NFL Week 17 Picks: Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans Predictions

Picks from Ben Rolfe for Week 17's AFC South matchup between the Titans and Texans
Ben Rolfe
Sat, January 2, 12:53 PM

Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans Predictions

  • The Houston Texans are 5-10 against the spread this season
  • The over has hit in six of the Titans last seven games

The Titans are another AFC team in a win and you’re in situation, while the Texans players are fighting for pride. This game is full of history between two divisional teams that are used to juking it out for the division deep into the season. However, now the Texans have the opportunity to play spoiler to the Titans, a chance they will want to take.

The problem for the Texans is that their defense simply cannot stop the run. They allow five rushing yards per attempt, which ranks last in the league, while also ranking 29th against the pass. This defense has allowed over 100 rushing yards in seven of their last eight. They also allowed 263 rushing yards to the Titans in Week 6, when these two teams last faced off.

The Titans offense operates through the run game first and foremost. They have gone over 100 rushing yards in all but three games this season. They average five yards per rush attempt (third-best), and 160 rushing yards per game. This should be a game where Derrick Henry has his way with the Texans throughout. We have also seen that even when the Titans have a game under control, they like to stick the knife in.

That is partly because the Titans defense is a major concern. They have allowed over 40 points twice in the last four weeks. They have also allowed over 30 points seven times, including against the Texans. Competent offenses have been able to move the ball against this defense, which ranks last in third down conversion percentage.

The Texans have struggled this year, but they are a competent offense. They rank first in net passing yards per attempt at 7.4 and sixth in average yards per drive. Are they the complete package? Absolutely not, but they can make the Titans play hard for a full game. If that is the case, I can see the Titans coming away with this in the second half. Yes it will be a slug fight in the first half, but the Texans willpower is only going so far.

When I project this game, the most likely outcome is the Titans to win by 7-10 points. There is enough probability that they win by eight or more than I am willing to lay the 7.5 points and take the Titans. This game is also a prime six-point teaser. Take the Titans down to -1.5 and back them to simply beat a 4-10 Texans team. It may not be an easy win, but it should be a solid leg in a teaser.

When it comes to the total, the over feels very much in play. The Texans were stifled by the Colts and Bears in recent games, but they are still a potent offense against mediocre defenses. Look for these two teams to combine for around 60 points. The over on the Texans at 23.5 is also in play, while I expect the Titans to be around, if not over their total of 32.5.

NFL Expert Picks

1u – Tennessee Titans -7.5 @ -108

1u – Over 56 total points @ -109

NFL Free Picks

2020 is in the books and we're starting 2021 with the final week of the NFL regular season, as the playoff places and playoff order are finally locked up. Every game is on Sunday this week with Sunday Night Football being the NFC East clash between the Washington Football Team and the Philadelphia Eagles. On Sunday we have a number on win-and-in games, where a victory would see playoff football. Nearly every game has something riding on it, be it playoff seeding, or players playing for their futures. It's a big week.

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Ben Rolfe
@benrolfe15
Ben is a football guru with years of experience covering the NFL. You can always count on Ben to pick a winner on Sunday!
Nov 2020
Record
Wins
3
Losses
3
Push
0
ROI
-4.55%
0Betslip

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