So have you been watching The Masters? I have. Don't tell my bosses, but to be honest, I've hardly gotten any work done today. I've been too busy watching golf. Frankly, if not for the weather delay that allowed me to get some stuff done, you might not be reading this newsletter right now!
But let's keep that between you and me, all right? A little secret between friends.
Anyway, while the golf is golfing along, we've got even more for you tonight. There's a big NFL game on the docket, as the Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts will battle for first place in the NFC South. I have to say, I prefer this new model of Thursday night scheduling that sees more significant matchups. In previous years, if there had been an NFC South game tonight, it would have been the 2-6 Texans against the 1-7 Jaguars. Or, worse yet, an NFC East game.
We've also got an interesting college game in the Mountain West between Boise State and Colorado State to watch or at least flip to during the NFL game commercials. Then, tomorrow morning, The Masters starts all over again. It's going to be a fabulous weekend. Now, before we get to tonight's picks, make sure to read up on anything you might have missed while you've been watching the golf.
- Connecticut is about to become the College Basketball Capital of the World.
- The Lakers don't plan on having fans attend games for a while.
- The whole world will spend a half-hour complaining about The Weeknd this February.
- Alabama, LSU players allegedly were held at gunpoint by police.
To the picks!
All times Eastern, and all odds via William Hill Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
Colts at Titans, 8:20 p.m. | TV: Fox
The Pick: Titans +1 (-110): The line opened with Tennessee as a 2.5-point favorite at home against the Colts, and a lot of people liked what they saw. There was massive action on the Colts at that number. So much so that it pushed the line to where it is now, with the Titans as tiny little underdogs at home. And this is precisely the spot where we want to buy back on the Titans.
Want picks in your inbox every weekday afternoon? Click here to subscribe to our CBS HQ PM newsletter
The spread in this game is small for a reason. These are two evenly matched teams, and they'll be going strength on strength and weakness on weakness. There's no glaring matchup between the two that stands out as a definitive reason to like one over the other. That's why sharps were happy to take 2.5 points with the Colts when they could get it, and it's why we're more than happy to take a Titans team that opened as a favorite now getting a point. If you'd like to take the Titans straight up, I'm good with it, but I like paying for the one point of insurance in this one.
Key Trend: Indianapolis is 1-4 ATS in its last five games against teams with a winning record.
🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: R.J. White has been dominating the NFL this season and he has a play on tonight's game that he loves.
💰 The Picks
The Pick: Derrick Henry Over 78.5 Rushing Yards (-115) -- I'll have more props below, but this is my favorite one on the board tonight. If we look at Derrick Henry's career numbers against the Colts, we see that he doesn't perform as well against them as he does other opponents. He's averaged 72.9 yards per game in eight games and has only three touchdowns. If we look closer, however, we see a trend emerging. In his first two career games against Indianapolis, Henry only had one carry for three yards. That skews the career averages a lot. In his six games against them since, he's averaged 96.7 yards per game. In the last three games, he's averaging 108 yards, thanks in large part to tearing the Colts up for 149 yards last December. The Colts have a great rush defense, and because of that, this total is too low.
Key Trend: Henry is averaging 96.7 rushing yards per game in his last six games against the Colts.
🏈 College Football
Colorado State at Boise State, 8 p.m | TV: FS1
The Pick: Over 61.5 (-110) -- I want to make one thing clear off the bat: do not place this bet until you know who Boise State's starting QB is. If it is Hank Bachmeier or Jack Sears, bet it. If it's Cade Fennegan or anybody else, avoid the total and consider taking Colorado State and the points instead. Or avoid it entirely. These teams have been bad defensively to start the season, allowing explosive plays at an alarming rate. However, if Fennegan is forced to start, Boise will become a lot more passive on offense. That's what we saw last week against BYU. With Jack Sears starting, Boise was testing BYU's defense vertically and succeeding. Once Sears left the game with a concussion, that gameplan went out the window. It was hand-offs and short throws.
Key Stat: Boise State and Colorado State rank 73rd and 101st respectively in defensive success rate against the pass.
Here's what SportsLine has to say about the game: The Advanced Computer Model sees a couple of plays in this game it likes.
💸 The DFS Rundown
Your MVP or Captain
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Titans -- I know I've told you to take the over on Henry's rushing yards, but while I like Henry tonight, and you should roster him, I prefer Tannehill as my MVP. I wouldn't be surprised if we see the Titans try to "soften" up the Colts rush defense by throwing against it early to make room for Derrick Henry.
Also, it's difficult to ignore Tannehill's home/road splits this season. He's averaging only 235.6 yards per game in five home starts, but he's throwing three touchdowns per game and has thrown only one interception. In three road starts, his yardage total climbs to 267.7 per game, but he's thrown only four touchdowns total. Keep that touchdown stat in mind when you see my props for tonight as well.
Anthony Firkser, TE, Titans -- OK, so here's our challenge. How do we manage to fit Tannehill, Henry and A.J. Brown in as many lineups as possible? We turn to Anthony Firkser! Firkser isn't a big part of the Titans offense, but he does see targets. He's averaging 4.4 targets per game this season, which isn't bad at his price. Don't expect big points from Firkser, but if he does catch a few passes or even a touchdown, it could be a massive night for you.
Full lineup advice
SportsLine's team of DFS insiders has you covered for daily fantasy sports. Mike McClure has won almost $2 million playing DFS, and Jacob Gibbs was ranked as one of the nation's most accurate Fantasy experts last year. Plus, use SportsLine's all-new DFS Optimizer to get optimal NFL DFS picks from 10,000 simulations.
🏈 Thursday Night Football Props
- Ryan Tannehill Over 1.5 Passing TD (-140)
- Ryan Tannehill Over 8.5 Rushing Yards (-140)
- Anthony Firkser Over 2.5 Receptions (-115)
- Jordan Wilkins To Score TD (+275)