The New England Patriots have high expectations and expect nothing less than a return to the Super bowl. If that is to happen, they need to win the games they are supposed to win, and the opener against the Tennessee Titans would qualify.
The NFL spread in this game has the Patriots as (-6.5) point favorites over the Titans which may seem like a small number to most people. The public think it is, as the Patriots are one of the top public plays of the week.
The current football consensus reports at Sports Insights show that 79% of the public are betting on the road favorites. It would not be a surprise if this line reached seven points by kickoff. This is due to the popularity of Tom Brady and the success that he has brought to the Patriots and the current issues surrounding the Titans.
The Titans recently found out that stand out wide receiver Kenny Britt will be suspended for the first game of the season. Britt’s suspension stems from an upcoming court battle from his arrest for suspicion of DUI.
The Titans could have used him for game one as the titans will start Jake Locker under center. Locker will have Chris Johnson in the back field and that should take some pressure off the rookie signal caller. Johnson is poised to have a great season and will once again be one of the best running backs in the NFL. The Titans still have a very talented Nate Washington and Jared Cook to catch some passes and move the rock. The Titans should have some success against a Patriots defense that is filling in some new faces.[poll id=”34″]
The Patriots drafted defense heavy to try and improve a unit from a year ago that was victimized on a regular basis. Chandler Jones was drafted to improve the pass rush and Dont’a Hightower will start at linebacker. These are automatic improvements on defense, but it will take some time for this unit to gel. Defense is not the only unit that has yet to gel for the Pats.
The Patriots offensive line has struggled in the preseason and they have rotated several players at center, one of the most pivotal positions on the field. The Patriots have had problems with injuries and have rarely had their offensive line intact for the preseason and the result has been Brady hitting the turf.
Bill Belichick will have one of the best teams in the NFL at the end of the season, but right now they still have plenty of work to do. The Titans will be opening the season at home and have the home crowd to keep them inspired and in this game.
The Titans have had success early in the season in recent years. The Titans are 4-1 against the spread (ATS) in their last five games in Week one and 12-5 ATS in their last 17 games in September.
Locker will be able to control the clock by running the ball with Johnson to open up the passing lanes against a suspect secondary. The Titans may not leave with a victory, but they will keep it close.
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