If you enjoy the football betting opportunities afforded by Thursday Night Football, then this week’s game in Nashville is one of your last opportunities to get some money down.
Thursday Night Football Preview: San Francisco 49ers at Tennessee Titans
Thursday night’s game between the 49ers and Titans has been rightly framed as a contest between two teams going in completely opposite directions.
San Francisco, once left for dead amid a slew of injuries, has covered six of its last eight games. A win in Nashville would propel the Niners to a 9-6 record and put them in serious contention for the NFC West title.
Tennessee is almost the exact opposite. The Titans became a media darling through the first two months of the season after scoring several high-profile upsets, positioning themselves well for a deep playoff run.
But injuries spare no team in the National Football League, and a slew of midseason injuries to key offensive pieces (Derrick Henry, A.J. Brown, Julio Jones, etc) has derailed the Titans from a potential No. 1 seed in the AFC. Tennessee has covered only one of its last five games, with outright losses to Pittsburgh, New England, and Houston.
Tennessee’s chances on Thursday Night Football hinge on the availability and effectiveness of Brown and Jones. D’Onta Foreman has done an admirable job filling in for Henry as he works back from injury, but quarterback Ryan Tannehill will need some weapons in the passing game to back San Francisco’s defensive front off the line of scrimmage.
Foreman alone can’t get the job done against a team this good.
Fortunately for Tennessee, it is looking like Brown and Jones are going to give it a go.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 22, 2021
Whether or not Brown and Jones can be effective when they are on the field is another matter altogether. Jones reaggravated a hamstring issue in Sunday’s loss to the Steelers, and the short week isn’t exactly friendly to lingering maladies.
If Brown is ready to play, he’ll need to be activated off the IR by 4 p.m. on Thursday. Even if he suits up, though, Brown has struggled to remain effective on the field pretty much all year. His value might be more as a decoy to drag coverage than anything else.
How To Bet 49ers at Titans on Thursday Night Football
There is a modest lean toward the favorite in both ticket count and handle; 56 percent of tickets and 67 percent of the money are backing San Francisco.
I would feel comfortable betting San Francisco here at a small unit price, based on its recent form and its overall success on the road. The 49ers are 5-2 straight up away from Levi’s Stadium.
For me, it feels like the best play on Thursday night’s game might actually be on the total.
In terms of the actual football, we’re looking at two teams that operate offenses with old-school running principles. That’s a whole lot of running clock.
The trendlines also support a play on the under, with five of Tennessee’s seven home games remaining under the posted total.
Most importantly, there’s the reverse line movement that I’m tracking on this total. Despite 77 percent of overall tickets on the over, the line has dropped from 44.5 to 43.5.
I’m coming in with a healthy play on the under in this spot, and I’ll consider a small play on the 49ers later on Thursday, when I’ve read more information about the injury statuses of Tennessee’s players.
Play: San Francisco/Tennessee Under 43.5; Lean: San Francisco -3