It’s another edition of the NFL London Series as the Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens are taking a trip across the pond for an overseas AFC matchup this Sunday (10/15/23). Get Ravens vs. Titans odds, picks, and predictions down below as our best bet is for the Titans to score under 18.5 points.
Ravens vs. Titans Prediction
It’s been a rocky start to the season for the Titans, who have alternated losses and wins each week, earning them a 2-3 record thus far. Theoretically, this trend would have them in line for a win this week, but the Ravens are of course potentially the best squad they’ve faced to this point. Tennessee has some nice wins as they’ve beaten the Bengals and Chargers, but they looked pretty dismal in the losses, especially against the division-rival Colts.
Of course, the more meaningful trend than the back-and-forth nature of their start is the fact that all three losses have been on the road while the wins have come in Nashville. While the Titans are the “home team” in this one, this special edition of NFL football really exists outside the home and road dichotomy, as it’s unfamiliar territory for both sides, so it should be a level playing field.
London seems to be a vector for surprising results as teams are forced out of their comfort zones. For instance, the Jaguars came into London with a 1-2 record and have now returned home tied atop the division at 3-2, after wins over the playoff hopeful Falcons and a shocker over a Bills team that looked great just a week earlier as they took down the red-hot Miami Dolphins. We’ll see if the Titans can lean into the intercontinental wackiness as they take on a favored Ravens squad, featuring one of the league’s best defenses.
Baltimore is in a strange spot as well; they looked to have weathered the storm of early injuries by navigating to a 3-1 start after a dominant and vital win over the Browns, but they dropped a predictably ugly one against their biggest rival, the Pittsburgh Steelers. That being said, Lamar Jackson played potentially his best ball of the year, and was simply hampered by an outrageous series of drops, so hopefully there’s some positive regression in that department as they look to solidify their spot atop the AFC North.
Interestingly enough, these teams had completely different plans for international travel. The Ravens have been in London since Monday, acclimating to the time change, likely soaking in the sights and new culture, and of course settling in and practicing. Meanwhile, the Titans left on Thursday night, as coach Mike Vrabel stated that he liked the way that approach went back when they made this trip in 2018, although the Titans did lose that game after failing to convert a late two-point conversion. The Bills also came over last Thursday, and looked very off against a Jags team that had been in London for a couple of weeks, so overall, it’s hard to side with Vrabel’s approach over Harbaugh’s.
Aside from Vrabel’s puzzling travel philosophy, the on-paper matchup is problematic for a Titans offense that might not travel well overseas. Tennessee is always reliant on the ground game, which has slipped a bit this year, and will surely have issues against Baltimore’s run defense unit, which ranks sixth in both EPA per play and DVOA. It’s harder to nail down the matchup on the other side of the football, as Jackson and the pass catchers have been very streaky this year, so let’s just fade this Titans offense in a really tough spot.
Ravens vs. Titans Prediction: Titans Team Total u18.5
Ravens vs. Titans Best Odds
The Ravens are four-point favorites in London, while the total is set at 41.5. You can get -110 odds on either side of either line, or +170 if you want to bet the Titans to win outright.
Ravens vs. Titans Key Injuries
The Ravens will of course still be without running back J.K. Dobbins and cornerback Daryl Worley, but the team is generally getting healthier. For the Titans, wideout Treylon Burks and d-lineman Jeffery Simmons are the most notable players listed as questionable, as the team remains relatively healthy.
Ravens vs. Titans Key Matchups
As we’re just betting one team’s total, let’s take a multifaceted look at how the Titans offense stacks up with the Ravens defense.
Titans Rushing Offense vs. Ravens Run Defense
Plan A for the Titans offense is to establish the run with Derrick Henry, but he’s averaged less than 4 yards per carry and has only racked up 328 total rushing yards through five contests. It’s hard to know why, as the Titans o-line ranks ninth in PFF’s run blocking grade.
Crazy things happen in London, but this is not a great bounce-back spot against a really stout Ravens run defense. EPA, DVOA, and PFF all agree that the Baltimore run defense is soundly within the top ten in the league, led by linebacker Roquan Smith, who has been absolutely phenomenal since coming over from the Bears, and is PFF’s fifth-highest graded run-stopping linebacker.
Titans Air Attack vs. Ravens Pass Defense
The Ravens defense is not just an excellent run prevention unit, they’re second overall in both EPA and DVOA, as both metrics love their pass defense capabilities as well. They’re allowing just 5.3 yards per pass attempt, and have secured four interceptions already. The secondary is PFF’s favorite in the entire league, anchored by safety duo Kyle Hamilton and Geno Stone.
Ryan Tannehill’s ratio of two touchdowns to five interceptions is a bit of a product of bad luck, but he’s still pretty clearly in decline overall as he sits well below league-average in the EPA + completion percentage over expected composite score. That being said, he hasn’t had a ton of help, as DeAndre Hopkins has been his sole capable pass-catcher this season.