AFC Divisional playoff action begins with Tennessee visiting Baltimore on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020. The Ravens have been resting, as they haven’t played a meaningful match since Week 16. In playoff mode for weeks now, the Titans defeated defending Super Bowl champion New England during Wild Card action last week. This contest is slated for 8:15 p.m. ET at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, MD.
Spread: Ravens -9.5 (-110) | Titans +9.5 (-110)
Moneyline: Ravens (-430) | Titans (+350)
Game Total: OVER 46.5 (-110) | UNDER 46.5 (-110)
Tennessee Titans’ Recent Form
Loaded with confidence, Tennessee enters this contest following a 20-13 Wild Card win over the Patriots in New England. Running back Derrick Henry had another monster performance piling up 182 rushing yards and one TD on a career-high 34 rushing attempts. Henry has posted amazing numbers recently as he has racked up 1078 rushing yards (154 YPG) and 11 scores over his last seven starts.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill was a human handoff machine as he completed 8 of 15 pass attempts for 72 yards and one TD. Tannehill posted 27 pass yards and tossed the TD on the Titans’ first drive. Tennessee played well on defense—albeit against a struggling New England offense. Julian Edelman scored a 5-yard rushing TD on the first play of the second quarter but the Titans pitched a shutout the rest of the way.
· Betting Record: SU 10-7 | ATS 10-7 | O/U 10-7
· Offense: 10th, scoring 25.1 points per game
· Defense: 12th, allowing 20.7 points per game
· Turnover Rank: Ninth with a +6 differential
Baltimore Ravens’ Recent Form
Playing at an extremely high level, Baltimore finished first overall in the NFL and earned a bye during the first round of the playoffs. Following a 33-28 road loss to Kansas City in Week 3, plus a strange 40-25 home loss to Cleveland in Week 4, the Ravens enter this contest riding a franchise record 12-game winning streak. Sitting several starters, Baltimore closed its season with a 28-10 win over archrival Pittsburgh.
Prior to crushing the Jets 42-12 in Week 15 and the Browns 31-15 in Week 16, Baltimore battled a pair of playoff teams. The Ravens defeated San Francisco 20-17 at home and then posted a 24-17 win on the road in Buffalo.
Led by soon-to-be NFL MVP Lamar Jackson, plus LT Ronnie Stanley, DB Marcus Peters, DB Marlon Humphrey and K Justin Tucker, Baltimore has a league-high five 2019 All-Pro players.
· Betting Record: SU 14-2 | ATS 10-5-1 | O/U 9-7
· Offense: First, scoring 33.2 points per game
· Defense: Third, allowing 17.6 points per game
· Turnover Rank: Sixth with a +10 differential
Fantasy Football Divisional Weekend Studs and Duds
Understanding which players are playing at a high level, plus those who are not, is a key component to successful handicapping. For an added edge, the Fulltime Fantasy Sports team has posted a full preview of the Tennessee vs. Baltimore battle from a fantasy perspective. Use the information to help with betting choices and to enter LIVE playoff drafts that are available in Fulltime Fantasy draft lobby until 3:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020.
Baltimore vs. Tennessee Recent History
Marcus Mariota and Joe Flacco were the quarterbacks when these teams squared off during Week 6 action last season. The Baltimore defense posted a franchise-record 11 sacks during a 21-0 shutout win in Tennessee. Derrick Henry was held to 21 rushing yards and the Titans managed just 106 total yards on offense. Prior to that, the Titans defeated the Ravens 23-20 at home during Week 9 of the 2017 season.
Injury Update: Limited Concerns for the Ravens and Titans
Tennessee went into New England with a short injury list and didn’t suffer any new or significant injuries. WR Adam Humphries (ankle) and WR Kalif Raymond (concussion) both sat out last week and are expected to miss this game as well. After popping up on the Wednesday injury report, RT Jack Conklin (knee) played and was a big part of the Titans offensive line that helped Henry during his huge performance.
Being able to rest key players during Week 17 and then enjoying a first-round playoff bye helps Baltimore enter this contest at near full health. RB Mark Ingram suffered a calf injury in Week 16 but is expected back for this crucial contest. Ravens stud TE Mark Andrews (ankle) was hurt during Week 16 but is expected to play. Baltimore is also past an illness that spread to a few players prior to Week 17 action.
What to Expect When the Titans Have the Ball
Facing another stout defense, expect Tennessee to keep the game-plan simple again this week. That equates to another busy game for Henry, as the Titans aim to control the clock and keep the Ravens’ explosive offense off the field. Teams abandoning the run after falling behind helped Baltimore rank fifth in run defense this season. The Titans have one of the best run blocking O-lines in the NFL, so Henry will do some damage.
Baltimore allowed 100+ total rushing yards just four times this year so all Henry, all the time, won’t be enough to upset the Ravens. Ryan Tannehill will need to produce more than 72 passing yards and stud rookie receiver A. J. Brown has to step up after he managed just one catch and four yards versus the Patriots last week. Both are a tall order against a Baltimore secondary that is peaking as one of the best in the league right now.
What to Expect When the Ravens Have the Ball
Pick your poison with Baltimore, as its NFL top-ranked ground attack leads to play-action passing, which makes this offense a nightmare to defend. Heading out of the huddle in tight formations, which are tight-end-heavy on either side, creates space for Lamar Jackson to run outside and pick up huge chunks of yardage. If the defense spreads out a bit, Baltimore pounds the ball up the middle with Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards.
If teams stack the box trying to stop the run, Jackson has weapons with tight ends Mark Andrews and Hayden Hurst along with receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown in the passing game. Andrews finished the season with 807 yards and led all NFL tight ends with 10 touchdowns. Sometimes overlooked, PK Justin Tucker is one of the best in the business and ranked third overall amongst kickers with 141 points this season.
Baltimore vs. Tennessee Final Thoughts and Pick
Tennessee enters this contest at 6-3 SU and ATS as visitors this season and over bets cashed in five of the nine contests. Baltimore was 7-1 SU but just 4-4 ATS as hosts with the game total going 4-4 during eight home contests. Top-ranked QBs, like Drew Brees (279/3) and Patrick Mahomes (446/3), played well against the Titans recently. Rested and healthy, expect a solid outing from Lamar Jackson as well.
If the Ravens get out to a big lead early and Tennessee needs to abandon the run game, the blitz-happy Baltimore defense will smoother Tannehill and create turnovers. Bookmakers have posted Baltimore as 9.5-point chalk for this AFC Divisional playoff showdown. While the price is large, bettors are reminded that nine of the Ravens’ 14 wins this season were by 14 points or more. Lay the line and bet on Baltimore.
Pick: Ravens -9.5
Playoff Record: 3-1
Season Record: 41-57-2