While the NFL is unquestionably a pass-happy league, Saturday night's AFC divisional round game in the 2020 NFL Playoffs between the No. 1 Baltimore Ravens and No. 6 Tennessee Titans figures to be an old-school affair decided by which team dominates on the ground. Kickoff is 8:15 p.m. ET on CBS from M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. Either the No. 2 Chiefs or No. 4 Texans await the winner in the AFC title game next Sunday. Baltimore is the AFC's top seed for the first time and set an NFL single-season record for rushing yards behind dual-threat quarterback Lamar Jackson, the likely MVP.
The Titans, meanwhile, had the league's overall rushing king in Derrick Henry, a former Heisman Trophy winner like Jackson. Baltimore is 3-1-1 against the spread in the past five meetings vs. Tennessee and the home side is a 9.5-point favorite in the latest Ravens vs. Titans odds, while the over-under for total points scored is 47.5. Before making any Titans vs. Ravens picks, make sure to see the NFL predictions from SportsLine's No. 1 NFL expert, Mike Tierney.
No one knows football like Tierney. The veteran sportswriter, whose work has appeared in The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, has covered football of all levels for decades. And that expertise has been evident since he joined SportsLine in 2016. He is 9-1 in his last 10 Baltimore NFL picks against the spread, and he's also SportsLine's No. 1 NFL expert after going 3-1 on Wild-Card weekend. Anyone who has followed him is way up.
Now Tierney has dialed in on Ravens vs. Titans in the divisional round of the NFL Playoffs 2020 and released another confident against-the-spread pick. You can head to SportsLine to see it. Here are the NFL lines and trends for Titans vs. Ravens:
- Ravens vs. Titans spread: Baltimore -9.5
- Ravens vs. Titans over-under: 47.5 points
- Ravens vs. Titans moneyline: Baltimore -472, Tennessee +359
- TEN: Titans are 6-1-1 ATS in their past eight vs. AFC teams
- BAL: Ravens are 4-1 ATS in their past five Saturday games
Why the Ravens can cover
Tierney knows the last time the Ravens faced the Titans it was an embarrassment for Tennessee. That was Week 6 of the 2018 regular season in Nashville and Baltimore rolled to a 21-0 victory. The Ravens set a team record with 11 quarterback sacks -- Marcus Mariota was the Titans' starting signal-caller then -- and outgained the Titans 361-106 while punting just once. The 2019 Ravens are a much better team than the 2018 group as Lamar Jackson has clearly upgraded the quarterback spot over Joe Flacco.
Jackson is likely going to win NFL MVP honors and he set the league single-season rushing record for a quarterback. Tailback Mark Ingram was a top free-agent offseason acquisition and also topped 1,000 yards on the ground. He's active for Saturday's game despite dealing with a calf injury. Baltimore led the NFL with 3,296 rushing yards in 2019, the most in league history. This team is well-rested and healthy after not just having a bye last weekend but also sitting many starters in a meaningless Week 17 game. The Ravens are on a seven-game ATS winning streak against AFC foes.
Why the Titans can cover
Tennessee has won eight of its past 11 games overall including last weekend's 20-13 upset at the New England Patriots, perhaps ending the NFL's greatest dynasty on the Pats' own field. Of the Titans' nine regular season wins, five were on the road. They also beat a very good Kansas City Chiefs in Nashville, so there's little doubt this team can compete with the league's best clubs. The Titans are 6-2 against the spread in their past eight games and have covered their past four on the road.
They might have the perfect antidote to keeping Jackson and the NFL's highest-scoring offense off the field in Henry. The 2019 league rushing king is almost impossible to bring down on the first tackle at 6-foot-3, 250 pounds. Henry went off against the Patriots' No. 1 defense for a franchise playoff-record 182 yards rushing. Those were the most in any NFL playoff game since January 2008. The Ravens also haven't been a good bet as home favorites of late, going 2-7 ATS in their past nine.
How to make Ravens vs. Titans picks
We can tell you Tierney is leaning under, but he also says a critical x-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back. He's sharing what it is, and which side to back, only at SportsLine.
Who wins Titans vs. Ravens in the NFL Playoffs 2020? And what critical x-factor makes one side a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Ravens vs. Titans spread you should be all over Saturday, all from the expert who's 9-1 on picks involving Baltimore.