Tennessee Titans (3-3; 3-3 ATS: 4-2 O/U) vs. Cleveland Browns (0-6; 1-5 ATS: 2-4 O/U)
NFL Week Seven: Sunday, October 22, 2107 at 1:00pm EST
Line: Tennessee -6.5
The Cleveland Browns will be hunting for their first win of the season when they take on the Tennessee Titans in an AFC battle Sunday afternoon from FirstEnergy Stadium. The Titans are coming off a 36-22 home win over the Colts, and the Browns struggled in a 33-17 road loss to the Texas last week. The Titans edged the Browns by a 28-26 score last season.
Titans Come Alive in Second Half in Win Over Colts
The Tennessee Titans exploded for 21 points in the fourth quarter in their solid 36-22 home win over the Colts last Monday night. Marcus Mariota took a while to get going and finished with 306 passing yards to go with one TD and one interception. The 23-year old quarterback missed week five with a hamstring injury and has now tallied 1098 passing yards with a 4:4 TD to INT ratio. Mariota tossed three touchdowns against one interception against the Browns last season. Derick Henry came through with his best performance of the season in the win, accumulating 131 yards on 19 carries. The 23-year old running back has now registered 318 rushing yards on the season and gives the Titans a solid duo at running back with DeMarco Murray. Titan’s leading receiver Rishard Matthews made his presence felt, making four grabs for 69 yards and has now collected 353 receiving yards on the year. The Titans offense rebounded nicely after only scoring a combined 24 points in week four and five.
The Tennessee defense was strong in the win last week, holding the Colts to only 297 total yards. They failed to make a sack again, and have only managed eight sacks on the season. The Titans snapped their two-game losing streak with the win on Monday night, and are now tied for first in the AFC South.
Browns Remain Winless as Defense Falters
The Cleveland Browns struggled on both sides of the ball in their rough 33-17 road loss to the Texans last week. Kevin Hogan got the start in place of DeShone Kizer and struggled, completing 20 of 37 passes for 140 yards with one touchdown against three interceptions. The 24-year old quarterback has tossed four touchdowns but has tossed five interceptions this season. The Browns could go with Kizer in this one, however, he is having a tough time in his first taste of the NFL, posting a 3:9 TD to INT ratio. The Browns running game did rush for a solid 134 yards against the Texans tough defense last week with Isaiah Crowell leading the way with 58 yards. The 24-year old running back has been a disappointment this year, recording 252 rushing yards, and is only averaging 3.4 yards per carry after averaging 4.8 last season. Browns’ leading receiver Duke Johnson Jr. was non-existent in the loss last week, making three catches for -1 yards, and has tallied 269 yards on the season. The Browns continue to struggle to score points and Hogan and Watson have combined for 12 interceptions.
The Browns defense could not stop the Texans offense last week, conceding 340 total yards. Browns’ first overall pick Myles Garret made one sack and has already tallied three sacks in his first two career games. The Browns are going to struggle to win any games the rest of the way, unless Kizer or Hogan step up.
The Tennessee Titans are:
- 3-13-1 ATS in their last 17 road games against a team with a losing home record.
- 7-19 ATS in their last 26 road games.
- 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games when playing on a Sunday following a Monday night game.
- 12-35-4 ATS in their last 51 games against AFC opponents.
The Cleveland Browns are:
- No Key Trends
I am taking the points with the Browns in this matchup. The Titans defense has been awful this season, carrying the 31st ranked defense in NFL, allowing an average of 27.3 points per game. While the Browns have struggled this season, they have been very competitive in two of their three home games, losing by only three points to the Steelers and Jets. The Cleveland rush defense has been solid, allowing an average of only 84 rushing yards per game, good for sixth in the NFL, so I am confident they can slow down Murray and Henry. The Browns should do enough to at least keep this one close on their home field.
Pick: Cleveland Browns
The Titans have played terrible defense this season and the Browns are also weak defensively. I expect Mariota to have a strong game against a subpar pass defense, and the over is 11-2-1 in their last 14 games against a team with a losing record. The Browns should at least have some success offensively against this weak defense, plus the over is a perfect 5-0 in the last five meetings between these two teams.