The New England Patriots (12-4) host the Tennessee Titans (9-7) on Saturday evening for Tom Brady’s first Wild Card Game appearance since 2009. Kickoff is set for 8:15 PM EST on January 4th at Gillette Stadium and the game will be nationally televised on CBS.
Oddsmakers opened this game up with the Patriots listed as 4.5-point home favorites. The spread hasn’t moved at all after early betting, as New England is currently available at -4.5. The total for this matchup is 45 points.
Patriots vs Titans Game Odds & Betting Preview
The Titans looked up a spot in the postseason last weekend after crushing Houston 35-14 on the road to improve to 9-7 overall. Tennessee needed a win to get in and managed to get the job done after the Texans rested a ton of starters on both sides of the ball. RB Derrick Henry was an absolute beast on the ground, racking up 211 rushing yards and three touchdowns on a season-high 32 carries. Overall, the Titans offense averaged 25 points and over 360 total yards per game during the regular season.
Tennessee wasn’t that great defensively this year, surrendering 21 points and almost 400 total yards of offense per outing. The Titans struggled to slow down opposing offenses through the air, allowing an average of 255 passing yards on a weekly basis.
New England Patriots
The Patriots certainly weren’t at their best in Week 17, falling 27-24 at home against the lowly Miami Dolphins to finish the regular season 12-4 overall. New England had already locked up yet another AFC East Crown, so many starters on both defense and offense watched the game from the sideline. However, veteran QB Tom Brady was in the lineup, going 16/29 for 221 passing yards and two touchdowns but also getting picked off once as well. RB Sony Michel led the way out of the backfield, rumbling for 74 yards and a touchdown on a team-high 18 carries. As a whole, the Patriots averaged 26 points and well over 350 total yards of offense per game this year.
New England was fantastic defensively during the regular season, surrendering an average of just 14 points and 275 total yards of offense per game. The Patriots were dominant against the run, yielding well under 100 yards per outing on the ground.
Free NFL Betting Predictions and Pick: Titans +4.5
While I still believe that the Patriots will find a way to win this game outright, I’m not so sure that I want to lay 4.5 points in order to roll with the home favorite on Saturday evening. Both Tom Brady and Julian Edelman appear to be far from 100% healthy, which could mean that this matchup could stay close until the tail end of the fourth quarter. They also really struggled to put a substantial number of points on the scoreboard week in and week out over the final half of the regular season, surpassing 24 points just once since November 1st. Of course, New England definitely has an edge against Tennessee on defense, which could spell trouble for Derrick Henry and Co. despite an extremely productive month of December.
Click here for more free NFL picks from our experts on staff.
Although the Pats defense is stealing all of the headlines ahead of this AFC Wild Card battle, it is important to remember that the Tennessee defense is pretty solid in their own right. However, they will need to make sure to avoid any of the same mistakes they made against New Orleans in a 38-28 loss back on December 22nd, as Bill Belichick will definitely find a way to use that game film to his advantage. Ultimately, I just feel as if there is a tiny bit more value with the road underdog in this particular spot, so I’m going to roll the dice with the 4.5 points and the Titans against the spread. Give me Tennessee to cover the number!