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Titans at Texans Picks, Predictions & Betting Odds
- Odds: Titans -3.5
- Over/Under: 45
- Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: CBS
This is a win-and-get-in game for the Tennessee Titans.
Entering the week as the AFC’s current No. 6 seed, the Titans would officially clinch the conference’s final spot with a victory over their division rivals. But the Texans still have a chance at the No. 3 seed (pending whether the Chiefs can beat the Chargers), so it’s not like Houston has nothing to play for.
With the stakes in mind, our experts preview this matchup and make their pick.
Titans-Texans Injury Report
Which team is healthier? Titans
The Titans could be without cornerback Adoree’ Jackson (foot) and Adam Humphries (ankle) as they’ve still been unable to practice. After his week of rest in a game that didn’t mean much, Derrick Henry (hamstring) is back to practicing in full. He should be a full go on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Will Fuller (hamstring) isn’t expected to suit up and DeAndre Hopkins is currently battling an illness. Based on my tracking of nearly every injury all season, players have rarely missed games due to illness. However, the biggest question here is the Texans’ motivation.
Bill O’Brien claims he’s playing everyone, but if the Chiefs win in the early window of games, the Texans will have nothing to play for. It seems foolish for them to risk the health of their starters, especially since Deshaun Watson is listed on their report with back injury heading into this game. — Justin Bailey
Note: Info as of Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.
Texans Special Teams vs. Titans Special Teams
The Titans are now on their fourth kicker of the season in Greg Joseph, who they plucked from the Panthers practice squad. That’s not ideal for a special teams unit that’s struggled across the board. Meanwhile, the Texans have had one of the NFL’s better special teams units this season.
Just take a look at the discrepancies in most of the important categories:
- Texans 80% field-goal conversion rate vs. Titans 44.4%
- Texans lead NFL in kick return coverage vs. Titans 21st
- Texans lead NFL in punt return coverage vs. Titans 24th
- Texans 15th in kick return average vs. Titans 24th
- Texans fifth in punt return average vs. Titans 11th
DeAndre Carter, who was a substitute teacher only a couple years ago, has done a nice job for Houston. Tennessee’s return game has been better since Khalif Raymond took over punt and kickoff return duties, but he suffered a concussion in last week’s loss, so his status remains uncertain.
The one area that’s essentially a wash is punting: Both teams rank in the top-five in net average. If you remove the two games Texans punter Bryan Anger missed this season, they actually have superior punting stats — although the difference is marginal.
Per Football Outsiders, the Texans have the fourth-best special teams unit while the Titans come in at 28th.
In the first matchup a few weeks ago, the Titans had their only field-goal attempt blocked. They lost by three in a game in which the Texans made their only attempt. That ultimately part of the reason the Titans need to win this game and no longer have a shot at the division.
The Titans also had another field goal blocked at the end of the Bucs game — it was returned for a touchdown and should’ve cost them a win if the refs hadn’t incorrectly blown the whistle. Don’t be surprised if special teams haunt Tennessee once again this week. — Stuckey
PRO System Match
Unders have been a smart play in division matchups as increased familiarity between teams creates a lower-scoring environment — unders have gone 843-744-29 (53.1%) since 2003.
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 195-114-3 (63.1%) since 2003. A $100 bettor would have returned a profit of $7,135 following this strategy.
This total is on the move, decreasing from 49 to 45. Bet the under before the total goes any lower. — John Ewing
Matthew Freedman: Over 45
The Texans have one of the league’s most explosive offenses thanks to Watson and Hopkins, and since Ryan Tannehill became the starter for the Titans in Week 7, they’ve put up points with ease.
- Tannehill’s starts (nine games): 29.9 points scored, 25 points allowed
- Other starts (six games): 16.3 points scored, 15.3 points allowed
In Tanny’s nine starts, the over is 8-1 (75.4% ROI).
Freedman is 542-411-22 (56.9%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.