Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans – Week 17 NFL Pick – 1/3/21

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titans vs. texans pick
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Tennessee Titans (10-5 7-8 ATS) at Houston Texans (4-11 5-10 ATS)

The Titans head to the Lone Star State looking to lock up the AFC South title in the season finale against the Texans. The Titans are a 7.5-point road favorite with the total at 56.

The public has slightly backed Tennessee in this division matchup, as they opened as a 7-point favorite and as of Wednesday are a 7.5-point favorite.

The Titans had won two in a row before being throttled in their last game losing to the Green Bay Packers 40-14. They can still win the AFC South with a win in this game and a Colts loss and can make the playoffs if they lose and either the Ravens or Dolphins lose.

The Texans have lost four in a row and this season has been a major disappointment for the team that made the playoffs last season. Deshaun Watson has done his part but the run game only ranks 30th in the league in rushing yards per game and the D has struggled. In the four-game losing steak, Houston has given up an average of 31.5 ppg.

The Titans have the third highest-scoring team in the league and the second-best ground game but were humbled in the loss to the Packers.

Earlier in the season at home, the Titans beat the Texans in a 42-36 shootout.

The Texans are 5-1 ATS in their last six home games against the Titans.

Not the Titans Way

In the bad loss to the Packers, the Titans did not play their football, as their defense was torched, Derrick Henry was not dominant, and Ryan Tannehill did not play well.

In the Green Bay game, the Titans gave up 234 rushing yards and allowed Aaron Rodgers to pass for four TD. Henry leads the NFL in rushing yards and after two-game with 147 yards and 215 yards, respectively, he only had 98 yards.

Tannehill has played well on the season but not in the loss to Green Bay. He had eight Td and only one pick before the loss to the Packers where he was only 11-24 for 121 yards with two INT and one TD.

Compare the Green Bay stats to the ones for the Titans in their earlier season win over the Texans where Tannehill passed for four TD and one pick and Henry rushed for 212 yards.

Henry has to be the main concern for the Houston defense that is giving up an average of 151.7 rushing yards per game and gave up 169 rushing yards in their last game in a 37-31 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Saving a Little Face

Houston is in the midst of a four-game skid and they can save some face with a home win over the Titans.

The Texans gave up 540 yards and 37 points at home to a Bengals team that ranks 26th in the league and had not won on the road since the 2018 season.

Watson has the second-most passing yards in the league with a TD to INT ratio of 30:6. He has six TD and no INT in the last three games but simply has gotten little help.

Houston RB David Johnson rushed for 128 yards in the loss to Cincy, but as the season has progressed the trade for him for DeAndre Hopkins looks like a lopsided one. His last game was his first 100+ rushing yard game of the season and in the earlier loss to the Titans, he rushed for 57 yards and only averaged three yards per carry.

Watson passed for 324 yards and three TD with no INT and was only sacked once in the loss to Cincy. He had been sacked 16 times in the previous three games. He was only sacked twice in the earlier season loss to the Titans where he passed for 335 yards and four TD. Yeah, Watson has had a great season while the rest of the Texans have not.

Prediction

The Titans have covered the spread in four of their last five games following a loss. The Texans have failed to cover in five of their last seven home games. This season has shown that Watson cannot do it all. Look for him to have a good game, yet again, but, again, his team will lose, as Tennessee will win and cover and win the AFC South in the process.

PICK: Titans -7.5

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