The stage is set with two 9-6 teams playing a high stakes game in the final game of the season. The Indianapolis Colts come in with three straight wins, the Tennessee Titans with four, keeping their playoff aspirations alive with each of those victories. Win and get in the playoffs is the mantra for both teams. A game with so much on the line, ESPN flexed game to prime time.
Titans, 6-1 at home, look to continue their home field domination though it may be without quarterback Marcus Mariota. He’s still banged up from the Redskins game and no guarantee to he will play. In order to slow down the Colts with or without Mariota, the Titans ball control offence will be their best defence to keep the ball out of Luck’s hands. They’ll need to ride the hot hand of running back Derrick Henry who’s been wearing down defences as his usage rate has been trending up in the season’s final stretch. The Titans are undefeated when Henry has more than 15 rushing carries, a perfect 5-0 in those games.
The Titans will also need their defence to continue their great play. A defence with a knack of not allowing big plays to opponent offences. This has been a focal point of emphasis by coaches and the results have been favourable. They’re top 10 in allowing least amount of explosive plays, defined as plays of 15 or more yards rushing or 20 or more yards passing. On the flip side, the Colts are a big play offence. Luck alone has 26 completions to T.Y. Hilton of 20 or more yards and five of over 40 yards.
Tennessee Titans Home NFL Form
22.12.2018 – WIN – Tennessee Titans 25 – 16 Redskins
07.12.2018 – WIN – Tennessee Titans 30 – 9 Jaguars
02.12.2018 – WIN – Tennessee Titans 26 – 22 Jets
11.11.2018 – WIN – Tennessee Titans 34 – 10 Patriots
14.10.2018 – LOSS – Tennessee Titans 0 – 21 Ravens
For Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, everything comes full circle in this game. Flashback to week 3 in 2015 in game at Tennessee, Luck’s dominance as a rising NFL quarterback came to an abrupt pause. An injury to his shoulder sets off a bad luck run of injuries including missing all of the 2017 season recovering from shoulder surgery. Being the warrior that he is, Luck has worked his way back to health and returned with vengeance. Luck’s redemption season started off slow at 1-5, but found its groove and back to playing at an extremely high level. The numbers speak for themselves, 4,308 passing yards and 36 touchdowns on the season. He’s amassed career highs in completions with 406 and a 67.2% completion rate. In their last meeting in November, Luck torched the Titans for 297 yards, three touchdowns, and an astronomical 79.3% completion rate. Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton was the beneficiary of 155 of those yards.
Indianapolis Colts Away NFL Form
09.12.2018 – WIN – Texans 21 – 24 Indianapolis Colts
02.12.2018 – LOSS – Jaguars 6 – 0 Indianapolis Colts
28.10.2018 – WIN – Raiders 28 – 42 Indianapolis Colts
14.10.2018 – LOSS – Jets 42 – 34 Indianapolis Colts
05.10.2018 – LOSS – Patriots 38 – 24 Indianapolis Colts
The Money Line
Here are how the odds to win the match look from the bookies ahead of the game.
Tennessee Titans to win @ 3.15 (43/20)
Indianapolis Colts to win @ 1.40 (2/5)
Odds taken at 08:00 GMT 30/12/2018
Our Verdict and Best Bets
Andrew Luck has never lost to Titans. His offence ranks 7th best in in league in total yards per game with 382.9, and 6th best in points scored and passing yards. They lead the league in third down efficiency with 49.3%. The Titans have the 5th best rushing yards per game, while their defence is second best in allowing only 19 points per game. They rank 7th best in total yards allowed and 6th in passing yards allowed. So what gives?
We’re siding with the Colts to win this one and get back in playoffs for the first time since the 2014 season.
Points Over/Under +45 @ 2.30 (13/10) with William Hill.