Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots (-13.5, 48)
Amid the background of a reported rift between the owner, coach and star quarterback, the reigning Super Bowl champion New England Patriots host the Tennessee Titans on Saturday night. The Patriots have hoisted the Lombardi Trophy in two of the past three seasons and look to become the first team to win back-to-back titles since they accomplished it in 2003-04.
New England, the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC, dealt with a rare off-the-field distraction when ESPN detailed a power struggle between coach Bill Belichick, quarterback Tom Brady and owner Robert Kraft -- a report the team disputed. "The reputation that Coach tries to get us to have is just ignore the noise -- ignore the noise from the outside and I feel like that's what myself and a lot of other players have been doing," Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski said. While Brady has 25 playoff wins under his belt, the upstart Titans will arrive in Foxborough fresh off their first postseason win since 2003 -- stunning the Kansas City Chiefs 22-21 after trailing by 18 points at halftime. Tennessee, which lost three straight before beating Jacksonville in Week 17 to clinch a playoff slot, has not won at New England since 2003, when the franchise was still located in Houston.
TV: 8:15 p.m. ET, CBS.
LINE HISTORY: The Patriots opened as massive 13.5-point home favorites and that number has yet to move. The total hit betting boards at 47 and has been bet up slightly to 48. Check out the complete line history here.
WHAT SHARPS SAY: "The Titans journey to Foxborough following last week’s stunning comeback win at Kansas City hoping they can reverse an ugly playoff trend that has found the last four teams to knock off the Chiefs in the postseason only to 0-4 SUATS the following games. The good news is Tennessee QB Marcus Mariota is 3-2 Su and 4-1 ATS adjacent .666 or greater foes in games i which the Titans sports a .500 or greater record. Meanwhile, New England is 18-0 SU and 12-6 ATS against AFC South opponents since 2010, but QB Tom Brady is only 2-3 ATS in his NFL career as double-digit chalk in the playoffs." - Covers Experts' Marc Lawrence.
Titans - G Quinton Spain (Probable, Back), CB Logan Ryan (Probable, Ankle), RB DeMarco Murray (Out, Knee), LB Aaron Wallace (I-R, Back), CB LeShaun Sims (I-R, Hamstring), DL DaQuan Jones (I-R, Bicep), QB Alex Tanney (I-R, Foot), WR Tajae' Sharpe (I-R, Foot), LB Victor Ochi (I-R, Knee).
Patriots - DL Alan Branch (Probable, Knee), WR Chris Hogan (Probable, Shoulder), RB James White (Probable, Ankle), RB Rex Burkhead (Probable, Knee), LB Marquis Flowers (Questionable, Illness), LB Kyle Van Noy (Questionable, Calf), DL Eric Lee (Questionable, Ankle), RB Mike Gillislee (Doubful, Knee), DT Vincent Valentine (Questionable, Knee), WR Malcolm Mitchell (Questionable, Knee), OL Marcus Cannon (I-R, Ankle), OL Tony Garcia (I-R, Illness), OL Andrew Jelks (I-R, Knee), DB Nate Ebner (I-R, Knee), TE Martellus Bennett (I-R, Shoulder), LB Dont'a Hightower (I-R, Pectoral), LB Shea McClellin (I-R, Concussion), LB Harvey Langi (I-R, Back), DL Keionta Davis (I-R, Neck), CB Cyrus Jones (I-R, Knee), WR Julian Edelman (I-R, Knee), DE Derek Rivers (I-R, Knee).
ABOUT THE TITANS (10-7 SU, 9-7-1 ATS, 9-8 O/U): Quarterback Marcus Mariota threw for more interceptions (15) than scoring passes (13) this season, but he guided Tennessee to three long touchdown drives in the second half, including a TD pass to himself at Kansas City. Mariota also rushed eight times for 46 yards but the Titans' best hopes are to feed backup running back Derrick Henry, who punished the Chiefs for 156 yards and a score on 23 carries. Tight end Delanie Walker had a team-high 74 catches while Rishard Matthews and Eric Decker added 53 and 54, respectively. Tennessee is 25th against the pass (239.3 yards) but tied for fifth in the league with 43 sacks.
ABOUT THE PATRIOTS (13-3 SU, 11-5 ATS, 7-9 O/U): Brady put up his usual flashy numbers, leading the league with 4,577 yards and tossing 32 touchdowns versus eight interceptions, but he had just six scoring passes and five picks over the past five games. Dion Lewis has rushed for at least 92 yards in four of his past six games and scored five times in the past three, and should get some help with the expected returns of Rex Burkhead and James White from injury. Gronkowski and speedster Brandin Cooks each went over 1,000 yards and combined for 15 touchdowns for New England's top-ranking offense (394.2 yards). The Patriots limited 10 of their last 12 opponents to 17 points or fewer.
* Titans are 7-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
* Patriots are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 playoff games.
* Under is 9-2-1 in Titans last 12 Saturday games.
* Over is 7-0-1 in Patriots last 8 Divisional Playoffs games.
* Titans are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 meetings.
View a full list of betting trends for this matchup here.
COVERS CONSENSUS: The Covers public is siding with the home favorite New England Patriots at a rate of 54 percent and the Over is getting 55 percent of the totals action on Covers. View full consensus data here.