Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans – Week 15 NFL Betting Analysis
Houston Texans (8-5 6-7 ATS) at Tennessee Titans (8-5 7-5-1 ATS)
The Houston Texans hit the road to face the hot Tennessee Titans as a 3-point road underdog in a HUGE AFC South game. The total for this game sits at 50.5.
The Texans and Titans are tied atop the AFC South and they face each other again in the Lone Star State in the season finale.
While the total has gone from 47.5 to 50.5 since opening as of Thursday the spread has remained the same with the Titans a 3-point favorite.
Winning the division will be key, as while both teams are tied with the 8-5 Steelers it is the Steelers that hold the tiebreaker for the last AFC Wild Card spot.
The Texans are coming off a 38-24 loss to the Denver Broncos and they had won their previous two games. In those two wins, they gave up a total of 39 points while in the loss to the Broncos they were torn up by rookie QB Drew Lock, who had three TD passes in the first half, and gave up 38 points.
The Titans are riding a four-game winning streak and they beat the Oakland Raiders badly 42-21 in their last game. The big issue of them is the health of RB Derrick Henry. He has been a beast in the last few games and is listed as questionable for this game with a hamstring injury and he missed practice on Wednesday.
In the last six games between these AFC South rivals the home team has covered the spread every time.
On the season Tennessee is 4-2 at home and Houston is 3-3 on the road.
Less Than Stellar Start
In their loss to the Broncos in their last game they outgained Denver 414 yards to 391 yards, but they were outscored 31-3 in the first half. On top of that, they had three turnovers while they only forced one.
Deshawn Watson had nearly 300 yards through the air in the Denver loss and TD but was picked off twice while only having two INT in his previous five games. DeAndre Hopkins led the Texans with 120 receiving yards, and he has over 1,000 for the season and has at least 80 in three of his last four games.
The Texans rank 7th in the NFL in rushing yards per game and in the Denver game Carlos Hyde rushed for 73 yards and Watson chimed in for 44 rushing yards. Hyde has rushed for at least 65 yards in three of his last four games and his play will be key in this game helping to keep the red-hot Titans’ offense off the field.
Houston will be facing a confident Tennessee defense, which has not allowed more than 21 points in any of their last three games. The Titans still only rank 25th in the league in pass defense but do rank 10th in run defense, so Hyde has his work cut out for him.
Offense Killed It
In the Titans win over the Raiders in their last game they racked up 552 total yards of offense, Ryan Tannehill passed for 391 yards with three TD and no INT, and Henry rushed for 103 yards with two TD and averaged a solid 5.7 yards per carry.
Tannehill is a big reason for the Titans getting back in the playoff picture. However, with Henry banged up that is a HUGE concern for Tennessee. He has averaged nearly 150 rushing yards in his last four games and the Houston run defense only ranks 18th in the league.
Tannehill has nine TD and only two INT in his last four games. The Houston pass rush has been ok on the season and that unit is key as if they can pressure Tannehill it can help mask their pass defense, which only ranks 27th in the league.
While the Texans are only 2-5 ATS in their last seven games the Titans have covered the spread in their last four games.
The home team is 6-0 ATS in the last six games between these teams and that trend will continue. I think Henry will play and not only play but play well and Tannehill and the Titans’ D will also have good games. Houston will bounce back from last week’s bad loss and play better but face a hot team and they will not get the road win. Tennessee will win and cover the spread and take over sole possession of first place in the AFC South.
PICK: Titans -3