colts titans player props picks
PHOTO CREDIT: CRAIG DUDEK

The Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans meet for the second time this season on Sunday afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Colts host the Titans with Indianapolis searching for revenge from a 25-16 defeat in Nashville back in Week 3. A win for the Colts would bring them within a game of Tennessee atop the AFC South, quite the feat after their 0-3 start to the season.

Let’s take a look at this NFL Week 8 matchup with our best Titans vs. Colts player props picks.

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Titans vs. Colts Player Props

Jonathan Taylor Under 78.5 Total Rushing Yards

The Colts have gotten rolling at the same time as Jonathan Taylor, and that’s unlikely a coincidence. Taylor has topped 100 yards on the ground in all three of his team’s wins and has failed to top 64 yards in Indy’s four losses. One of those losses was to this Tennessee team, against whom he mustered just 10 carries for 64 yards on the ground.

Tennessee has made it tough on opposing rushers all season, allowing only Jacksonville’s James Robinson to top 64 yards rushing. That No. 9 ranked Titans run defense, which allows just 103.3 yards per game, is built largely upon its ability to control games with its own rush attack.

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With Derrick Henry leading the league’s No. 3 rush unit to help the team to its current 5-2 record, the Titans defense doesn’t find itself on the field much.

Tennessee’s opponents have run the 18th least plays in the league and the sixth-least when the Titans are on the road. That’s bound to happen when the opposition is only seeing the ball for 27:04 per game, the second-least amount of time in the NFL, including just 24:35 in Tennessee’s road games, the league’s lowest mark.

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With Tennessee often winning by large margins in the second half, opponents are forced to switch to the pass to make the most of their precious minutes with the football. The Titans’ opponents, thus, have attempted the fifth-least rushes per game (23.0) and own the fifth-smallest rushing percentage (36.34% of offensive plays).

Taylor has not topped 18 rushes in a game yet this season and could be used as more of a weapon in the passing game in this one. With Carson Wentz heating up and with T.Y. Hilton expected to return for the Colts, we could see a modest effort on the ground from Taylor, even in a game the Colts could steal at home.

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Carson Wentz Over 1.5 Touchdown Passes

As mentioned, T.Y. Hilton should return to the Indianapolis lineup on Sunday, making Carson Wentz an even more dangerous quarterback here. Hilton has only featured once this season, catching all four targets for 80 yards against Houston in a game the Colts won, 31-3. Tennessee has struggled to defend the pass against teams with three quality wide receivers, which Indy should now bring to the table.

Indianapolis lost its first three games of the season. Relatedly, Wentz threw just three touchdown passes in those outings. However, since the Colts got hot, winning three of the next four games, with the sole loss coming in overtime, so did Wentz. He threw multiple touchdown passes in each of those games, meaning he has now done so in five of his team’s seven contests.

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Wentz threw the ball 37 times against Tennessee in the first go-round this season, his second highest pass attempt number in 2021. And he may look to do so again today, given the Titans’ staunch run defense and propensity to give up receiving touchdowns in bursts.

Tennessee has given up multiple touchdown passes to receivers four times already this season, including four to Arizona in Week 1. Starting in Week 2, they allowed two receivers to score in every other game, setting Indy up to continue that streak today.

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Week 3 against the Colts was actually the only week in which an opposing team did not score a receiving touchdown against the Titans this year, but Wentz and his team look a whole lot healthier and more explosive now than they were in the first meeting, when he has hobbling around on two busted ankles from an Aaron Donald hit the previous week.

With Wentz healthier, at home, and loaded with weapons, expect him to throw at least two touchdowns against a bottom half scoring defense that owns the ninth worst passing yardage numbers against it in the NFL.

Zach Pascal Anytime Touchdown Scorer

If our hunch is correct about Carson Wentz having fully turned the corner and being primed for a breakout game here, then his impending touchdown passes have to go to somebody. We think Zach Pascal is a brilliant under-the-radar possibility to be on the receiving end of at least one of them.

While not possessing the established career of T.Y. Hilton or the limitless upside of Michael Pittman Jr., Pascal has still solidified an important role in this Indianapolis passing offense. He sits a clear second on the team in targets (35), receptions (21), receiving yards (218), and touchdown catches (3).

Pascal, a big slot receiver reminiscent of Cooper Kupp in build, should be able to decimate this Tennessee defense which has struggled to defend the slot all season long. Slot receivers are averaging 5.6 catches and 75.6 yards per game against the Titans, including three touchdowns. Two of those three scores came in Tennessee’s three road games where slot guys averaged 6.7 catches and 97.7 yards per game against them.

As mentioned earlier, Tennessee’s pass defense has struggled overall this season, ranked 24th in the league. The Titans have allowed 12 touchdowns through the air thus far, including two per game on the road.

Pascal scored his touchdowns this season against the Seahawks and Rams, two teams also ranked in the bottom 12 in the league in passing yards allowed per game. With Hilton back out there to draw attention this time around against Tennessee, expect Pascal to find his way into the end zone.

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