Calling all bettors! The Tennessee Titans went from the AFC’s No. 1 seed in 2021 to a non-playoff team in 2022. Will their dramatic collapse signal more trouble ahead, or could they return to greatness in 2023? And more pressingly, how will free agency and the upcoming NFL draft impact their chances? The following betting odds are based on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Tennessee Titans Super Bowl 58 Odds and Futures
Last February’s early odds for Super Bowl 57 offered clues on what sportsbooks were thinking and how that wove into the thinking of the broader betting market.
For example, the Kansas City Chiefs were the top favorite (+650 odds) of winning this year’s Super Bowl, while the Buffalo Bills were No. 2. Not too shabby as far as year-long predictions go.
But the Los Angeles Rams and Green Bay Packers were Nos. 3 and 4, respectively — though, in fairness, Davante Adams’ status in Green Bay remained unclear at that point. The Titans (No. 9) and Denver Broncos (No. 10) clearly underwhelmed. The Philadelphia Eagles weren’t even in the top third.
Interestingly, the ensuing offseason shook things up in the AFC South, as the Colts traded for someone they believed could lead them to the postseason (Matt Ryan), while the Titans traded star receiver A.J. Brown for what amounted to rookie Treylon Burks.
Indy’s supposed chances improved dramatically, as their odds shifted ahead of the Titans’ (+2240, 12th best), while Tennessee’s plummeted from +2000 to +3800 — tied with the Saints for the 14th worst odds.
These days, the Titans are tied with the Bears for the fourth-worst odds (+8000), which actually makes them one of the most intriguing Super Bowl wagers around. Why? Let’s dive into their 2022 season to find out.
Derrick Henry and Other 2022 Season Takeaways
When the Ryan Tannehill era began in Tennessee — when he officially replaced Marcus Mariota as the weekly starting QB in 2019 — this franchise reeled off a 37-16 regular-season record heading into last Thanksgiving weekend.
For a team that had been 29-32 under Mariota’s watch, this marked an incredible turnaround. They must have been buoyed by their 7-3 start last season, as well as the knowledge that they earned the AFC’s top seed the year before despite losing Brown for four games and all-world RB Derrick Henry for half a season.
After parting ways with Brown, they still had Henry in 2022, plus the talented Burks, the recently perennially talented Robert Woods, and up-and-coming rookie TE Chigoziem Okonkwo. Tack on an elite run defense, and it was easy to understand why the Titans were 7-3 and poised to run away with another AFC South title.
Except … two things. First, as I warned readers last summer, Tennessee’s second-half schedule was brutal, with the Bengals, Eagles, Chargers, and Cowboys on the docket. But as long as they could beat up Houston at home and split their matchups with the Jaguars, they’d be virtually home-free.
Second, injuries ravaged this team. They didn’t have Burks for that first Jags game (or for five other contests). Valuable complementary back Dontrell Hilliard missed most of that Jags game, as well as five others. In total, the Titans were 0-6 in those contests. And Tannehill missed five outings — including narrow losses to Houston (Week 16) and Jacksonville (Week 18).
This confluence of realities — tough second-half matchups and the loss of key playmakers — helped doom this franchise in a season where, in hindsight, they had little room for error, even in the relatively weak AFC South.
No doubt, Henry put the offense on his back. But we might be concerned that a year after his first major NFL injury, he showed additional signs of beginning his post-prime phase.
How is this possible? After all, he led the league with 35 broken tackles on rushing attempts and was No. 2 in rushing yards and rushing scores.
However, he averaged 4.8 yards per carry in his first eight games … and then 4.0 the rest of the way. Only two of his matchups (the Jags twice) featured defenses that were top 10 with respect to yards per carry. But three of his opponents had bottom-five defenses in this category.
One might think Henry’s slowdown coincided with the loss of Tannehill — that Malik Willis and Joshua Dobbs under center made it easier for defenses to stack the box to slow Henry. But that wasn’t the case. In those six late-season games when Tannehill started, Henry averaged only 3.8 yards per carry.
This is critically important for a running back turning 30 next season, and who’s compiled three 300+ carry campaigns in the last four years. While I’m not predicting a crash for Henry in 2023, historical data shows that the combination of his usage and age are yellow flags for a modest decline next season and a yellow flag for a dramatic decline in 2024.
And without an elite Henry in the backfield, this team will need a lot more help this next season.
2023 Offseason Moves
There are few teams I’m more intrigued about this offseason than the Titans. They excel in some areas and are deeply needy in others. The Jaguars are ascending in the division, and the Colts could be tough if they can simply find a top-20 quarterback (easier said than done).
Tennessee might go all in on a Super Bowl run while Henry is still “great.” Or, they might throw in the towel and rebuild around Burks, Okonkwo, and a stellar run D. As a result, their odds could shift wildly these next few months.
NFL Free Agency
In the coming weeks, we’ll update this section with breaking news on key Titans arrivals and departures through free agency and trades, how it impacts their Super Bowl odds, and how it might inform our decision to bet on them to win it all.
In early May, we’ll update this section on key Titans draft picks and UDFA signings, with an eye toward any players who could help catapult them to “solid long shot” status or better.