The San Francisco 49ers travel to Nashville for a Thursday Night Football clash with the Tennessee Titans. The 49ers opened as a 3-point favorite, and as of Wednesday morning the lined had moved to San Francisco -3.5 across the industry.
NFL · Mon (12/12) @ 8:15pm ET
|State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
San Francisco 49ers (8-6, 7-7 ATS) at Tennessee Titans (9-5, 8-6 ATS)
Time: 8:20 p.m. EST
PointsBet Line: 49ers -3.5 (44)
The skinny: A pair of teams that currently are in position to make the playoffs will be meeting in the final Thursday night game of the NFL season.
Facts: San Francisco, coming off a 31-13 victory over Atlanta on Sunday, has a 6-2 record since its 2-4 start, the best mark in the NFC over the past eight weeks. The 49ers prevailed against the Falcons despite an average starting field position of their 19, tied for fourth worst for any team this year.
San Fran’s defense deserves applause for foiling the Falcons three times on drives inside the 10, with Atlanta getting one FG and twice turning the ball over on downs.
Now the 49ers, who played in the late-afternoon time slot in San Francisco last Sunday, have the longest trip of any team that had to play on three days of rest this season.
Tennessee, meanwhile, blew a 13-3 second-quarter lead in last week’s 19-13 loss at Pittsburgh thanks in large part to a -4 turnover margin. The Titans’ turnover differential this season is -7, quite a contrast from when they led the league in 2020 at +11.
Despite the Titans’ status as the third seed in the AFC playoff standings and having a magic number of 2 to clinch the AFC South (thanks to a head-to-head tiebreaker with Indianapolis), this is the eighth time they have been an underdog. Tennessee is 5-2 straight-up in those outings.
Analysis: It wasn’t all bad for the Titans last week.
They held the Steelers to 163 yards of total offense, the lowest for a winning team this season and the third lowest for anyone. Plus, the Titans rushed for 201 yards on 42 carries, with RB D’Onta Foreman accounting for 108 of the yards. The Steelers had only 35 yards rushing.
QB Ryan Tannehill and the Titans also dominated possession with a 33-play edge in offensive snaps. And it would have been more had they not turned the ball over on downs a foot or so short of a first down at the Pittsburgh 10 in the final minute.
Sure, San Francisco’s offense is more potent than the Steelers’ and will get its points, but the 49ers’ defense hasn’t been special with the exception of a stout pass rush. The 49ers are tied for 28th in most rushing TDs allowed and runs of 20-plus yards. Their battered secondary is a key reason why the 49ers are 26th on the defensive passer rating chart.
If Tennessee WRs A.J. Brown and/or Julio Jones decide to play this week, all the better. Both are listed as being game-time decisions.
49ers at Titans Pick
Titans 28, 49ers 23
Last week: 9-7 ATS, 10-6 SU
Season total: 106-115-3 (.480) ATS; 136-87-1 (.610) SU