Welcome to the Thursday Night Football betting breakdown, where each week I’ll provide a detailed betting overview of the upcoming Thursday Night Football game utilizing moneyline, points spread and projected total odds from DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook. I’ll also highlight at least one player- or game-based prop each week that I feel has profit potential.
The NFL’s Week 10 Thursday night showcase features an AFC South showdown between the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans. This game marks the first meeting of the season between the two clubs. The teams split the 2019 season series, but Tennessee’s Derrick Henry notably excelled in both games (231 rushing yards and two touchdowns at 5.6 YPC).
The Titans just snapped a two-game losing streak against the Bears with a 24-17 victory in Week 9 and remain at the top of the AFC South by one game over the 5-3 Colts. Indianapolis was tripped up by the Ravens at home on Sunday, dropping a 24-10 decision.
All betting takes will be classified as a “pick”, with considerations such as relevant injuries, past betting trends and recent performances of each team leading up to the game factoring in.
For more detailed information on this week’s matchup – including further game analysis, betting trends breakdown, betting tips specific to TNF, and a synopsis of the history of the line movement for the game, please see our Thursday Night Football Betting Preview over at TheLines.
While the Titans come into this game boasting the better record, the Colts have a key advantage in one area that I believe will ultimately tilt the game in their favor – defense. Indianapolis has had a couple of hiccups this season, but its defensive unit remains one of the league’s elite. The Colts rank as the third-best unit in the NFL against both the run (83.6 RYPG allowed) and pass (206.4 PYPG allowed). Those surface metrics are also backed up by plenty of secondary numbers.
The Colts have recorded the third-most sacks (28) and are tied with the Steelers and Buccaneers for most interceptions (11). While the Titans have given up a modest 13 sacks in eight games, Indy could benefit from what the Bears defense put on film in Week 9. Chicago was able to bring Tannehill down on three occasions and hit him six times overall. It helped lead to Tannehill’s first sub-50.0 percent completion rate in any contest this season. The Colts are not only capable of applying more pressure than Chicago, but they also already check in giving up the sixth-lowest completion percentage (62.9) in the NFL.
Then, note Indianapolis is allowing the fifth-fewest adjusted line yards per carry (3.56) and second-fewest RB yards per carry (3.17). They’re also ranked No. 2 and No. 1 in second-level yards (0.88) and open-field yards (0.19) per carry allowed, respectively. Henry certainly had his share of success against the Colts last season as noted above, while the Titans’ offensive line is ranked No. 5 in adjusted line yards (4.78) and RB yards (4.81) facilitated per carry. Nevertheless, Henry was able to gain just 3.2 yards per carry against a Chicago defense that came into Week 9 ranked 16th with 120.0 rushing yards allowed per game. Therefore, an even stingier Indy front could make life difficult for the talented back, especially on a short week following a tough matchup.
Meanwhile, Philip Rivers will be teed up for one of his better performances even if Jack Doyle misses the contest with a concussion, as looks increasingly likely. Indianapolis has excellent depth at the tight end position in Trey Burton and Mo Alie-Cox. Additionally, Rivers gets T.Y. Hilton back from his groin injury after a one-game absence. When paired with Michael Pittman, Zack Pascal and the emerging Marcus Johnson, the veteran QB will have a fully stocked receiving corps for the first time since Pittman went down in Week 3.
He’ll have that luxury versus a Titans defense that’s yielding the sixth-most passing yards per game (275.0), including the sixth most per home contest (299.4). Tennessee is also ranked in the bottom half of the league in completion percentage allowed (66.97). Rivers has completed a higher percentage of passes in half of his eight games. Then, the versatile Jordan Wilkins appears to be Indy’s lead back at present. He, along with capable rookie Jonathan Taylor and speedy change-of-pace option Nyheim Hines could thrive against a Tennessee defense giving up the 11th-highest RB yards per carry (4.5) in the NFL.
While both teams have plenty of talent, I see Indianapolis’ defensive advantage as enough to propel them to an upset win.
The Pick: Colts moneyline (+110 or better)
TNF Point Spread
The Colts are 4-4 against the spread this season, including 2-2 as a road team and 0-1 in division games.
The Titans are 3-5 (37.5 percent) against the spread this season, including 3-2 (60.0 percent) as a home team and 1-1 in division games.
In accordance with my pick that the Colts will pull the upset in this spot, I’m naturally going with them covering the thin number.
The Pick: Colts +1.5
TNF Over/Under Total
The Over is 4-4 in Indianapolis’s games this season, including 3-1 (75.0 percent) in its away games and 1-0 in its games against AFC South opponents.
Then, the Over is 5-2-1 (71.4 percent) in Tennessee’s games this season, including 3-1-1 (75.0 percent) in its home games and 2-0 in its games against division opponents.
While the Colts defense is one of the league’s best as detailed earlier, it’s given up some points this season and Tennessee has the offensive horses to do some damage. Then, Indy has a particularly favorable matchup through the air. As he’s demonstrated several times this season, Rivers still has the talent to capitalize, especially with a full group of receivers. The Colts’ tendency to facilitate the Over hitting in its away contests only further cements my lean.
The Lean: Over 48.5 points or better
Best TNF Prop Bet
Philip Rivers Over 23.5 completions (-115 or better)
As detailed earlier, the Titans pass defense has been vulnerable, particularly at home. Tennessee has yielded an average of 27.4 completions per game to quarterbacks as well, while Rivers has 25 or more completions in three of his first eight games and fell just short of this mark with 23 in a fourth. Moreover, the three games where Rivers was below 20 completions came against opponents that didn’t force Indy to remain aggressive on offense – a Vikings team that was down 15-3 by halftime in Week 2, along with the Jets and the Bears. Conversely, the Titans represent enough of a threat offensively to keep the air attack engaged for all four quarters.