The AFC Divisional round of the NFL Playoffs won’t include the New England Patriots for the first time in a decade. That’s only one of the consequences from the Tennessee Titans upset win Saturday night in Foxborough, Mass.
The Titans win also implies there will be a new conference champion for the first time in four years; however, oddsmakers aren’t counting on Tennessee, who will face Baltimore next Saturday being that team.
Meanwhile, the Kansas City Chiefs will host the Houston Texans in the other Divisional round matchup next Sunday. The Texans needed to recover from a 16-0 second-half deficit Saturday to move ahead as they beat Buffalo 22-19 in overtime.
The Titans win against the vaunted Patriots means they have to fly to Baltimore next Saturday night to challenge Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. Saturday night, the Ravens opened as 10-point favorites, and by Sunday afternoon, the line shifted to 9.5 points at FanDuel and DraftKings.
Being that big of an underdog will possibly fit into the mindset the Titans have developed during the season.
After the Patriots win, running back Derrick Henry told reporters, “I don’t think nobody expected anything from us. Keep that underdog mentality, but just stay hungry. Just keep believing in each other, because all of us in that building, all of us together, we’re the ones that have to make it happen.”
As reported by casino.org, two of the top three rushing attacks in the NFL will be featured in next weekend’s matchup. It’ll also include three 1,000-yard rushers, like Henry, who earned the top spot in rushing with 1,540 yards. Against the Patriots, he went for 182 yards on 34 carries.
Nevertheless, the league-leading Ravens still outrushed the Titans by over 1,000 yards (3,296-2,223). That’s largely owing to Jackson’s historic season as he set the record throwing for more than 3,000 yards (3,127) and running for 1,000 (1,206) in the same season.
The Chiefs-Texans AFC Divisional face-off is a rematch of a regular-season contest, which featured Deshaun Watson guiding Houston to a fourth-quarter rally and a 31-24 win at Arrowhead Stadium.
In spite of that, oddsmakers placed the host Chiefs as 7-point favorites and by Sunday that number has swollen to 10 points at FanDuel and 9.5 points at DraftKings.
Kansas City finished the season on a six-game winning streak to end with a 12-4 record. The Chiefs also had to leave from the first-round after they faced New England in its final game of the regular season.
Not unexpectedly, the winning streak began one week after quarterback Patrick Mahomes returned after a dislocated kneecap caused him to miss two games.
Mahomes told reporters that the team has performed better during the streak, than it did in 2018, when it was victories in eight of its first nine and also ended with a 12-4 record.
He told reporters last week, “I think it’s just a different variety of ways of winning is the biggest thing this year. We’ve won games obviously putting up points and doing those different things this year, but we’ve won games where the defense has stepped up and kind of controlled the game for us.”
The 2018 Chiefs boasted a top-scoring offense which helped counter a 24th ranked defense. This year’s team features an offense which produced the sixth-most yards and a defense which yielded the seventh-fewest points.
KC held three opponents to less than 10 points and two more to under 17 during the streak.
Update of Super Bowl Futures Odds
Baltimore remains everyone’s favorite to win the Super Bowl. Over at DraftKings, the Ravens odds remain unchanged at +200, while they have fallen slightly at FanDuel since last week to +190. In the past week the Chiefs have since gone from +450 to +350 at both books.
Still Tennessee and Houston have long odds to lift the Lombardi Trophy. DraftKings lists the Texans at +2500 and the Titans at +3000, while FanDuel offers both at +2900.