It wouldn’t have been a surprise if I told you sometime last month that the Chiefs, 49ers, and Packers would be playing on conference championship weekend. I’m not sure the same could be said of the No. 6 seed Titans, who remain standing after a pair of stunning road victories to reach the doorstep of the Super Bowl. After the latter of those upset wins in Baltimore on Saturday, the Titans have shifted from Super Bowl longshot to legitimate title contender. A look at the evolution of their Super Bowl odds reflects just how improbable this magical run seemed not all that long ago.
The Titans entered the season with reasons for optimism following a 9-7 campaign in 2018, but even the most hopeful of outlooks didn’t forecast a potential championship run. Well, at least the most hopeful of outlooks from those outside of Nashville.
In the days leading up to the regular season, the Titans were a +5500 longshot to win it all. For the sake of comparison, AFC Championship Game opponent, the Kansas City Chiefs, were +850.
Those odds received an immediate jolt following a surprising Week 1 43-13 rout of the Browns, cutting the number to +4500. However, those odds would skyrocket to +13000 by mid-October in the wake of a miserable 16-0 loss to the Broncos that dropped the Titans to 2-4 and would get Marcus Mariota benched in favor of Ryan Tannehill.
The odds would reach a season peak at +17000 two weeks later after a 30-20 loss to the Panthers. Here’s a visual look the ride:
As it turns out, that morning after that Week 9 loss at Carolina was the time to lock in a bet on Mike Vrabel’s squad to win it all.
The Titans would go on to rip off four straight wins in impressive fashion over the Chiefs, Jaguars, Colts and Raiders, subsequently improving their record to 8-6 and shrinking their Super Bowl odds to +4000 by Dec. 9–the morning after the Oakland win. Consecutive losses to the Texans and Saints followed that shot the price all the way back up to +6000.
Of course, the Titans took care of business to reach the postseason, but their odds weren’t any better at ahead of their playoff opener in New England. Tennessee’s first postseason upset win dropped them to a reasonable +2900 prior to their matchup with the Ravens. Following their convincing victory over No. 1 seed Baltimore last weekend, Tennessee still has the worst odds but finds now finds itself at +750 to win it all.
In terms of their current Super Bowl odds, the Titans’ at +750 odds seems like a reasonable price given they are once again a sizable underdog this week—the Chiefs opened as a 7.5-point favorite at home over the Titans in the AFC Championship Game—and would likely find themselves underdogs against either the 49ers or Packers in Miami next month.
Though they remain the longest shot of the final four teams left standing, if this Titans team has taught us anything over the past few months, odds are that there could be at least one or more twists and turns on this roller coaster of a season.