- The Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans have each covered the spread just once this year
I, like about 75% of the betting public, was dead wrong about the Tennessee Titans on Tuesday. I assumed they’d come in off of a 16-day break looking rusty and get flattened by a solid Bills team, but the Titans were the ones doing the flattening.
This week, as they take on the Houston Texans, I’m walking right back into the same trap...
Houston is 1-4 on the year and in a tie for last in the AFC South with the Jaguars, but that record is a little deceiving. They’ve lost to the Chiefs, Ravens, Steelers and Vikings. The loss to the Vikings is an unfortunate misstep, but Kansas City, Baltimore and Pittsburgh are a combined 12-2 on the season.
Another factor pointing toward the Texans being a better team than their 1-4 record is their rank in DVOA. Following Week 5, Houston has a 2.1% DVOA, which ranks 13th in the NFL and indicates they’re a slightly above average NFL team.
Meanwhile, at -1.1%, the 4-1 Titans rank 15th in the NFL as a slightly below average squad. These two teams are incredibly close, which leads me to taking the points with the Texans.
Not only are the Titans coming off a short week, but Deshaun Watson as had consistent success against them in his career. In four games against Tennessee, he’s thrown for 1,046 yards and 10 touchdowns while completing 72.65% of his passes and racking up a 3-1 record.
Could the Titans come out and run the Texans over in blowout fashion just like they did the Bills? Absolutely. The one thing that worries me is the Derrick Henry’s ability to run through basically anyone coupled with a Texans defense that give us 160.4 rushing yards per game, but I think the Texans will hang around.
I still don’t 100% believe in the Titans as an elite team in the NFL, and I think the Texans are better than their record would have you assume. Both teams have covered the spread just once this season, so I’m taking the 3.5 points.
NFL Expert Picks
Texans +3.5 @ -110
NFL Free Picks
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