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Are the Bills too heavily favored on MNF?

The Bills are currently a 10-point favorite against the Tennessee Titans

Syndication: Detroit Free Press Kimberly P. Mitchell via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The Buffalo Bills are 10-point favorites over the Tennessee Titans on Monday night, per DraftKings Sportsbook. That’s one of the highest lines of the week and certainly a large presumed hole for the Titans, last year’s number one seed in the AFC. How did we get to that big of a difference and is it too high?

At first glance

On paper, after a dominant Week 1 performance from the Buffalo Bills in defeating the defending Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams, and a second-half collapse from the Tennessee Titans in a loss to the New York Giants, ten points seems like a reasonable gap on the surface. But it’s important to remember that the first week of NFL action is often rife with strange circumstance.

However, Bills Mafia knows all too well that the Titans are a huge thorn in the side regardless of their form. Last year’s 34-31 Titans victory closed with the Bills favored by 6.5 points in Nashville and came two weeks after Tennessee endured an embarrassing loss to the New York Jets. Buffalo is also getting the majority of the public’s nod, garnering 64% of all cash wagered in this contest as well as 59% of the bets according to PFF.

Bucking the trend? The Bills haven’t won a one-possession game since the 2021 Wild Card Round vs. Indianapolis.

Matchups and Game Script

Tennessee will seek to chew the clock with their run game, prodding for opportune deep pass plays while also forcing Devin Singletary and company to make plays against light boxes.

Against the Rams, Buffalo’s defense was able to keep LA in check by playing soft zones, taking away over-the-top passes and getting pressure without blitzing quarterback Matthew Stafford a single (!) time all game. That feat won’t be repeatable against Derrick Henry. Even after Tennessee posted the fourth lowest EPA output on the ground last week, The Bills will have to remain honest and stack the box more, leaving room for explosive plays behind their young corners. According to Ryan Tannehill attempted the most passes with 20+ air yards in Week 1, an aggressiveness that forces defenses to bite the King Henry bullet or risk being gashed downfield.

On the flip side, Buffalo will be forced to play against their own soft zones, making quick passes and running against favorable matchups. Tennessee sacked Daniel Jones on on half their blitzes (5 of 10 instances) last week and let up all 21 points on a couple big gash plays and a costly special teams turnover. Its a risky game asking your defense not to play safe against Josh Allen, but it also allows for more variance in results and that plays into the Titans’ favor.

Betting Assessment

It’s the Buffalo Bills in primetime; It will be loud, raucous...and most likely inappropriate. But it is a perfect setting for a team with Tennessee’s makeup and history under Vrabel to suck the wind from the sails of Highmark Stadium and make this a competitive game. The Titans’ Week 1 loss was more an anomaly than a sign of disaster and the narratives are pushing the line for this game too far. Buffalo should win but for the first time in a long time, it will be in a tight one.

Prediction: Bills 31 Titans 23

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