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Opening Line: Chargers Favored in Titans' Home Opener Sunday, But Odd History

The Tennessee Titans are underdogs against the Los Angeles Chargers in their home opener on Sunday. Here's the latest on the point spread, and a great history vs. the number for both teams.
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NASHVILLE — We've said from the beginning that the Tennessee Titans are going to play a lot of close games this season, and that looks like the plan in Week 2, as well.

The Titans' home opener is Sunday at Noon CT at Nissan Stadium against the Los Angeles Chargers, and it's the Chargers who are favored by 3 points, according to the gambling website. The over/under is 45.5.

So, once again, it's likely that the game will come down to one play in either direction.

Last week, the Titans were also a 3-point underdog in the season opener at New Orleans. They lost 16-15, but covered. The Chargers were 3-point favorites last week in their home opener against the Miami Dolphins, but lost 36-34 in the highest-scoring game of the week, failing to both win and cover.

There's been a little bit of movement in the line this week, starting at 3.5 and dropping to 3, mostly because Chargers stars Joey Bosa (hamstring) and Austin Ekeler (ankle) are on the injury report and haven't practiced yet this week.

To best figure out how to play this matchup, it's always good to know some history. 

The Titans were a streaky team against the spread a year ago. After losing — and failing to cover — their first two games, they reeled off eight covers in a row. But then they lost their final seven games — and were just 1-5-1 vs. the spread.

In their home opener a year ago, they lost to the New York Giants 21-20 in Week 1 despite being a 5.5-point favorite. They were 3-5 straight up at home, and also 3-5 vs. the spread. That's not very good.

The Titans have had a lot of roster turnover, with 24 new faces on the 53-man roster. There's also a new offensive coordinator in Tim Kelly and the consensus was that he called a good game at New Orleans. The Titans had plenty of opportunity to score touchdowns, but quarterback Ryan Tannehill wasn't sharp, throwing three interceptions and missing several open receivers.

There's recent history with the Titans and Chargers, too. They played last year on Dec. 18 in Los Angeles, and the Chargers won 17-14 also as a 3-point favorite. The over/under was 46, so they stayed far under the total.

Here's what you need to know about the Chargers on the road. In 2022, they went 5-4 on the road straight up, but were an impressive 7-2 against the spread. That's a number that can't be ignored. They also played a road playoff game a year ago, and lost 31-30 at Jacksonville as a 2-point favorite.

That was a brutal meltdown. The Chargers led 27-0 at one point before the Jaguars made an epic comeback. The Los Angeles defense was horrible a week ago too, allowing Miami quarterback Tua Tagavailoa to throw for 466 yards in the 36-34 loss.

The 70 points were the most in an NFL game in Week 1, but it seems unlikely that will happen again this Sunday. 

  • TOM BREW COLUMN: Angry Tennessee Titans fans want quarterback Ryan Tannehill benched or — even worse — cut and kicked to the curb. That's silly talk, because he's still the best quarterback on this team, better than youngsters Malik Willis and Will Levis. He's not going anywhere, at least right now. CLICK HERE
  • TANNEHILL WORSE ON FILM: The Tennessee Titans lost their opening game of the season while watching quarterback Ryan Tannehill throw three interceptions and if it looked bad on TV, it looked worse on the coaches film. CLICK HERE
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  • NEED MORE DERRICK HENRY: Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Tim Kelly admitted he wished he had used Derrick Henry more against the Saints, but winning against the Chargers on Sunday will require a major increase in Henry's workload. CLICK HERE