Sports Gambling in Tennessee Starts Strong Ahead of Titans-Colts NFL Showdown

Posted on: November 12, 2020, 02:20h. 

Last updated on: November 12, 2020, 02:51h.

With the Tennessee Titans hosting the Indianapolis Colts in Thursday night’s NFL game, it should be a huge night for Tennessee’s fledgling sportsbooks.

Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry
Derrick Henry and the Tennessee Titans will run against the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday in Nashville, Tenn. (Image: George Walker IV/USA TODAY Sports)

Legalized sports betting went live in Tennessee on Nov. 1, with all wagering done online. That will make this the third Titans game available for residents of Nashville, Knoxville, and all points in-between.

It’s been a hit thus far, Jason Scott, BetMGM’s vice president of trading, told

The interest in Tennessee has outstripped all other states in our first fortnight by a minimum of 200 percent. Understandably at this time of year, the majority of bets have come from football, 60/40 in favor of NFL over college,” Scott said.

Scott anticipates even stronger interest in a primetime, stand-alone NFL game. He said he expects Tennessee bettors will wager 50 percent to 75 percent more in this game compared to last week’s victory over the Chicago Bears.

In the Titans’ first two games since sports gambling went live, they failed to cover the spread. “So the bookmakers have an early lead over the customers,” Scott noted.

It should be a strong night in Indiana, too. Indiana’s sports gambling went live last year. In September, Indiana’s handle of $207.4 million ranked as the fifth-most in the nation. It topped that figure with a handle of $230.9 million in October, according to the Indiana Gaming Commission.

AFC South Showdown

The game, a strength-vs.-strength matchup, is a huge one in the AFC South. The Titans are 6-2, having stopped a two-game losing streak last week against Chicago. They’re powered by running back Derrick Henry, who is second in the NFL with 843 rushing yards.

The Colts are 5-3. They’re driven by a hard-charging defense that ranks second in the league with 3.31 yards allowed per carry.

The Titans opened as 2.5-point favorites, but it was Colts -1 at most sportsbooks as of Thursday afternoon.

It’s two good teams, so it’ll be an extremely well-bet game,” said Nick Bogdanovich, the director of trading at William Hill, to “I don’t watch too many Thursday NFL games. I’m anti-Thursday games. It’s too short of a week and these teams are all beat-up. But I might watch this one. I want to see how good (Titans quarterback Ryan) Tannehill is, and if (Colts quarterback Philip) Rivers has anything left.”

As of Thursday afternoon at FanDuel, 78 percent of the spread bets and 62 percent of the spread money was on the Titans. At BetMGM, 88 percent of the bet count and 92 percent of the handle out of Tennessee had been placed on the Titans, Scott said.

The teams will meet again in two weeks.

NFL Week 10 Schedule

Here is the full schedule for the week. Indianapolis at Tennessee, the Buffalo Bills at Arizona Cardinals, and Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams are the only games matching two winning teams. The lines are from William Hill and all times are Eastern.

Thursday’s Game

  • Colts at Titans (+1), 8:20 p.m. (Fox/NFLN)

Sunday’s Games

  • Buccaneers at Panthers (+5.5), 1 p.m. (Fox)
  • Texans at Browns (-3), 1 p.m. (Fox)
  • Redskins at Lions (no line), 1 p.m. (Fox)
  • Jaguars at Packers (-13.5), 1 p.m. (Fox)
  • Eagles at Giants (+3), 1 p.m. (Fox)
  • Bills at Cardinals (-2), 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
  • Broncos at Raiders (-4.5), 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
  • Jets at Dolphins (-2.5), 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
  • Bengals at Steelers (-7.5), 4:25 p.m. (Fox)
  • Seahawks at Rams (-1.5), 4:25 p.m. (Fox)
  • 49ers at Saints (-9), 4:25 p.m. (Fox)
  • Ravens at Patriots (+7), 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Monday’s Game

  • Vikings at Bears (+2.5), 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)