This week in Tennessee sports news: the Titans end a dynasty, the Grizzlies stun the Clippers on the road, and the Predators stumble in the Winter Classic. As always, here at Action247 we customize our free to play sports betting games to what’s most relevant locally and nationally. Make sure to come back daily to maximize your chances at real cash prizes!
The Tennessee Titans may have just ended one of the greatest dynasties in sports history. With a 20-13 win over Tom Brady and the Patriots in New England, the Titans move on to face the Super Bowl favorite Baltimore Ravens (+200 to win it all) in the Divisional Round.
Tennessee was led by Derrick Henry, who grew stronger and gained control as the game went on to finish with 204 total yards and a score. His 182 rushing yards marked a new franchise postseason record. Head Coach Mike Vrabel, facing the team and coach who traded him away as a player in 2008, relied on a conservative game plan and his best player to shorten the game.
Leaving the Pats dynasty in a state of flux, the Titans will now travel to Baltimore to take on Lamar Jackson and the 14-2 Ravens. Sportsbooks aren’t showing much respect to Tennessee after their franchise-altering win as they open as 9.5-point underdogs. If the Titans are to pull off another shocking upset, they’ll need to continue to rely on one of the league’s best running attacks and hope to create deep chances with the occasional play-action. It’s a tall task, but this team has proven it is for real.
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Nashville’s defensive woes continued in the 2020 NHL Winter Classic, a 4-2 loss to the Dallas Stars. The Preds bounced back on Saturday with a 4-1 road win over the Kings, but the week ends with the Predators on the outside of the playoff picture. Nashville will look to tighten things up this week against the Ducks, Bruins, and Blackhawks.
The Predators are clearly not playing up to their talent level, which has led to the blame game. Head Coach Peter Laviolette is feeling deserved heat as his squad seems unable to play a strong and clean 60 minutes on a consistent basis. Goalie Pekka Rinne, a long-time franchise favorite, is starting to face some criticism as well. He’s having one of his worst seasons statistically, but that has been influenced by an over-aggressive defense.
If Nashville is to turn this season around, it will start with a more disciplined approach on defense. The identity change will have to be inspired by veteran leaders and Laviolette. Rinne needs help and it’s evident that the Preds can’t just rely on their offensive firepower to carry them.
After the Grizzlies dropped one to the Kings last Thursday, Memphis handed the Clippers their worst home loss of the season on Saturday, 140-114. Los Angeles, a championship contender at 25-12, was booed off the court by their home fans.
The Grizzlies had four players finish with 20+ points in the victory — Jae Crowder led the way with 27, Jaren Jackson Jr. put up 24, and Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks scored 22 apiece. Crowder, who has been involved in trade rumors as the deadline nears, also posted eight rebounds and seven assists.
Rookie Ja Morant continued his impressive play in the win, shooting 7-of-10 from the field with nine assists. When Ja is going good, so is the offense. Although both Paul George and Patrick Beverly were out for the Clippers, the Grizzlies’ 140 points came against one of the best defensive teams in the league.
Morant is one of the Top 10 guards in the NBA All-Star fan voting thanks to a stat line of 17.6 points and 6.5 assists per game while shooting 47.7% from the field. Morant is not only on pace to win the Rookie of the Year; he is emerging as one of the most exciting young stars in the league.
Weekly Tennessee Sports Schedule
NFL Divisional Round Weekend: Titans at Ravens – Sat 1/11 @ 7:15 PM
Tennessee @ Missouri – Tue 1/7 @ 6:00 PM
Timberwolves @ Grizzlies – Tue 1/7 @ 7:00 PM
Vanderbilt @ #5 Auburn – Wed 1/8 @ 8:00 PM
#21 Memphis @ #23 Wichita State – Thu 1/9 @ 6:00 PM
Spurs @ Grizzlies – Fri 1/10 @ 7:00 PM
South Carolina @ Tennessee – Sat 1/11 @ 12:00 PM
Texas A&M @ Vanderbilt – Sat 1/11 @ 2:30 PM
#21 Memphis @ South Florida – Sun 1/12 @ 3:00 PM
Warriors @ Grizzlies – Sun 1/12 @ 5:00 PM
Bruins @ Predators – Tue 1/7 @ 7:00 PM
Predators @ Blackhawks – Thu 1/9 @ 7:30 PM
Predators @ Jets – Sun 1/12 @ 1:00 PM
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