titans vs patriots player props picks
PHOTO CREDIT: CRAIG DUDEK

With a win on Sunday, the New England Patriots have the opportunity to jump back into the lead in the AFC East, leap over the Tennessee Titans with to a head-to-head tiebreaker, and potentially take hold of the top seed in the AFC with some help from Cleveland Sunday night. To do all of this, they must first find a way to get past the conference’s current top seed, those same Titans.

Let’s take a look at our favorite Titans vs. Patriots player props picks, complete with betting analysis for this NFL Week 12 matchup.

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Ryan Tannehill Over 0.5 Interceptions

This is the perfect guy to have in the perfect spot where he is extremely likely to throw an interception. Ryan Tannehill already leads the league in picks (12) and does not have his star running back, Derrick Henry, to eat up a bulk of the offensive touches anymore. On a team that led the league in rushing just a few short weeks ago, Tannehill has climbed to eighth in the NFL in pass attempts. His team runs the fourth most offensive plays per game in the league, meaning plenty of opportunities for New England to pick one off here.

Tannehill threw four interceptions last week against Houston and has tossed at least one in five of his last six games, part of seven of 11 overall. He will be facing the league’s best scoring defense and one which is sixth best at stopping the pass. New England has produced the third most takeaways per game in the NFL in 2021, generating eight in the last three games alone.

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Within that impressive takeaway statistic is New England’s 1.2 interceptions per game, which is an NFL best. The team’s 4.75 percent interception rate is also the highest in the league and has spiked to over eight percent in the last three weeks. The Patriots have intercepted at least one pass in six straight games. They picked off 13 passes from eight different quarterbacks in that stretch, making it hard to believe the NFL’s leader in interceptions is going to avoid that fate here. After all, Tannehill has thrown 12 interceptions in 12 career games against the Patriots, including at least one in eight of those outings.

New England also boasts J.C. Jackson, who has six interceptions already in 2021, second most in the league. This is no fluke either, as Jackson picked off nine passes during the 2020 season, second in football as well.

Nick Westbrook-Ikhine Anytime Touchdown Scorer

As mentioned, the Titans lost the heart of their offense when Derrick Henry was lost to a foot injury. Tennessee backs have rushed for just one score in the last five games, having instead leaned upon Ryan Tannehill for its scores in the ground game, as the quarterback put up three in that span.

It’s hard to imagine that changing much here against New England’s ninth ranked rushing defense, which has allowed just two runs for scores by backs this season. In fact, the five rushing touchdowns the Patriots have conceded in 2021 average out to the second fewest per game in the league.

As such, Ryan Tannehill will likely have to take to the air in this one, especially if oddsmakers are on the right track and the Patriots deserve to be the heavy favorites they currently are. But, to do this effectively, Tannehill will need to recognize the way that Bill Belichick approaches most games. The New England head coach takes away his opponents’ best one or two weapons and forces other guys to beat his teams.

That would leave guys like Nick Westbrook-Ikhine in favorable coverage situations. Westbrook-Ikhine is the only Tennessee wide receiver other than Brown with multiple scores this season. He is third on the team in receptions, targets, and receiving yards. He caught seven balls last week, three more than in any other game this season, and topped 100 yards for the first time in his career.

Not many positions have had success scoring against New England this season, but the Patriots did allow a wide receiver into the endzone in six of its 11 games. In fact, the Pats allowed multiple receiver scores in four games this year, the only position group to produce multiple scores against them in any contest.

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Jonnu Smith Anytime Touchdown Scorer

The Titans have been stingy against tight ends around the endzone this season, allowing just three to score against them all year. However, we have seen New England utilize its own tight ends to great effect in the red zone, getting them free for eight touchdowns already, all from 20 yards out or less. Seven of those were scored by Hunter Henry and just one by our selection here, Jonnu Smith.

But, with all eight of those tight end scores coming in the last eight weeks, it’s undeniable that Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels have the play calling ideas to get that position open with regularity for their young quarterback. And, with Belichick facing his old charge, Mike Vrabel, a guy who has beaten his former coach both times his Titans have faced the Pats, you have to expect Belichick will want to rub things in here if he can.

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After all, when Vrabel knocked the Patriots out of the playoffs two seasons ago, he employed a Belichick tactic to drain much of the fourth quarter clock, irritating the New England head coach. Wouldn’t the icing on the cake for Belichick here be to throw a touchdown to the tight end he nabbed from the Titans in free agency?

Smith may have just 22 catches in 10 games, but he is still fifth on this team in targets and is the same guy who scored eight touchdowns for Tennessee last year. He has admitted that much of this season has been a learning process for him and that he is growing more comfortable in his roles and expectations. Don’t be surprised to see him catch one here, returning better than 3:1 on your wager.

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