The Tennessee Titans head to Kansas City to face the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game Sunday after dismantling the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round.
Although the Titans have upset the Patriots and the Ravens so far, they still come in as heavy underdogs in this one, with the oddsmakers putting them at +7.5.
The Chiefs got off to a lackluster start against the Houston Texans last week and hope to put that behind them when they face a stout Titans rushing offense. As the favorites in this one, the Chiefs will have to cover a 7.5-point spread.
With the over/under at 52.5, let’s break down both teams and see who we should take in this one.
Eyes On The AFC Title
The Chiefs were one of the favorites to go to the Super Bowl when the season first started, and with only one game left, Kansas City can head to the big stage for the first time since 1969. With Patrick Mahomes at the helm, this is the Chiefs’ best chance to claim a Super Bowl win in a very long time.
Kansas City started last week’s game in a slump against the Texans, as going down 24 points in the first half is something that shocked everyone. The Chiefs, however, kept their cool and rallied back to beat the Texans 51-31.
Something the Chiefs do better than everyone in the league is create big plays, and they’ll need to capitalize on all the big plays they can against a weak Titans secondary.
The last time these two teams played, the Titans were able to edge out a touchdown late in the game to spoil Mahomes’ return after dislocating his knee. This game is a little different due to the temperature, which is reported to be at 23 degrees. The Chiefs might need to run the ball a little more than they would like.
Against the spread, the Chiefs have been one of the league’s best lately with a record of 7-0 in their last seven games, five of which went under. However, the Chiefs are 1-6 ATS when playing Tennessee at home, a trend that’s worth taking note of.
Potential For Upset No. 3
For the last two weeks, the Titans have been overlooked and undervalued. As one of the league’s best rushing teams, you’d imagine that oddsmakers would take note of what the Titans have done this year.
After beating Tom Brady and the Patriots, they flew to Baltimore and took care of MVP candidate Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. Although the Titans enjoy being the underdog, they need to be taken seriously as a Super Bowl contender.
This week, the Titans have another tough challenge when they face the Chiefs, their prime objective again being stopping the opposing quarterback. If the Titans can do that, this game will play right into head coach Mike Vrabel’s hands.
Kansas City has the 26th ranked rushing defense. If you think they’ll be able to stop the NFL’s leading rusher, Derrick Henry, you’ve got another thing coming.
Tennessee is 7-2 against the spread in its last nine games, going 4-1 against the spread in its last five against Kansas City.
Pick and Prediction
The Chiefs have the potential to go somewhere they haven’t been in a very long time, a Super Bowl. Although they have one of the league’s leading offenses, coach Andy Reid hasn’t been able to make the defense match the intensity.
With one of the league’s worst rushing defenses and a bad record ATS when playing Tennessee, I can’t trust them to cover in this one.
Although most experts are staying away from the Titans, I’m going all in. The Titans have proven time and time again that if you don’t have a great rushing defense, you can’t stop them.
Look for Henry to have another monster game in this one. Call me crazy, but I’ll take the Titans to win this one straight up.