Ravens @ Titans +3.5/+3
These two teams have some obvious recent history against each other here, with the Tennessee Titans having won the last two matchups outright, including last year's wild card weekend upset victory over the Baltimore Ravens as double digit dogs. The Titans were also +6 point dogs in Week 11 this season against Baltimore, yet we still saw the Ravens open as -4.5 favorites on the road ahead of this Sunday playoff showdown. The line has since been bet down to -3.5 for most books, but still hovering above the key number of -3 despite Tennessee's recent success on both sides of the ball against Lamar Jackson & Co.
It seems, off of first glance, that the value in this game is on the Titans getting the +3.5 points at home in this spot. That being said, the Titans pass defense has failed the eye test time and time again this season, ranking almost dead last (31st of 32 teams) in pressure rate, as well as giving up 277 passing yards per game, good for 4th worst in the NFL. The Titans are allowing 27 points per game as a whole, and while Lamar and the Ravens aren't the most pass-heavy offense out there, Lamar has still been effective passing when he's needed to as of late. Lamar's QBR of 73.9 is good for an impressive 7th in the league.
Having a clean pocket for Lamar and being able to have time to throw to both Mark Andrews and Marquise Brown should be where the Ravens look to take advantage here. Baltimore has put up 27+ points in its last five games, going 5-0 SU & ATS in the process and beating up on some bad defenses. Well, they get another shot at a bad defense in wild card weekend. In Week 11 when these teams last played, the Ravens were actually very run heavy and rarely passed on first down. If Lamar can exploit Tennessee's secondary this time around, while still having an effective run attack, then the Ravens should have no problem putting up points in a potential shootout spot. JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards will do their part too, in addition Lamar using his own legs, as we see the highest total of the week in Sunday's contest (54.5).
On the other side of the ball, we seemingly all know what the Titans do best on offense. Tennessee has also had no problem putting up points in these teams' last two meetings, although the Ravens defense has given up less than 270 total yards in their last three games. That stretch has come against some extremely weak offensive opponents, however, in the New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars and Cincinnati Bengals. This will be a real test for the Ravens defense to see if they can slow down the high-flying Titans and Derrick Henry fresh off a 2,000+ yard regular season. The Titans passing attack trio of Ryan Tannehill, AJ Brown and Corey Davis will be tough to stop through the air, too. Tennessee is averaging 30.7 points per game, and it will be surprising if these teams can figure out how to stop each other at all here. As the number on the Titans continues to trend down, some of the value has been lost; I believe it's still a good teaser option getting them through the key numbers of +3 and +7 though, as this game should stay close.
Lean: Over 54.5