It’s that time of year again. Basketball is hitting its climax, the NFL Draft is over, and we are already looking ahead to the upcoming football season.
Sure, we haven’t seen what the teams look like in camps, and we don’t have any preseason play to go off of, but every good football fan has an opinion. And, of course, we all know what we are talking about.
Well, let’s take a slightly different approach to our preseason evaluation of teams to look out for in the upcoming 2021 NFL season. Let’s let money steer the conversation. By that, I mean specific betting odds—beyond the normal futures to win the Super Bowl or conference—that can give us a bit of insight into how well some of our favorite teams might perform.
Of course, Tom Brady and Gronk are back in Tampa. The Kansas City Chiefs are basically the same unit they were. The Packers and Ravens are both going to be tough as nails. But who else? Are there any sleeper teams we should watch out for?
The Tennessee Titans Take the AFC South
The Jaguars seems to be grabbing a little bit from each of their southern conference foes. But, honestly, they are still the Jaguars. They haven’t garnered enough weapons to be a real threat. The Texans … well, they just seem to be OK with being OK. Unless something big happens later this offseason, they are the team in both the AFC South and NFC South that just doesn’t look like it’s done anything meaningful to get better.
That leaves a two-horse race between the Indianapolis Colts and the Tennessee Titans. The Indianapolis Colts got Carson Wentz, but now the Titans, who were already playing tough-as-nails ball last season, just picked up Julio Jones. So now they’ll have A.J Brown on one end and Julio Jones on the other, with Josh Reynolds in the slot. Anthony Fisker will likely start at TE, but they picked up a great backup in Geoff Swaim. Then there is Derrick Henry in the backfield with Ryan Tannehill.
This team is going to be dangerous.
Season Wins and Early Odds
The best gambling sites online have the Titans listed to 9.5 games this season, or OVER/UNDER 9.5. And oddly enough, the UNDER is the favorite. I believe the Titans are being overlooked by the sportsbooks.
Let’s look at the early point spreads for each Tennesee Titans game:
- Arizona Cardinals at Tennessee Titans (-2.5, 51)
- Titans at Seahawks (-3.5, 49)
- Colts (-1, 49.5) at Titans
- Titans (-2.5, 46.5) at NY Jets
- Titans (-2.5, 48) at Jaguars
- Bills (-2.5, 51.5) at Titans
- Chiefs (-4.5, 54) at Titans
- Titans at Colts (-3.5, 50)
- Titans at Rams (-5.5, 49.5)
- Saints at Titans (-2.5, 49.5)
- Texans at Titans (-8.5, 50)
- Titans at Patriots (-1, 48)
- Jaguars at Titans (-6, 51.5)
- Titans at Steelers (-3, 47)
- 49ers (-2, 46.5) at Titans
- Dolphins at Titans (-3, 47)
The Titans are only favored in seven games. So, this coincides with the UNDER 9.5 that the books seem to think will happen. That said, I think it opens the door for making some money on this team, especially early on before the books start to adjust these lines as they realize the Titans are a match for any team in the NFL.
The Colts have a win total listed at OVER/UNDER 10 games. The Jaguars are expected to be OVER/UNDER 6, and the Texans just 5. The Colts have talent, but I’m not sold on Wentz as the answer to running their offense. The one edge Indi has going for them is they have an easier schedule. But, I think we’ll see the Titans beat the Colts in their first meeting, and that will set the stage for the rest of the season in this two-horse race for the AFC South.
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