The NFL Playoff line between the Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots is hot and we have systems and trends supporting our Best Bet of the week!
Making his NFL Playoff debut last weekend in Kansas City, Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota used every ounce of ingenuity that he could muster in a 22-21 win over the Chiefs. Mariota’s wheels accounted for 46 of the team’s 202 rushing yards and it would be hard to top his red zone scramble that ended with a TD pass to himself. This week the competition ratchets up a notch, or ten.
TENNESSEE TITANS at NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Tom Brady’s NFL playoff record reads 25-9 SU and at home, he’s 17-3. Brady’s record at Foxboro since his last home playoff loss is 6-0 SU and 5-1 ATS. The Pats have scored an average 36.7 points in those six wins, allowing 18.8. Five of six went over the total by an average of 7.0 points per game (PPG).
Tennessee only scored more than 24 points three times this year. The latest was a home win over the Colts in October. That is a drought needs to end, and quick. Mariota knows it and so does O-Co Terry Robiskie. He’s leaning hard on the talents of second-year RB Derrick Henry.
Henry spent the season playing second fiddle to Demarco Murray (knee), a role that finally changed in December. The Alabama product has capitalized thus far and his 191 all purpose yards at Arrowhead last week were a career high. He’s set to go off again in New England and the rest of Mariota’s crew represent a serviceable, if not up and coming cast of targets. The stage for many on this offense has never been bigger.
Optimistic fans can theorize that the Titans are going to get this job done with defense and the 13.5-point spread looks tempting, but I think the total offers better value. Beyond the Wild Card round there is a 74% “Over” record for home teams that can score at least 21 points. The X-factor here is that the Patriots are allowing a 3.61 drive success rate on defense and that’s their highest since 2011. When playoff home faves give this many opportunities to their opponent, the past 18 games have gone 13-4-1 O/U.
The Pats are playing better D of late, holding four of their past five foes below their projected totals, but all that did here was initiate a lower opening total. The NFL playoff record for defenses on the rise is still 15-4-1 O/U with games averaging 51.5 PPG.
NFL PLAYOFF ‘SYSTEM SAYS’
The Titans finished last week’s win at KC with 397 total yards, 78 more than their season average. Round 2 road dogs off a win where they were 50-plus yards better than their season average have been a solid “Over” play, hitting 10 of 13 times.
The more recent games are on a 7-1 O/U run with the road team scoring an impressive 24.1 PPG. Armed with an extra week of prep, home sides are countering with 33.4 PPG. New England’s last crack was in the 2013 playoffs when they lit up Indianapolis 44-23. No, not Deflategate, the OTHER time Tom Brady toasted the Colts.
Host teams in this situation realize they need to dial up their offense to compete against a surging dog with momentum. In five of the eight games, the home team scored 14-plus in the first quarter. The average half-time score was 20-14 in favor of the home side.
Eight games that took place on a Saturday since 2003 went 7-1 O/U and six of the seven overs finished with at least 52 total points. Games with a total greater than 41 went 8-2 O/U.
Matchups where the home line was -7 or more hit eight of nine times and the average final score was 55 points, 6.9 greater than the average total. These trends are all pointing north.
SUPER PICKS PLAY OF THE WEEK
This total opened at 47 and dipped down to 46.5 before the tide of money supporting a shootout started crashing the banks. It’s always ideal to bet the best number and this can still be had at 47 with a price, but you sure don’t want to play anything more than 48. I am projecting a minimum of 50 points scored.