It will be a classic case of contender versus spoiler when the Titans travel to Houston to complete the regular season.
The Titans may know by kick-off late Sunday afternoon that they've already clinched a playoff berth, which would be the case if either Baltimore loses to Cincinnati or Miami loses to Buffalo in the early games. But if nothing else, the Titans will know the AFC South title is still on the line, since the Colts and Titans – tied atop the division – begin at the same time. Tennessee owns the tiebreaker over the Colts. Most bettors (65.3%) are betting the Titans to win the division.
The 4-11 Texans, who've lost four straight games, are well out of the playoff picture. But Houston would like nothing more than to upend its division rival and potentially put an end to their season.
So let's take a look at what the betting information tells us about this contest:
Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans ATS Betting
Spread – 60.1% of bets have been on the Titans -7.5 points --<end bold> Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson has given the Titans fits in the past, winning three of five starts against Tennessee while throwing for 14 touchdowns (four in one game earlier this season) and just four interceptions. He should be able to keep the Texans within striking range of the Titans, who have the 29th-ranked defense in the NFL – 28th against the pass. The Titans simply haven't shown much of an ability to contain the league's better quarterbacks. The two teams played an extremely close game earlier this season, with the Titans scoring in the closing seconds to force overtime before winning 42-36 in the extra session. It would not be a surprise in the least to see another very close contest.
Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans Moneyline Betting
Moneyline – 81% of bets have been on the Titans to win --<end bold> Given a chance last Sunday to clinch a playoff spot, the Titans put together one of their worst performances of the season and were blasted by Green Bay on national television. So the Titans' theme all this week has been to take full advantage of a rare second opportunity to complete an objective – earning that postseason berth. With that in mind, surely incentive has to count for something, right, especially if the Titans get up early in the game? That said, playing in Houston has been a challenge for the Titans, who'd lost seven straight at the Texans before breaking the streak last year – with Houston sitting starters. I think the Titans will make it two in a row at NRG Stadium, taking the front-door approach to a playoff berth.
Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans Over/Under Betting
Total points – 50.4% of bets have been on the game going OVER the total points line of 56 –<end bold> The Titans' normally reliable offense – averaging 30 points per game this season – fizzled last week in Green Bay, held to just two touchdowns. But a couple factors were in play: First, the Titans were down by three scores early, which took away some of their deliberate, ground-based run attack. Second, the Packers did a good job containing Henry, holding him to a “mere” 98 yards. I don't see Henry or the Titans' offense getting slowed offense against Houston, which has the league's 31st-ranked rushing defense. Henry needs 223 yards to hit the 2,000-yard mark against the Texans, and – considering he's topped 200 yards in each of his last two games against Houston – it's not completely out of the question he'll hit that magic milestone. On the other side of the ball, I am expecting Watson to lead the Texans to plenty of points against a Titans defense that is the worst in the league in both sacks and third-down percentage. The Titans are 11-3-1 this season when it comes to covering the over.
Houston Texans vs. TennesseeTitans Odds
|Team||ML Odds||Point Spread|
|Tennessee Titans||-345||-7.5 (-105)|
|Houston Texans||+325||+7.5 (-110)|