On Sunday (10/8/23), the Tennessee Titans face the Indianapolis Colts in an AFC South showdown. In this article, find a full preview of the game and the latest betting odds. In addition, find our prediction of the Colts +2.
Tennessee Titans Vs. Indianapolis Colts Prediction
In this AFC South matchup on Sunday, we’re getting good value on the home underdog in the Indianapolis Colts. The market is backing the Titans after they blew out the Bengals at home last week, but Cincinnati’s offense is completely broken – they’re bottom five in passing DVOA, EPA, and success rate.
This road matchup offers a different challenge against the ascending rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson, who has shown great promise in head coach Shane Steichen’s offense. In particular, Richardson has excelled as a rusher – his 42.7% breakaway run percentage ranks sixth in the NFL and is the highest among all quarterbacks. He has 131 rushing yards and four touchdowns so far.
Richardson has also shown promise as a passer, and last week against the Rams, he led a comeback from a 23-0 deficit that fell just short in overtime. In the first half, he showed some rust after missing the prior game with a concussion, but I’d expect a full four quarter performance this week.
The Colts could also get Jonathan Taylor back this week, which would be a significant boost to their offense. After missing the first four weeks, Taylor has been activated off the PUP, and he was a full participant in practice on Wednesday. The Colts have the second-worst rushing offense in the NFL by EPA, so his return would be huge.
The Titans’ offense is rather one dimensional right now as Ryan Tannehill has struggled – Tennessee is 30th in passing success rate behind an offensive line that ranks third-worst in adjusted sack rate allowed. Tannehill isn’t well positioned to take advantage of what has been a leaky Indianapolis secondary at times.
The Titans have won five straight games against the Colts, but the tide is turning in the AFC South, and Steichen has this organization breathing new life in 2023. I like Indianapolis to end this recent streak and pick up the win as a home underdog.
Tennessee Titans Vs. Indianapolis Colts Prediction: Colts +2
Tennessee Titans Vs. Indianapolis Colts Betting Odds
The spread for this game has bounced around quite a bit. The Colts opened as one-point favorites, but the Titans took some money, pushing the spread to -1.5 or -2 in favor of the road team. That won’t deter me from taking the Colts here – in fact, it just sets us up for more value. The over/under sits at 43 points for this game, indicative of a low-scoring affair.
Tennessee Titans Vs. Indianapolis Colts Key Injuries
Tennessee has been fortunate to mostly avoid the injury bug so far, especially after the second half of last season was derailed by injuries. The Titans do have wide receiver Treylon Burks and defensive tackle Teair Tart currently listed as questionable, both of whom are important for the team moving forward.
The big injury news to watch for the Colts is the status of former All Pro running back Jonathan Taylor, but you should keep an eye on news regarding defensive linemen DeForest Buckner and Kwity Paye. Center Ryan Kelly is also expected to return after missing last week’s game with a concussion.
Tennessee Titans Vs. Indianapolis Colts Key Matchups
Derrick Henry Vs. Colts Run Defense
After a very quiet start to the season, Derrick Henry looked like vintage Derrick Henry on Sunday. He took advantage of an exceptional matchup against the Bengals, who rank third-worst in run defense DVOA, and finished with 122 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. It was by far his most efficient game of the season.
However, the Colts offer a stiffer challenge. Indy ranks 11th in run defense EPA and has enjoyed strong seasons from defensive linemen DeForest Buckner and Grover Stewart as well as linebacker Zaire Franklin. Henry has 100+ rushing yards in six of his last seven games against the Colts, so this is certainly a matchup to watch.
CLASSIC DERRICK HENRY 😤 pic.twitter.com/4qB0wXC1sT
— PFF (@PFF) October 1, 2023
Anthony Richardson Vs. Titans Pass Defense
There have been some ups and downs through the early going for Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson, but he’s flashed elite potential. After no deep ball attempts through his first two games, Richardson attempted six passes of 20+ yards last week, and he completed two of them for 68 yards. That was encouraging, and Steichen should continue to open up the offense for the young quarterback.
The Titans’ pass defense offers an opportunity for that growth to continue as they are 25th in pass defense EPA and 29th in success rate allowed. They benefited from an easy matchup against a broken Bengals passing offense last week, but their secondary can still be exploited, especially as they rank just 21st in pressure rate this season.
This touchdown throw by Anthony Richardson was a DART while falling down. 🎯pic.twitter.com/iVpMTJ72Um
— Indy SportsOne (@IndySportsOne) October 1, 2023