The second installment of Monday Night Football this season features the home opener for the Buffalo Bills, as the preseason Super Bowl favorites play host to the Tennessee Titans.
Last week, Josh Allen led the Bills to an emphatic victory in Los Angeles over the defending NFL champions to mark the first game of the regular season. Meanwhile, the Titans lost in an upset to the New York Giants as 5½-point home favorites despite carrying a 13-0 lead into the half.
Given expectations entering the season and the first week of results, Tennessee projects as the underdog ahead of Monday night. Caesars Sportsbook labels the Bills as 10-point favorites with the point total between teams estimated at 49½.
Let’s take a closer look at the odds and trends:
Tennessee Titans at Buffalo Bills
Time/TV: 7 p.m. Monday, ESPN
Point spread (from Caesars Sportsbook): Bills -10
Money line: Bills -430, Titans +350
Analysis: The Titans’ rushing performance last week was highly concerning. Even with a halftime lead of multiple scores and one of the best running backs in the NFL, Tennessee only managed 93 yards on the ground for the entire contest — 48 fewer than what the team averaged per game a season ago. The passing attack had a top-10 showing in Week 1 across the league, but none of the Titans’ receivers caught any touchdowns, and both leading wideouts on the team’s depth chart only registered one catch each for a total of 26 yards.
Conversely, the Bills had an outstanding showing on both sides of the ball against the reigning Super Bowl champions. Buffalo was one of only seven teams to start the regular season with over 400 total yards of offense. The Bills also concluded the first week as one of only four in the NFL to put up top-10 performances in both rushing and passing defense.
Tennessee had trouble getting the main component of their offense in rhythm against a team that finished 25th league-wide last season in rushing yards surrendered per game. They may similarly struggle against a Buffalo defense that held Los Angeles to just 52 total rushing yards last week (least in the NFL). If that happens, the Titans will have to rely on their passing to stay competitive.
The aggressive Bills defense notched three interceptions, seven sacks and 15 hits on the quarterback against the Rams. In consideration of Ryan Tannehill’s lack of demonstrated chemistry with his receiving corps, a game script that demands an abundance of throwing the football will likely lead to many mistakes that should keep Tennessee’s ability to score in check for most of the evening.
As such, the Bills covering the spread at home figures as a solid bet this week.
Prediction: Bills 34, Titans 13