L.A. Rams vs. Tennessee Titans: NFL betting lines, odds, picks

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Even without Derrick Henry, the Rams are going to get a much stiffer test than what the last three weeks have provided. The Tennessee Titans are in town, sans their elite running back, for Sunday Night Football in Week 9.

The Rams are favored by more than a touchdown for the fourth straight week, after going 1-2 ATS against the Giants, Lions and Texans. The Titans certainly represent an upgrade but expectations are high yet again for one of the NFL’s top teams.

The total on the game still sits at 54, which is interesting given that the spread moved up in favor of the Rams after the Henry announcement earlier this week, but the total did not move at all.

Tennessee Titans at Los Angeles Rams (-7.5, 54)

Tennessee ’s running game takes a huge hit because of Henry’s absence, as the Titans come into the week ranked first in rushing attempts and second in yards. The reliance on Henry wasn’t all about how great of a player he is, as the Titans have also dealt with injuries to wide receivers A.J. Brown and Julio Jones. Both players will have to figure out how to get on the field and stay productive.

There is also some added pressure on quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who really hasn’t played well this season while dealing with the injuries to his wideouts. Tannehill has already matched last year’s total interceptions with seven in just half of the games. He threw 33 touchdown passes last season and had over 3,800 passing yards. He’s nowhere near that pace this season.

To make matters worse, Tannehill has taken 24 sacks, which also matches last year’s total. The Rams’ defense has played better than the stats would indicate because some garbage-time offense from the opposition has factored into the numbers, but both the Buccaneers and Cardinals averaged 6.2 yards per play. Even without Henry, the Titans’ offense is closer to those teams than the Texans or Lions.

It should be another good day for quarterback Matthew Stafford and the offense, though. The Rams lead the NFL in adjusted net yards per pass attempt at 9.2. That is 0.8 yards higher than the Cowboys and 1.2 yards more than the Buccaneers, who are third. No team in the NFL can hold a candle to the efficiency of this passing attack to this point. Stafford has been sacked only eight times and the Rams are second in passing touchdowns and yards per catch.

Tennessee’s defense is a lot better than previous iterations, but the last two weeks have helped tremendously. The Titans had forced only five turnovers in their first six games but have six in the last two. They held the Chiefs and Colts to 334 and 307 yards, respectively, marks only bested by the first game against the Colts back in Week 3. The Rams bring a much better, more efficient offense to the table.

The over is the play here. A lot of people will be surprised with the contributions of Henry’s replacement, Jeremy McNichols, who has been very effective as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. There should be a lot of throws in this game and the Rams’ defense will face better personnel than the last few weeks.

Pick: Over 54

VSiN’s morning show “Follow The Money” with Mitch Moss and Pauly Howard is now on Spectrum SportsNet Monday-Friday from 6-9 a.m. PDT. Tune in or listen anytime at VSiN.com.

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