San Francisco 49ers vs. Tennessee Titans Prediction, Preview, Picks & Odds - 12/23/2021

by Chuck Sommers

Wednesday, Dec 22, 2021
Game time: 8:20 p.m. ET; Dec. 23, 2021
Venue: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN
Where to watch: NFL Network

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings: 49ers -3.5
BetMGM: 49ers -3.5
Caesars: 49ers -3.5

Season record
49ers: 8-6 (3rd place, NFC West)
Titans: 9-5 (1st place, AFC South)

Matt Fargo is on a perfect 5-0 run, and best believe that he’ll look to continue that with a big Week 16. Catch Matt’s plays available right now at the Shop Picks page, where you can find all of the Best Bets from our champion sports handicappers.

49ers - Titans preview and analysis

Last week
49ers: won 31-13 vs. Falcons
Titans: lost 19-13 at Steelers

There may not be a more important Thursday Night Football game to determine playoff positioning than this inter-conference matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Tennessee Titans.

It's a complete contrast in where the teams are going with three weeks to go. The 49ers have won five of six and are on the cusp of a playoff spot and a win on Thursday would essentially lock them into a wild-card position. San Francisco is currently tanked sixth in the NFC and would play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers if the season were to start today.

The 49ers aren't quite out of the NFC West picture. The Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams would need to lose out for San Francisco to have a chance, but that doesn't seem likely after being swept in the season series to Arizona.

San Francisco is coming off a 31-13 win over the Atlanta Falcons. The 49ers' run game punched it in for three touchdowns, and Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 235 yards and another score in what was a dominant effort.

"I think we're peaking at a good time," fullback Kyle Juszczyk said. "We're definitely not playing the best as we can. There's a lot of things that didn't exactly go our way, but we were able to battle back and not let it faze us early on. I feel like we're playing good ball right now and stacking some weeks."

The 49ers have also gotten back to being a dominant defensive team, as evidence of allowing only 13 points to the Falcons. Joey Bosa has six straight games with a sack and a career-high 15 on this season. 

But help could be on the way for the Titans offensively in a must-win matchup. No, not Derrick Henry. That may come in the next couple of weeks. But getting A.J. Brown and Julio Jones potentially back could help Ryan Tannehill in a big way.

Especially after the Titans put up only 13 points in a loss to the struggling Pittsburgh Steelers last week. It was a chance for the Titans to continue hold as the No. 1 seed in the AFC, but that's no longer an option thanks to the Kansas City Chiefs' seven-game winning streak. Tannehill threw for only 153 yards and an interception as the Titans blew a 10-point lead at one point.

The quarterback obviously needs to be better after the running game sans Henry ran for 202 yards.

"We have to hold the ball in much more regard," said Titans coach Mike Vrabel. "We obviously can't do that and think you're going to win."


The 49ers are 3.5-point favorites and I can't help but continue to think they'll keep it rolling. No matter who they put in the backfield -- Jeff Wilson or Elijah Mitchell -- they're running for 100 yards.  George Kittle and Deebo Samuel are as dynamic of a pass-catching duo as there is. The Titans should rebound at home, but I like the 49ers in a one-score game. 49ers by 6

Betting trends

The 49ers are 8-2 ATS as a road favorite of 7 points or less in their last 10.

The 49ers are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 following a win at home.

The Titans are 11-12 ATS in the last three seasons at home.

Players to watch

49ers: In place now as the starting running back, Jeff Wilson ran for 110 yards and a touchdown last week against the Falcons. It’s unlikely we’ll see Elijah Mitchell on Thursday.

Titans: Running back D’Onta Foreman had 135 yards from scrimmage against the Steelers and has recorded 100 rushing yards in two of his last three games.

Statistical leaders

Passing: Jimmy Garoppolo – 3,172 yards, 18 TD, 8 INT
Rushing: Elijah Mitchell – 759 yards, 5 TD
Receiving: Deebo Samuel – 1,088 yards, 5 TD
Defense: Nick Bosa – 15 sacks

Passing: Ryan Tannehill – 3,118 yards, 14 TD, 14 INT
Rushing: Derrick Henry – 937 yards, 10 TD
Receiving: A.J. Brown – 615 yards, 3 TD
Defense: Harold Landry – 11 sacks

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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