Monday Night Football Betting: Can the Bills Slow Down King Henry?

Derrick Henry has been a beast again this season, but the Bills have been playing some tough defense, as well. How does numberFire's betting model see this matchup playing out?

This week’s finale features the red-hot Buffalo Bills heading to Nashville to take on the Tennessee Titans. After losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers at home to start the season, the Bills have posted four massive wins, including last week's dominant performance on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Titans shellacked the Jacksonville Jaguars last week but have otherwise had an up-and-down season so far.

Here is how numberFire ranks each team heading into tonight’s game using our nERD metric and Net Expected Points (NEP):

Team nERD nERD Rank Off NEP Rank Def NEP Rank
Buffalo Bills 12.05 1 15 1
Tennessee Titans -3.34 23 20 25

As much as you may want to put Buffalo’s success on Josh Allen and the offense, it has been the Bills' defense that has been the difference-maker. They're numberFire’s top-ranked defense per Adjusted Defensive NEP per play.

Inside the Bets

Our model has the Bills as heavy road favorites, winning outright 71.0% of the time and covering the six-point spread only 49.2% of the time. With odds of -250 and -108 on the Bills' moneyline and spread, respectively, at FanDuel Sportsbook, the implied probabilities are a little too high to find value here. With our model giving the Titans a 47.0% chance to cover, and the point total essentially a coin-flip.

With each having negative odds, our model is saying to stay away from the standard spread, point total, and moneyline bets.

We are projecting Buffalo to score 30 points, so taking the over on their point total of 29.5 might be worthwhile but far from a great value according to our model.

Derrick Henry's longest rush line is set at 18.5 yards. The Bills have surrendered exactly two rushes of 19 yards or longer this season -- one by Patrick Mahomes on a scramble and the other by wide receiver Chase Claypool in the team’s first game.

So no running back has a rush of 19 or more yards against Buffalo this season, which includes Najee Harris and Antonio Gibson. Yes, Henry is a different beast, but the Bills have also allowed the lowest Rushing Success Rate so far this season at a beyond stingy 31.5%. I like taking the under 18.5 yards (-113) for Henry’s longest rush of the game, particularly because this game can get away from the Titans early, forcing them away from the ground game.

Another important fact here -- Josh Norman is no longer on the Bills’ roster.

While Henry may not end up running over the Bills' defense, he may end up doing some damage catching passes. Last week was the first time this season Henry didn’t record a reception and that was because the Titans were comfortably beating the Jaguars.

The first four weeks the Titans were in much closer games (or getting blown out by the Arizona Cardinals), and in those matchups, Henry had at least 19 receiving yards. With a total receiving yards line of 13.5 (-110), I really like this prop, as it doesn’t seem likely that the Titans will be dominating this matchup.

The Bills' offense has become more balanced since their Week 1 loss to Pittsburgh, as they have a pass-to-run ratio of 1.03. Josh Allen's total pass attempts at 37.5 seems like a very high line, so I like the under even at the pricier -122 odds.

When Josh Allen does throw the ball, it's been going to running backs and tight ends more frequently. Over the last three games, tight ends and running backs have a 36% target share, and as this pertains to all Bills receivers, Stefon Diggs under 6.5 receptions having +110 odds presents the best value. Opposing defenses are making sure last year’s receptions and receiving yards leader isn’t the one to beat them.

Final Notes

The Bills are 11-1 against-the-spread (ATS) in their last 12 games, and the Titans are 2-3 ATS in their last five home games. The over has hit in 10 of Tennessee’s last 13 games.