Week 2 of the preseason continues Saturday as the Tennessee Titans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers square off at Raymond James Stadium. The Titans dominated the Falcons 23-3 last week led by a defense that held Atlanta to 163 yards while the Bucs lost to the Bengals 19-14 in a game where the Tampa offense finished with just 2.6 yards per play.
These two clubs have been holding joint practices this week and it’s very unlikely that either coach is going to be playing their top players, which includes Tom Brady and Ryan Tannehill.
Here are our NFL betting free picks and predictions for Titans vs. Buccaneers on August 21.
Titans vs Buccaneers game info
• Location: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
• Date: Saturday, August 21, 2021
• Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
• TV: DAZN
Titans vs Buccaneers odds
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Titans at Buccaneers betting preview
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Titans: A.J. Brown WR (Out), Brent Qvale T (Out), Tedric Thompson DB (Out), Darrynton Evans RB (Questionable).
Buccaneers: Raven Greene S (Out).
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Betting trend to know
The Titans are 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings. Find more NFL betting trends for Titans vs. Buccaneers.
Against the spread (ATS) pick
Not a lot of fans in Tampa Bay got to see Tom Brady last year and they may have to wait until Week 1 to do so. Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians told the media that Brady probably won’t play Saturday, citing the team’s two joint practices with the Titans this week. It’s unlikely we see either side's starters this weekend as the joint practices have been a physical battle and the risk of injury for a third day of contact is unwarranted.
The Bucs will instead start Blaine Gabbert and then mix in rookie QB Kyle Trask and Ryan Griffin. The trio went 16 for 37 for 146 yards and two picks last week versus the Bengals’ backups, as Arians leaned on the passing game with only 17 rushes. If Trask gets an extended look Saturday, the offense could struggle to move the chains as the second round pick went 4 for 15 for 35 yards and took two sacks.
The Titans sat Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry, Julio Jones, and A.J. Brown last week but still rolled over the Falcons 23-3. There isn’t much competition in the QB department in Tennessee as Logan Woodside (10 for 15, 84 yards, and 1 TD) and Matt Barkley (5 for 8, 54 yards, and 1 TD) are locked into the backup roles but both QBs were solid averaging a robust 9.2 yards per completion against the Falcons. The Bengals’ duo of Kyle Shurmur and Brandon Allen had no problems gaining yards through the air last week versus the Bucs which could mean the tandem of Woodside and Barkley could put up similar numbers.
Tennessee didn’t just dominate the scoreboard, they also kept the opposing offense on the sidelines in its preseason opener. The Titans had a 36:33 to 23:27 time of possession advantage as the defense was solid (136 total yards and six first downs allowed) and the Titans ran the ball 37 times for 138 yards.
Getting Tennessee at +3 would have been great earlier in the week, but that number is long gone and stands at +1 heading into the weekend. Many books have this as a pick ‘em and we are taking the team that has moved the line.
PREDICTION: Tennessee +1 (-115)
There has been no love lost between the two teams during a pair of joint practices this week, which have resulted in coaches having to break up fights and everyone’s favorite disaster, Antonio Brown, getting booted for throwing fists at Titans’ CB Chris Jackson. This animosity should boil over into Saturday’s primetime matchup which could give bettors a hyper-competitive preseason battle.
If this hatred boils over to Saturday, we could see some extra laundry on the field. The Titans had plenty of infractions of their own in Week 1 of the preseason versus the Falcons, with nine total penalties for 69 yards. The Bucs weren’t saints either last week with nine total penalties for 61 total yards. Playing behind the sticks is a dangerous game for backup QBs.
If the Titans’ defense puts another effort forward like it did last week, this total is going only one way. Atlanta finished 7 for 21 for a laughable 21 net yards after taking five total sacks versus the Tennessee defense. Mike Vrabel's defense also finished with five TFLs and could find itself in the Tampa backfield Saturday after the Bucs gave up four sacks last week.
The Titans had some success last week rushing the ball but also lost their starting RB in Darrynton Evans, who exited last week’s tune-up and is questionable for Saturday. Replacing him should be UDFA Mekhi Sargent, who went 16 for 58 yards versus the Falcons.
With nothing flashy in the QB department for either team, coming off some seriously competitive joint practices that will see each coach sit most of their starters and dealing with some mid-August Florida heat, we’re hitting the Under which should surprise no one as games are 3-18 O/U to begin the preseason. We’d take this number all the way down to 33.5.
PREDICTION: Under 36 (-117)
Titans vs Buccaneers betting card
- Tennessee +1 (-115)
- Under 36 (-117)
Picks made on 8/20/2021 at 5:00 p.m. ET
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