Posted on January 12, 2020, by Travis Pulver
Expectations are never very high for the No. 6 seed in the playoffs, and they certainly weren’t too high for the Tennessee Titans when the postseason began. Following their regular-season finale win over the Houston Texans, the Titans odds hovered around +4100, second-highest among playoff-bound teams next to the Buffalo Bills.
But then they did the unexpected and made it past the New England Patriots in the Wild Card round. However, with Buffalo also losing, they were still one of the teams with the longest odds (the Houston Texans being the other).
With the Baltimore Ravens on deck in the Divisional Round, it was almost surprising their odds were not longer. Few really believed that the Titans had a chance against Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. Some could imagine a scenario where it was possible but didn’t think it was likely.
But as Big Brother host Julie Chen would say, in the playoffs, you should expect the unexpected. Titans head coach Mike Vrabel had the perfect game plan in place, his team executed it, and the Titans took the mighty Ravens down, 28-12, led by a Herculean effort (195-yards) from running back Derrick Henry.
“It’s not just me,” Henry said after the game, via ESPN. “It’s a team effort. We’re all playing collectively as an offense, as a whole. We’re just locked in. We believe in each other. We communicate. It’s working out there.”
Jackson still ended up having a record-setting day with over 500 total yards of offense. However, much of it came in garbage time with the Titans giving him the middle of the field. But while the Titans defense did bend, it didn’t break.
After holding the Ravens to just six points in the first half, they continued to frustrate the Ravens offense in the second half causing five turnovers– three on downs, a fumble, and an interception.
“They [the Ravens] were beating people with shock and awe in the first quarter,” Titans coach Mike Vrabel said, following the game, via ESPN. “We knew we had to do it with some turnovers and fourth-down stops. That’s the only way you can do it. Make Tucker kick some field goals.”
With the win, oddsmakers had their odds to win the Super Bowl as high as +430 before the Kansas City Chiefs dismantled the Houston Texans Sunday afternoon. Following the Chief dominant win over the Texans, their odds plummeted down to +130 at FanDuel; the Titans now sit at +650.
Before Saturday’s win, they were around +2300 at most sportsbooks.
Of course, to get to the Super Bowl, the Titans have to go through the Chiefs in Kansas City. The early odds have the Chiefs favored to win by 7.5 points. But the Titans were bigger underdogs against the Patriots and Ravens.
Somehow they still managed to come out on top in those games despite one being the No. 1 scoring defense and the other the No. 1 scoring offense.
Does that mean you should bet on the Titans? Well—there is risk involved. But it wouldn’t be a bad bet.