Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears Spread, Line, Odds, Predictions, Picks, and Betting Preview
TENNESSEE TITANS VS. HOUSTON TEXANS NFL GAME INFO
Tennessee Titans (10-5) vs. Houston Texans (4-11)
Date: Sunday, January 3, 2020
Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
Venue: NRG Stadium
TENNESSEE TITANS VS. HOUSTON TEXANS MONEYLINE, SPREAD, TOTAL AND ODDS
Moneyline: Titans (-360) | Texans (+285)
Spread: Titans -7.5 (-110) | Texans +7.5 (-110)
Total: Over 56.5 (-104) | Under 56.5 (-118)
Super Bowl Odds: Titans (+2400) | Patriots (N/A)
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TENNESSEE TITANS VS. HOUSTON TEXANS NEWS AND NOTES
While there is a big discrepancy on paper between these two teams, they have actually played each other tight of late. Three of the last five meetings between these teams have been decided by six points or fewer, and one of those two outliers was a Week 17 game last season that saw the Texans rest quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Even earlier this season, it was close. Houston was 1-4 entering its Week 6 game in Nashville, while the Titans were 4-0. Watson singlehandedly kept the Texans in the game, throwing for 335 yards and four touchdowns in an overtime loss.
With all of that said, this matchup, even compared to earlier this season, features two teams that are far apart in terms of quality.
Houston has already fired its head coach/general manager/overall football czar in Bill O’Brien and is playing to figure out which players it can count on moving forward – and to keep Watson upright and healthy. The Texans have little to play for this week, and aside from Watson, they have little going for them.
It would be easy to say that Houston’s defense is a good matchup for the Titans, but the Texans would be an appetizing opponent for any NFL team at this point.
Houston ranks 30th in overall defense DVOA, according to Football Outsiders. The Texans rank 29th in pass DVOA and 30th in rush DVOA. Teams can choose; however, they want to move the ball against Houston.
The Titans chose both the pass and run earlier this season in Week 6. Ryan Tannehill threw for 366 yards and four touchdowns, while Derrick Henry ran for 212 yards and two touchdowns, as well as catching two balls for 52 yards.
The expectation entering this game will be that Tennessee will feed Henry early and often. The NFL’s leading rusher is 223 yards away from 2,000 for the season, which would sound unlikely against an average run defense.
Henry has run for 211 and 212 yards in his last two games against the Texans for a combined five touchdowns. Houston has failed to replace nose tackle D.J. Reader in the middle of its defensive line, and it has little in terms of quality aside from J.J. Watt in its front three.
Since the calendar turned to November, Henry is averaging 123.8 yards per game on the ground in nine contests. That number increases to 153.3 over his last three outings. The latter number is more realistic given the matchup.
Houston’s secondary is also among the worst in football. The only two players who could pass as above average are out for the season (Bradley Roby due to suspension and Justin Reid to hand surgery), and the likes of Vernon Hargreaves and Keion Crossen are getting eaten up every week.
Take last week, for example, when Bengals quarterback Brandon Allen gashed the Texans for 371 passing yards. Samaje Perine and Giovani Bernard also combined for 160 rushing yards.
If a below-average offense like that put up more than 500 yards of offense against the Texans, imagine what Tennessee will do with its season on the line.
Houston’s offense is beaten up, without receivers Will Fuller (suspension) and Randall Cobb (injury), but it will remain competitive as long as Watson is on the field. The fourth-year star has set a career-high with 30 passing touchdowns and is currently at a career-low six interceptions.
Watson has thrown for more than 300 yards in five of the Texans’ last six games, with a loss in Chicago the only outlier. In those six contests, he has 12 touchdowns to just one interception.
While Houston’s passing game ranks seventh in pass DVOA thanks to Watson, its rushing attack is dead last in football. David Johnson had a big game last week with 128 yards on 12 carries against Cincinnati, moving his yards-per-carry average for the season up to a deceiving 4.6.
In his first 10 games, though, Johnson averaged 3.96 per carry.
The Texans are likely to put up points on Tennessee through the air against a Titans pass defense that ranks 30th in pass DVOA. Houston isn’t going to be shut down, even if Watson’s main targets outside of Brandin Cooks are Keke Coutee and Chad Hansen.
The key to the game for the Titans will likely be to feed Henry early and often. They faced a three-score deficit last week against the Packers, partly due to the fact that it took Tennessee until the fourth quarter to really get their beast of a running back going.
That’s unlikely to repeat in Week 17. The Titans will want to control the clock and keep Watson off the field as much as they can. Fortunately, they have just the guy to do that in Henry.
- Texans tied for last in NFL at 5-10 against the spread.
- Houston is 0-3-1 ATS in their last four games.
- Titans have covered in three of the last four road games.
- Titans -7.5
- Titans over 32.5 points