When the Titans (6-2) travel from Nashville to Los Angeles to take on the Rams (7-1) in the penultimate game of NFL Week 9 on “Sunday Night Football” (8:20 pm. ET, NBC), it will be a battle of two teams to boost their playoff seedings.
The Titans go into Week 9 as the No. 1 in the AFC, but staying there will be difficult without their most indispensable offensive player, running back Derrick Henry. The Rams, despite having only one loss, are the No. 5 seed still behind the Cardinals, to whom they lost, in the NFC West.
Tennessee is a big road underdog in relation to its record. Los Angeles has been rolling through a lot of weaker opponents, so it will get a good interconference test.
Here’s everything to know about betting on Rams vs. Titans in Week 9, including updated odds, trends and our prediction for “Sunday Night Football.”
Rams vs. Titans odds for ‘Sunday Night Football’
- Spread: Rams by 7.5
- Over/under: 53.5
- Moneyine: Titans +290, Rams -360
(betting odds per FanDuel Sportsbook)
The Titans have been touchdown-plus underdogs since the Henry news came down earlier in the week. It’s a tough road trip regardless and the Rams are playing well, while the Titans have had some narrow escapes as part of their record.
Rams vs. Titans all-time series
The Rams have an 8-5 edge in the 13 meetings. They have won three of five and five of eight to get that advantage. Most notably, the teams met in Super Bowl 34 after the 1999 season, with the Titans falling one-yard short in a thrilling 23-16 Rams victory. Since the Rams relocated to Los Angeles, they won a 2017 meeting in December, 27-23.
Three trends to know
—80 percent of spread bettors are siding with the Titans to go on the road and cover against the Rams, who tend to put away teams better on the road.
—56 percent of over/under bettors think the total is too high given Henry is not playing for the Titans and the Rams may want to step off the gas in the second half.
—The Titans are 6-4 against the spread and 7-3 straight up in their past 10 games. The total has gone over in six of those games. The Rams are 5-5 ATS and 8-2 SU in their past 10 games. The total has gone over in seven of those games.
Three things to watch
How will the Titans make up for no Henry?
Henry (fractured foot) is out for the long term and the Titans need to scramble to produce in the power rushing attack without him. It will be some combination of veteran signee Adrian Peterson and incumbent change-of-pace back Jeremy McNichols running behind their strong offensive line. They need some production there running and receiving to keep the Rams’ defense honest and open things up for quarterback Ryan Tannehill in the downfield play-action passing game.
How will the Titans slow down the Rams?
The Titans still have issues in the secondary and can give up a lot downfield to wide receivers. They can’t cover Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods or Van Jefferson all that well. But they have been solid against the run and need to force Matthew Stafford to executer over long drives and limit the big plays.
How will the Titans hold up for Tannehill?
The Titans’ offensive line needs to be up for the challenge for Aaron Donald and the tough Rams’ front. They can be a big assist to Peterson and McNichols but the Titans also need to keep their QB upright. Look for the Titans to move Tannehill more as another way to buy time, and then try to scheme top wide receiver A.J. Brown away from cornerback Jalen Ramsey. The Titans need some ball control and long drives themselves to help their defense.
Stat that matters
267.4. That’s how many average passing yards per game the Titans give up, No. 24 in the NFL. The Rams with Stafford average 301.8 passing yards per game, No. 4 in the NFL. The Titans are dependent on a few critical sacks, third-down stops and takeaways but overall allow teams to move the ball well through the air.
Rams vs. Titans prediction
The Titans will show some fight for Mike Vrabel as their replacement committee for Henry is more effective than expected to help ease in Tannehill for the short-to-intermediate passing game. Stafford and his receivers, plus running back Darrell Henderson, are a bigger handful for Tennessee, however. The Rams take control and win, but the Titans keep the back door open in the fourth quarter.
Rams 31, Titans 24