Titans vs. Colts NFL Odds, Preview & Picks

Kevin Stott

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 10:24 PM GMT

Either the Tennessee Titans or the Indianapolis Colts will be 1-3 after this NFL Week 4 AFC South game is over. Is there an edge to be had for football bettors with all the pressure on?

Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT
The slumping Tennessee Titans (1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS) head north to Indianapolis and Lucas Oil Stadium to play Andrew Luck and the Colts (1-2 SU, 2-1 ATS) in a critical AFC South battle for both teams in NFL Week 4 action, as one of them will be at a scary 1-3 come late Sunday afternoon. The Colts (33/1, +3300 To Win Super Bowl XLIV, William Hill) have dominated the series of late, winning 9 of the last 10 (24.6-19.1 ppg avg) but the Titans (+25,000, 250/1 To Win Super Bowl XLIV) are very capable winning this although the status of starting QB Jake Locker (2-4-1 ATS vs Division) who was listed as questionable with an injured wrist, was still theoretically to be determined. But with so much at stake expect Locker (57 completions, 685 yards, 3 TDs) to probably be ready to go for this crucial game.

 

Trends Support Backing the Host Horseshoes in Naptown on Sunday
The recent results in this series point toward Indianapolis and QB Luck (86 completions, 912 yards, 9 TDs) who has a plethora of targets at his disposal on offense including WRs Reggie Wayne (16 receptions, 188), TY Hilton (16 receptions, 186 yards) and Hakeem Nicks, TEs Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener—both always great Anytime TD Scorer prop bet choices—and RBs Ahmad Bradshaw (25 rushes, 150 yards, 6.0 ypc) and Trent Richardson (41 rushes, 156 yards, 3.8 ypc). The Colts have played a fairly difficult schedule so far to start the season facing the AFC champion Broncos in Denver in their opener and the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles (3-0) here in Naptown before getting a break in the dismantling of the AFC South doormat Jaguars (0-3 SU, 0-3 ATS), 44-17 last Sunday in Jacksonville. One thing of note for Colts props bettors: Wayne and Hilton have yet to record a TD reception despite Luck’s 9 TD passes and Bradshaw and Richardson haven’t scored a rushing TD despite both having respectable starts.

As far as choosing a side here both straight up (moneyline) and against the spread, the recent relevant trends point to taking Indianapolis and Luck (12-5-1 ATS Home) as the Titans are 5-15 SU L20, 1-6-1 ATS L8 overall and both 0-5 SU and 0-5 ATS against the Colts over the L5. And, as mentioned, Indianapolis is 9-1 SU L10 against Tennessee and this team has made a living out of beating the Titans and Jaguars twice every season to get some footing. Better to ride the horse in the direction he’s going.

 

Any Other Injury Issues & What’s Wrong With the Tennessee Titans?
Besides the questionable status listed for Titans QB Locker, TE Taylor Thompson (knee) is also listed as questionable for Tennessee (43 PF-69 PA), which is pretty healthy on the injury front but still that perennial NFL enigma we all know and are confounded by. As far as Indianapolis, well, the Colts injury list is sort of like a small phone book littered with ankle injuries that may be further irritated by playing on the funky modern synthetic playing surface that is FieldTurf at Lucas Oil Stadium. Besides being without LB Robert Mathis (Achilles) and G Donald Thomas (quadricep)—who are both out for the season—Indianapolis (95 FF-78 PA) also has a number of players listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against Tennessee including WR TY Hilton (ankle), G Joe Reitz (ankle), C Khaled Holmes (ankle), DT Arthur Jones (ankle) and LBs Andy Studebaker (hamstring) and Jerrell Freeman (hamstring). FB Stanley Havili is also out indefinitely for an undisclosed reason while WR Nicks is listed as probable.

As far as the Titans and first-year head coach Ken Whisenhunt, they are truly a mystery, having scored just 16 points in their last two games, a home loss to the Cowboys (26-10 as 3-point underdogs) and a 33-6 humbling at the hands of the undefeated Bengals last Sunday. But the Titans are ranked #2 in the NFL in Pass Defense (170.0 ypg), so Luck (11-11-1 ATS off win) and the Colts may have to work Bradshaw and Richardson on the ground which may end up being a good thing for the Total Points going Under 46 (Paddy Power). Tennessee (7-9 SU 6-7-3 ATS)—so quirky it pushed three games last season—actually has a pretty decent rushing attack (#11, 131.0 ypg) with Iowa graduate Shonn Greene (30 rushes, 144 yards, TD, 4.8 ypc) and Washington rookie Bishop Sankey (18 rushes, 89 yards, 4.9 ypc) being a young and dynamic duo for the Titans. And Tennessee has one of the most underrated WRs in the NFL in Delanie Walker (17 receptions, 233 yards, 2 TDs, 13.7 ypc), so this team should be able to score some points as the 16 the Titans have scored combined over the last two games is inexcusable and has to be in the players’ heads.

 

Odds, Trends and What to Do to Try to Create Some Logical Bets Here
Like most NFL games these days, this is a tough game to find a perceived edge in with all numbers in all markets being as tight as they be as the industry has become more than content to let the computers do the number-crunching and provide bookmakers with numbers as tight as a the skin on a snare drum. The Colts team total (26½, Sky Bet) and the Titans Team Total (19) are perfect examples of this, as is the Defensive TD prop (Yes +162, bet365). To find something with perceived value these days, the gamblers, both Big and Small, really have to do some searching and/or some homework. One prop that did seem to jump out was the Winning Margin (Colts 1-13 +100, Paddy Power) because of the 13 different ways Indianapolis can win this wager as well as the Even price. Simple and seemingly smart. And the Race To 20 Points (Colts -400, Paddy Power) seems pretty wise too but is expensive and what if Indianapolis wins 17-6? There’s always something to worry about in sports gambling.

Another simple wager that begs to be made here is the aforementioned total points Under 46 (Ladbroke’s) despite the conflicting realities that Indianapolis is 5-0 Over its L5 while Tennessee is 5-0 Under its L5 and that the Colts have the third-highest point total (95) in the NFL heading into Week 4.  And Titans Unders are intriguing in that they have been under the posted combined Totals by 53 points (over 17 ppg avg) so far and that they have come in increasing order (Under by 9½ points (W 26-10 vs. KC, U45½), by 13½ points (L 26-10 vs Cowboys, U49½) and last Sunday by 20 points (L 19-3 vs Vikings, U43). So, no doubt Indianapolis wins this one 10-0 to keep the meaningless pattern going. The big mega-trend that stands out here in the series and which actually carries some recent historical reference and is a fairly big enough sample size is the Titans-Colts Unders 14-4 in their L18. That’s hitting at a 77.77% clip and just can’t be ignored. And with both the Colts and Titans effective at the rush more so than past years, the potential for long drives which end in FGs and missed is stronger in a game like this, especially with neither team really being able to afford a loss here, no matter how early and no matter how mediocre the AFC South is (Texans 2-1, Colts 1-2, Titans 1-2, Jaguars 0-3). But still, the total should be close to that number so the Colts winning margin 1-13 +100 prop (Paddy Power) actually looks like the headiest NFL pick from everything available.

Free NFL Picks: Under 46 at 5Dimes

Free Prop Picks:  Colts Winning Margin 1-13 +100 (Paddy Power), Coby Fleener Anytime TD Scorer (Colts)

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