fit the Tennessee Titans this year, as new head coach Mike Mularkey tries to get a run heavy offense going under the direction of the inexperienced QB, Marcus Mariota. Luckily he has another youngster with some serious pedigree in Alabama rookie RB, Derrick Henry, to help the cause. Henry has flashed some promise in practice so far and has the Titan’s fans drinking the kool-aid on his chances of becoming a top back.

The Chargers are starting to get bit by the injury bug a bit in camp, the most alarming development being offensive tackle, Orlando Franklin, getting taken out of practice on Thursday with a knee injury. Everyone was on the Phillip Rivers bandwagon last year because of the continuity of his offensive line from 2015. That didn’t exactly happen as planned and it doesn’t look like it will happen this year either.

These two teams were both 2-2 SU in preseason action last year. The Titans ended the preseason a perfect 4-0 favoring the Over, while the Chargers ended it a perfect 4-0 favoring the Under. The spread on this game opened with the home team Titans as 3-point favorites. Some books have moved that to -2.5, such as Pinnacle, with extra juice to get the hook in San Diego’s favor. The O/U total has been set at 35.5 across the board.

The Titans being favored is a bit of a surprise following the terrible ATS performance they exhibited in 2015. Tennessee was 4-11-1 ATS last year and haven’t won a game ATS in 8 consecutive weeks. The Chargers ended the year 8-8 ATS, but finished on an ATS hot streak, covering in five of their last six games and four in a row to end the season. They did that while going 2-4 SU, losing to Denver twice in that span.

These two teams haven’t played since September of 2013, a game that Tennessee won behind the arm of Jake Locker, 20-17.

There is a very strong betting trend favoring Tennessee in the preseason, as they have been very good straight up at home. This leads credence to backing a rebuilding team, as more of the projected first string starters will be in the game for a longer period of time. The Titans are a very strong 15-2 SU at home in preseason games in their last 17 in that situation. The Titans have been rebuilding for a very long period of time.

This game will pivot on the play of the San Diego backup quarterback I presume, and in that aspect, the Titans will have a significant advantage for at least a quarter of this game. Previous Titan’s QB, Zach Mettenberger, is in the mix to back up Phillip Rivers in addition to Kellen Clemens. The Titans should have the book on Mettenberger, so I don’t expect him to have much success in the time he sees the field.

With the Titans SU success at home in the preseason and an advantage at QB that should present itself after the first few drives, I like them in this spot quite a bit. The hook moving in their favor just sweetens the pot. Don’t play a huge amount in this game, but if you play at all, I’d give a strong lean to the Titans at -2.5 NFL odds as my Saturday NFL Pick.


Free NFL Pick: Titans -2.5 -120
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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