The Tennessee Titans, especially in their current non-Derrick Henry state, aren't as good as their 9-5 record. That's not a breakthrough idea.
Still, they're probably not as bad as their latest slump.
The Titans have lost three of their last four. They're not getting blown out, they just are turning the ball over at a startling rate. In the three losses they've had 13 turnovers.
While turnovers aren't just bad luck, there's a little bad luck involved. That might make the Titans a decent value as a home underdog.
The Titans are 3-point underdogs against the San Francisco 49ers at BetMGM. The 49ers are on a nice roll, and it's not crazy they're favored. The line just seems a bit high.
The Titans significantly out-gained the Texans and Steelers in losses but their turnover margin in those games is -9. Nobody can win turning the ball over like that.
Part of the problem is the Titans are short-handed. Not having Henry and A.J. Brown (who could return Thursday), with Julio Jones regularly hurt and a shell of what he used to be has put more pressure on Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill is up to 14 interceptions this season. The Titans aren't playing the type of game they want.
If you believe the Titans offense is broken and they'll continue to turn it over at anywhere near this rate, the 49ers aren't a bad pick. They're rolling on offense with George Kittle healthy and Deebo Samuel continuing to dominate. The 49ers are pretty comfortably in the playoffs and want to keep the momentum going.
Still, the Titans aren't terrible just because they aren't as good as their record. This is a good spot for them as a home underdog, assuming they can protect the ball a little better. And if they lose, the pressure in the AFC South could really ratchet up.
Here's the first look at the sports betting slate for Thursday:
How about some TNF props?
The multi-talented Deebo Samuel got lost a bit in the passing game for a few weeks, as the 49ers used him to boost their running game. But last week Samuel had four catches for 60 yards on five targets. Kyle Shanahan isn't dumb, he knows that the 49ers want to feature Samuel as often and in as many ways as possible. Samuel's over/under for receiving yards is a surprisingly low 43.5. I'll back Samuel's talent and take the over.
On the other side, Ryan Tannehill's passing yardage prop is 213.5. I'll take the over, assuming it'll be a competitive game (perhaps one that Tennessee trails) and I figure A.J. Brown will play, which will help get him over a low total.
Which bowl games are on?
We'll (hopefully) have two on Thursday. The Frisco Football Classic between North Texas and Miami (Ohio) kicks off at 3:30 p.m. ET. Then UCF faces Florida in what could be a fun Gasparilla Bowl at 7 p.m. ET.
Miami is a 3-point favorite in the first bowl game. Though this is practically a home game for North Texas, Miami is 5-3 since the start of October with the three losses by a combined four points. The favorite seems like the better side. In the second game, Florida is in the middle of a coaching changeover, while UCF should be motivated to give its best against an in-state power. UCF and the points looks like the better side.
How about basketball?
There are plenty of NBA games, though Brooklyn at Portland was postponed. The other 11 games are still a go, for now.
As with anything in the sports realm lately, checking who is in and out due to COVID-19 is a must. The Milwaukee Bucks-Dallas Mavericks game would have been fun, but Giannis Antetokounmpo and key teammates like Bobby Portis are in protocols, as is Luka Doncic among others for Dallas. The same could be said for the Atlanta Hawks-Philadelphia 76ers game, with Trae Young in protocols.
The NBA is powering through despite dozens of players being on the sideline. Whether that's the right call or not, it makes betting on the NBA even harder than usual.
What's the best bet?
It's too hard to bet basketball lately so let's stick with football and go with the home underdog Titans. That could end up being a fun game.