NFL upset of the week: Titans are built to beat Ravens
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Each week during the NFL season, we'll focus on one underdog with a chance to pull off the outright upset. Last week, we hit once again with the Giants (+160) easily beating the Eagles, bringing our record to 4-6 on moneyline underdogs with +1.1 units won.

We don't love the value across the board this week, so we'll take a swing on a talented Titans team (+220) in a favorable matchup with the struggling Ravens.

Ravens' offense floundering

A year after boasting the top scoring offense in the league, Baltimore simply can't score. The Ravens posted three or fewer offensive touchdowns in seven of their nine games this year, including three straight games with 24 points or fewer.

Their offense can't find a rhythm, and it's not just on the scoreboard. Baltimore ranks 21st in yards per play (5.5) and 27th in first downs per game (19.7), and it's been almost entirely shut down by teams with speed on defense that can match the Ravens side-to-side and in the deep passing game.

The Titans stretched the field beautifully against this team in the playoffs a year ago, and they can follow that blueprint Sunday.

A proven path to victory

If you're having trouble envisioning a Tennessee win this weekend, just think back to 10 months ago, when Derrick Henry ran roughshod all over Baltimore and Lamar Jackson struggled to stretch the field against the Titans' speedy defense. The pieces are there for a similar approach.

One of Tennessee's biggest struggles this year has been pass protection. Ryan Tannehill has completed 71% of his passes in a clean pocket this year and 47.3% of his passes when pressured, which tracks with his performance in his 2019 breakout, too. The Ravens blitz 44% of the time, most in the NFL, but they're among the least efficient with those blitzes and rank 14th in hurry percentage (9.6%).

They also struggled to contain Damien Harris (121 yards) a week ago and likely still have nightmares about Henry's 195-yard performance from January. If Henry gets to the edge against an ill-timed Baltimore blitz, it's game over. That's to say nothing of Baltimore's thinning secondary, which could lead to high-leverage opportunities for Tannehill if the Ravens' blitz doesn't get to him in time.

Why the Titans will win

Tennessee already found the formula for beating the Ravens, and it seems other teams have, too. Jackson complained a week ago that opposing defenses are "calling out our plays," and while offensive coordinator Greg Roman minimized the issue, it's still a concern as Baltimore faces a team that flummoxed its offense in a high-profile spot 10 months ago.

The Titans' much-maligned defense has had 10 days to prepare for the Ravens in addition to what it gleaned from their last matchup, while their offense is ideally built to challenge Baltimore. This moneyline should be much closer to +160 or so, making this +220 price well worth the shot.

(Odds source: theScore Bet)

C Jackson Cowart is a betting writer for theScore. He's an award-winning journalist with stops at The Charlotte Observer, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Times Herald-Record, and BetChicago. He's also a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and his love of sweet tea is rivaled only by that of a juicy prop bet. Find him on Twitter @CJacksonCowart.

NFL upset of the week: Titans are built to beat Ravens
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