The Tennessee Titans clinched their first playoff berth since 2008 but remain, according to the sportsbook NFL odds, nine-point road dogs versus the Kansas City Chiefs in Saturday’s AFC Wild Card game. Or, as CBS Sports put it, the Titans don’t stand a chance, mostly, though not entirely, due to QB Marcus Mariota’s lack of consistency. Mariota finished this season with a career-worst 13 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. On the other hand, The Ringer says that the Titans do stand a chance; namely, safety Kevin Byard, who is “not the biggest name on the Titans’ defense,” but tied for a league-best eight interceptions, and picked off Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles twice in the fourth quarter of the Titans’ decisive season-closer.
It's Official! We will host the @Titans Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium. Kickoff is at 3:30 CT.
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) January 1, 2018
Saturday’s AFC Wild Card game
- Date: Saturday, 6th January
- Time: 4:35 PM
- Venue: Arrowhead Stadium
- Online sportsbook NFL betting spread:
Titans +9 (-120) 44½ (-105) +367
Chiefs -9 (EV) 44½ (-115) -475
The Titans are 4-1 SU in their last five road games against the Chiefs
The Titans are the Ringo Starr of the playoffs. They may compare negatively to the rest of the teams in the postseason, but they’re just happy to be there. “Thinking amazing. Unbelievably fulfilling,” defensive lineman Jurrell Casey said. “I’ve been waiting this for seven years, and finally got the opportunity to get out there.” The Titans are one of just two teams in the playoffs that allowed more points than they scored. It is, all things considered, pretty amazing indeed that they made it. “We are one of six AFC teams, so anything can happen,” linebacker Derrick Morgan said. “It’s the playoffs. You have seen a lot of fifth and sixth teams go all the way, so we’ll see what happens. It’s been a long time coming. A lot of 2-14 seasons and 3-13, and 6-10 seasons. To finally have a meaningful game in Week 17 and actually get in feels great, man. Our boys don’t stop.”
The Titans went 3-5 ATS on the road this season but have covered the sportsbook NFL odds spread in five of their last six visits to Kansas City. The total has gone over in five of the Tennessee’s last seven games against KC.
The Chiefs are 1-6 ATS in their last seven playoffs games as faves
The Chiefs had rough middle of the season, but a four-game winning streak in the home stretch allowed head coach Andy Reid to rest most of his starters in Sunday’s 27-24 win over the Broncos. Quarterback Alex Smith, wide receiver Tyreek Hill, tight end Travis Kelce and starting offensive linemen Eric Fisher, Zach Fulton, and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif all had a well-deserved day off, and so did Lineman Allen Bailey, linebackers Justin Houston, Derrick Johnson, Reggie Ragland and Frank Zombo, cornerback Marcus Peters, and safeties Daniel Sorensen and Ron Parker did not play on defense.
The Chiefs don’t seem to bear the favorite label well, though, especially in the postseason. They have failed to cover the sportsbook NFL odds spread in six of their last seven games in the playoffs as chalk.