The Tennessee Titans are making a push for the playoffs, winning six of their last seven games. The Arizona Cardinals, on the other hand, are headed in the opposite direction, losing three of their last four times out. Tennessee will play as a short road favorite when it takes on Arizona on Sunday afternoon out in the desert.
NFL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 21.7-20.2 Titans (NFL picks on every game.)
For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week's top sports betting news, check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.
Why the Titans can cover the spread
The Titans are 2-0 both straight up and against the spread since that loss to Pittsburgh three weeks ago, after beating Houston last week 24-13. Tennessee spotted the Texans the first 10 points of the game but scored the next 17 to take the lead for good. Favored by seven and up by four, the Titans tacked on one last score when Derrick Henry went 75 yards with less than a minute to go for the cover.
On the afternoon, Tennessee outrushed Houston 198-53. So the Titans have outrushed five of their last seven opponents. Maybe that's why they're 6-1 over that span.
At 8-4 overall, Tennessee is tied for the lead in the AFC South with Jacksonville, and it owns the head-to-head tiebreaker on the Jaguars, with one meeting left to go.
Why the Cardinals can cover the spread
The Cardinals pulled an upset of those Jags two weeks ago but couldn't back that up last week, falling to the Rams 32-16. Arizona fell down to Los Angeles 16-0 early, pulled to within 16-13 but could get no closer.
On the day, the Cardinals actually outgained the Rams 312-303 and outrushed Los Angeles 118-90, even without Adrian Peterson. But two Blaine Gabbert interceptions led directly to 14 Rams points.
Arizona also had both an extra-point attempt and a field goal blocked for four more lost points.
The Cardinals have outgained four of their last five opponents, and eight of their last 11 foes. At 5-7, Arizona needs to win out from here to have any chance of making the playoffs.
As is often the case in the NFL the team that wins the ground battle will probably win this game and cover this spread, and that team is most likely to be Tennessee. Smart money here tickles the Titans.
NFL betting trends
The Titans are 0-3 ATS in their last three games against the Cardinals.
The favored team is 3-0 SU in its last three games in this matchup.
The Titans are 5-18-2 ATS in their last 25 games in December.
All NFL odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.