Texans vs. Titans Odds: Which AFC South contender should you bet on?

DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Houston Texans. -(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Houston Texans. -(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

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Texans at Titans Betting Odds

  • Odds: Titans -3
  • Over/Under: 51
  • Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: CBS

Sitting at 8-5 tied atop the AFC South, the Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans will face off in the first of two pivotal matchups this Sunday.

The Titans are favored on their home field, but is there any value on the 3-point spread? Our experts preview this divisional showdown, complete with analysis of the biggest matchups and their picks.

Texans-Titans Injury Report

Which team is healthier? Texans

The key to injury watch with the Texans continues to be Will Fuller, who remains limited in practice due to a lingering hamstring issue.

Derrick Henry (hamstring), cornerback Adoree’ Jackson (foot) and Adam Humphries (ankle) all missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday. Henry’s hamstring is concerning since it was continually being worked on throughout last week’s game. However, he had said that he’ll be “ready to go” this week. Justin Bailey

Note: Info as of Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.

Biggest Mismatch

Texans Pass Offense vs. Titans Pass Defense

Deshaun Watson has an elite 8.3 adjusted yards per attempt over his career, and the Texans have perhaps the NFL’s best wide receiver trio in DeAndre Hopkins, Fuller and Kenny Stills.

Although the field-stretching and offense-opening Fuller has played in only eight full games this season, the Texans are still No. 5 in pass success rate (per Sharp Football Stats). If we remove from the sample the weeks he was out, their ranking jumps up to No. 2.

Fuller missed last week, but he’s practiced some this week, and I expect that he’ll play.

The Texans have gotten surprisingly steady play from tight ends Darren Fells and Jordan Akins, and they have a top-tier pass-catching back in Duke Johnson.

The Titans have a respectable defense, but it’s a total funnel — they rank No. 5 against the run but No. 23 against the pass (per Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric). And they’re likely worse in pass defense than that ranking indicates. No. 1 cornerback Malcolm Butler (wrist, IR) suffered a season-ending injury in Week 9, and they have been No. 30 in opponent pass success rate since then.

And it gets worse: Last week, the Titans were without No. 2 cornerback Jackson, and for the past two weeks, they were without backup cornerback LeShaun Sims (ankle). Both are uncertain to play this week. If Jackson and Sims are out, the Titans will likely start special-teamer Tye Smith and the recently-added past-his-prime veteran Tramaine Brock at perimeter corner.

The Titans are No. 32 in pass defense DVOA against supplementary receivers (usually slot receivers). They’re Nos. 23 and 25 in pass defense DVOA against running backs and tight ends.

The Titans have struggled against aggressive quarterbacks with multiple receiving options this season: Matt Ryan (397 yards), Philip Rivers (329 yards and two touchdowns), Jameis Winston (301 yards and two touchdowns) as well as Patrick Mahomes (446 yards and three touchdowns).

Watson has 300-yards, multi-touchdown potential in this key divisional matchup. Matthew Freedman

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

  • Projected Spread: Titans -4
  • Projected Total: 48

Ryan Tannehill’s strong play has been one of the more surprising stories of 2019. Now he faces a Texans defense that laid down last week, allowing Drew Lock to drop 309 passing yards and three touchdowns in his second career start.

The Texans have struggled to generate pressure with J.J. Watt on the shelf as they have the second-worst pressure rate at 18.3%. Tannehill, meanwhile, has excelled with a 127.3 QB rating when working from a clean pocket. That happens to be the highest mark of qualified quarterbacks, meaning the Texans will have trouble slowing down this Titans offense.

The Texans could be without one of their more explosive players if Fuller is unable to suit up.

Titans -3 is only a lean for now because I want to see if the market moves down to -2.5. I’ll also wait to pull the trigger until we know the status of Fuller and Henry. Sean Koerner

PRO System Match

Since 2003, the under is 835-740-29 (53.0%) in division games. Unders have been a smart play in division games as increased familiarity between teams creates a lower-scoring environment.

It may seem obvious to some bettors, but it’s been more profitable to take the under in division games with high totals (more than 44 points) — it’s just easier for unders to cash when more points are expected to be scored.

Following this Pro System, bettors have gone 189-113-3 (62.6%) since 2003. A $100 bettor would have returned a profit of $6,658 following this strategy.

A majority of tickets are on the over (see live public betting data here), but history suggests the smart play is the under. John Ewing

Expert Pick

Freedman: Texans +3

Watson has been his best in adverse circumstances. His career doesn’t offer a huge sample of games, but his splits are suggestive: In his 16 games as an underdog, he’s averaged 25.2 DraftKings points per game (per our FantasyLabs Trends Tool).

And we see these same splits reflected in his record against the spread. As a dog, he is 11-5 (35.2% ROI). Plus, I think the Texans will be able to move the ball through the air: The Titans are without their top-three perimeter cornerbacks.

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Freedman is 508-383-21 (57%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.