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NFL Football Betting – AFC Playoffs Titans at Chargers
NOTABLE STAT: Vince Young has 94 rushing yards in his last six games
KEY NFL FOOTBALL BETTING TREND: Tennessee has covered 12 of its last 16 games as a dog
The Tennessee Titans (10-6 SU, 8-8 ATS), who secured their wildcard playoff spot last Sunday night against the Colts, visit Qualcomm Stadium (grass) to face the San Diego Chargers (11-5 SU & ATS) in the first round of the AFC playoffs, in a game that is slated to begin at 4:30 PM ET on Sunday.
In the Top Sportsbooks NFL football betting odds, the Chargers are listed at -9.5, with the total posted at 40 points.
Here are some of the NFL football betting trends and stats relative to this matchup:
* TENN has won four of its last five games SU
* TENN has covered 11 of its last 15 road games
* TENN has won eight of its last 11 road games SU
* TENN is 12-3-1 ATS in its last 16 games as an underdog
* SD has won and covered its last six games
* SD has won and covered its last six home games
* SD has played four of its last six home games UNDER the total
* SD has covered four of the last five meetings
* SD has won the last five meetings SU
* SD has won five of the last seven meetings SU as the home team
Well, Tennessee did what it had to do last Sunday, although the Titans are kind of limping into this one. Vince Young went out again with a quadriceps injury, later admitting that the first quad injury he suffered this year had never quite healed. Kerry Collins came to the rescue and brought Tennessee to its win against Indianapolis’ second and third-team players. As Tennessee comes into the wildcard round, there is a question as to whether it will be Young or Collins getting the start. Young insists it’s no problem, that he will play. But it’s nice to know there is a serviceable “relief pitcher.”
On the surface, it might not seem to matter much, because San Diego looks like a juggernaut coming in. The Chargers are doing exactly that, with six straight wins and covers, and have posted nine of their eleven wins by ten points or more. San Diego is a sizzling +24 in its turnover ratio, and a big part of that was Antonio Cromartie, who intercepted ten passes, tops in the NFL. LaDanian Tomlinson had 1474 yards rushing to lead the league. Phillip Rivers completed 60% of his passes with 21 TD’s. Darren Sproles is always a threat to break a kick return all the way.
But you know, we’ve heard this same song about San Diego before, haven’t we? Yeah, they were looking almost unbeatable and then, oops! How about two first-round playoff exits against the Jets and Patriots in the last two playoff appearances. That got Marty Schottenheimer fired. Is Norv Turner, he of the 65-87-1 career record, the real difference-maker here? We think not.
It’s Turner’s bad luck that he is running into a revenge-minded Tennessee team that, characteristic of Jeff Fisher’s tenure, is tough when on the road (5-2-1 ATS this year) and extremely tough when getting points (12-3-1 ATS in last 16). Tennessee shows a different stop unit when defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth is in the lineup; without him, the Titans were trampled by some opposing running games. But with him, they can control the line of scrimmage (allowing 92 rushing yards per game).
Vince Young is ineffective as a passer, we know (9 TD’s, 17 INT’s), and the conventional wisdom is that he can make up for some of his inexperience with the “X Factor,” namely his ability to run. But at this point, that might be overrated. Young has rushed for only 94 TOTAL yards in his last six games, – evidence that his injury lingered. And he has lost two receivers this week – wideout Roydell Williams and tight end Bo Scaife, his teammate from Texas.
Tennessee’s attack could find itself stymied, especially if Collins, who can’t avoid a pass rush, has to be inserted. It will at least be ground-bound. But there is every reason to believe the Titans’ “D” can step up and play like a playoff unit. That sends us in one direction – “under” the 40 points, as posted in the Top Sportsbooks NFL betting odds.
NFL football betting odds: SAN DIEGO -9.5, Total: 40
JAY’S PLAY: UNDER 40
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