Christian Watson

NFL Player Props: Thursday Night Football Preview

Thursday Night Football is back with a cross-conference contest showdown between two teams with polar opposite trajectories as the division-leading Titans (6-3) travel to face the underperforming Packers (4-5). Betting lines favor the hometown Packers by 3.5 points with the projected Over/Under scoring total set at 41.0.

The Packers have lost four of their last five contests with their most recent victory coming in a nail-biting overtime game against the Cowboys in Week 10. In fact, two of the Packers’ four wins have come in overtime this season. The team is posting decent yardage totals but has yet to translate their respectable offensive output into wins. The Packers’ offense is averaging 368.1 scrimmage yards (13th) per contest with 223.0 passing yards (16th) and 129.3 rushing yards (12th). They have struggled to find paydirt all season, putting up a pedestrian total of 18.5 points per contest, ranked 25th. The Packers’ defense has kept them in close games all season, conceding just 330.8 scrimmage yards (7th) and 21.6 points per game (16th). The Packers impose their will against opposing passers but have difficulties stopping the run, allowing just 179.7 passing yards (3rd) compared to 140.6 rushing yards (26th) on average.

The Titans are odds-on favorites to lead a bottom-feeding AFC South division with another playoff appearance this season. The offense has been lethargic in the passing department, putting up a lowly 148.2 passing yards (31st) with an average of 23.6 pass attempts (30th) per contest). Fortunately, they have supplemented that production with a top-10 rushing attack, tallying 133.4 rushing yards (9th) on average. The Titans have been surprisingly inefficient when in scoring position, averaging a mere 18.4 points per contest, tied for 26th in the NFL this season. The defense has offered little help towards the Titans’ 6-3 record as they allow 380.0 scrimmage yards (25th) per game. The Titans’ defense is shockingly lopsided in their respective departments. They are the second-worst team in the NFL at stemming the passing production of opposing offenses, conceding 272.6 yards per game (31st) while allowing a stifling 85.1 rushing yards (2nd) and 18.7 points (8th) on average.

The Packers’ offense is riding high off their last win and will be looking to keep that momentum rolling against an exploitable defensive matchup. The Titans’ defense will need to level up if they hope to stymie the passing production of a now-confident Aaron Rodgers. However, entering this matchup on a short week after an overtime win could cause the Packers’ offense to stutter. I believe the Titans rushing attack will allow them to keep Rodgers off the field while controlling the clock. Expect a low-scoring Thursday Night slow burn as Derrick Henry and the Titans expose the Packers’ bottom-feeding run defense.

KEYS TO VICTORY

Green Bay Packers

  • High Powered Offense
  • Contain Derrick Henry

Tennessee Titans

  • Improved Pass Coverage
  • Control the Clock and Pound the Rock

INJURY REPORT

Packers Injury Report

Titans Injury Report

GAME PREDICTION

Moneyline: Tennessee Titans

Scoring Prediction: Titans 23 – Packers – 19

Over/Under: Over 41.0

Now that we have introduced the matchup let’s dive into some high-upside player props for this cross-conference clash.

DERRICK HENRY OVER 93.5 RUSHING YARDS

Betting Odds: -125

Long live the King. Derrick Henry is averaging 102.6 rushing yards per game this season, leading the league with 202 carries. He posted six consecutive games with 115 scrimmage yards or more before being forced out of the game script against the Broncos in Week 10. Henry’s menial rushing slash from last week has opened up a window of opportunity for bettors on Thursday Night Football as his current game projections are much lower than his predicted output for the contest. The Packers’ defense concedes an additional 8.8% of rushing production to leading running backs. A potential 8.8% increase to Henry’s 102.6-yard average would smash this disrespectful over/under line.

AARON JONES OVER 24.5 RECEIVING YARDS

Betting Odds: -125

On the surface, it may appear that Aaron Jones has a difficult matchup tonight against the Titans due to their relentless pursuit of opposing ball carriers and consistently low allowance of rushing totals. However, the Titans’ defense is much more susceptible against pass-catching running backs, allowing a 21.1% increase in receiving production on average to opposing backfields. Jones is averaging 22.8 receiving yards and 3.4 receptions per contest but I anticipate an uptick in those averages against one of the league’s worst passing defenses.

CHRISTIAN WATSON OVER 41.5 RECEIVING YARDS

Betting Odds: -105

The Packers’ second-round rookie receiver broke out in a big way in Week 10, catching four of eight targets (40.0%) for 107 yards and three touchdowns. Watson played a career-high 54 snaps (85.2%) with a team-high 86.4% route participation rating. The young wideout may finally be coming into his own as the Packers leading receiver and will receive an excellent matchup to prove his mettle. The Titans’ defensive woes in the secondary are well-documented. The team allows a whopping 30.4% increase in receiving production of opposing wideouts, setting Watson up for yet another career game should his increase in usage continue from the Packers’ previous contest. 

*BONUS ANYTIME TOUCHDOWN PROP*

DERRICK HENRY ANYTIME TOUCHDOWN SCORER

Betting Odds: -125

CHRISTIAN WATSON ANYTIME TOUCHDOWN SCORER

Betting Odds: +210

Please remember to always bet responsibly. Know your limit and play within it.

Much respect; thank you for reading. If you have any continued thoughts and would like to share, I am always available for an open conversation on Twitter: @PsychWardFF or Instagram: @psychwardff.

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