The Tennessee Titans will take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in an important AFC matchup. It's time to continue our NFL odds series and make a Titans-Steelers prediction and pick.
This is a surprisingly important game between these conference rivals. Tennessee is in firm control of the AFC South, but a loss here would be a huge blow to their hopes of ending up as the first seed in the AFC. The Indianapolis Colts aren't far behind in the division either, and a loss could let them back into contention for first place in the south. Meanwhile, another loss essentially eliminates the Steelers from playoff contention. Pittsburgh is in last place in the AFC North, but a wild card spot is still within reach. The climb to that wild card spot needs to start with a win in this game so the Steelers have plenty on the line here.
For more insight on the Titans-Steelers matchup in Week 15, listen below:
Here are the Titans-Steelers Week 15 odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
NFL Odds: Titans-Steelers Odds
Tennessee Titans: +1 (-110)
Pittsburgh Steelers: -1 (-110)
Over: 43 (-110)
Under: 43 (-110)
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Why The Titans Could Cover The Spread
Even without Derrick Henry at running back, this team is a handful offensively. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill has quietly been playing solid football the entire season, and the offensive line is one of the better units in the league. That line should pave the way for run game here, something that Pittsburgh has struggled to stop all year. The Steelers surprisingly rank as a bottom-five run defense in the NFL, as they allow a whopping 139 rushing yards per game. The Minnesota Vikings just shredded them on national television, with Vikings running back Dalvin Cook posting 205 yards and two touchdowns on 7.6 yards per carry. It's unlikely Tennessee can have a running back replicate that performance, but the ground game should be able to spark this offense to a strong showing nonetheless.
It's late in the season, and Pittsburgh certainly isn't immune to the injury bug that hits every single team. There are several key players who will likely enter this game with a questionable designation, including starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Perhaps even more important is the status of edge rusher TJ Watt, who hasn't practiced in full this week. Fellow edge rusher Alex HIghsmith and starting cornerback Joe Haden are both in the same boat. Pittsburgh won't be anywhere near full strength for this game.
Why The Steelers Could Cover The Spread
The Titans may have the longest list of injured players in the league this week. Starting cornerback Janoris Jenkins and linebacker David Long are both questionable for this game, along with guard Rodger Saffold and defensive tackle Teair Tart. All four of those starters are likely to miss this matchup, and star wide receiver AJ Brown is already on injured reserve. It's hard to see the Titans effectively replacing all of these players in a game against a still-tough Steelers team.
Tennessee's offensive track record has been less than stellar lately. Before their victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 14, head coach Mike Vrabel's squad had lost two consecutive games, with one of those defeats coming at the hands of the lowly Houston Texans. The Titans are notoriously inconsistent, and there's no guarantee that they come ready to play against a playoff-caliber opponent.
Final Titans-Steelers Prediction & Pick
This spread is just too small to not pick the Titans. Pittsburgh is totally unreliable, and they're the less talented team here. Tennessee should win by a touchdown at the very least.
Final Titans-Steelers Prediction & Pick: Tennessee Titans: +1 (-110)