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Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans: Betting Odds, Analysis, NFL Pick

OddsShark.com@@OddsSharkFeatured ColumnistDecember 23, 2015

Houston Texans DE #99 JJ Watt action in the second quarter in a game against the Oakland Raiders at the O.co Coliseum at an NFL game in Oakland, Calif. on Sunday Sept. 14, 2014. (AP Photo/David Seelig)
David Seelig/Associated Press

The AFC South-leading Houston Texans (7-7) hope to stay atop the division by earning a victory against the lowly Tennessee Titans (3-11) on Sunday.

The Texans moved one game ahead of the Indianapolis Colts by beating them 16-10 as two-point road underdogs last week. Houston improved to 5-2 straight up and against the spread in its last seven games with the win, while the Titans have lost 11 of their past 12 at home.

Point Spread: This game was off the board early in the week.

Odds Shark Computer Pick: Texans 21.1, Titans 19.2

Why the Texans Can Cover the Spread

The Texans control their own destiny in the AFC South now and are not about to give up their one-game division lead against a Tennessee team they have dominated. They are 8-1 ATS in the past nine meetings with the Titans and have won three in a row both SU and ATS versus divisional opponents to overtake the Colts.

Houston’s defense has been great in winning five of seven, limiting opponents to an average of nine points in the victories compared to 24 per game in the two losses.

Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota is out this week with a sprained knee as well. Titans backup Zach Mettenberger lacks the mobility of Mariota and is nowhere near the same threat on the ground.

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Why the Titans Can Cover the Spread

Mettenberger may not be Mariota, but he is a better option than Brandon Weeden, whom the Texans might have to start at quarterback if Brian Hoyer cannot go again.

While Weeden was able to help Houston earn the victory at Indy, he is incredibly inconsistent and failed to lead the Dallas Cowboys to any wins in three starts earlier this season.

Tennessee was able to defeat the Jacksonville Jaguars 42-39 at home three weeks ago, snapping the team’s 11-game losing streak at Nissan Stadium.

The Titans may also be motivated by the fact that none of their players were selected to the Pro Bowl, including tight end Delanie Walker, who ranks third at his position with 935 receiving yards. In fact, the Texans are the only team in the division with any Pro Bowlers, as defensive end J.J. Watt and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins both made the AFC squad.

Smart Pick

Neither of these teams will score many points, especially if bettors get a Mettenberger-versus-Weeden matchup. The under is also 4-1 in Houston’s last five wins, and this figures to be a defensive struggle again even if Hoyer is cleared to play.

Mariota’s presence would have made this a different type of game. But without him on the field, the under looks to be the safest play in what should be a boring AFC South matchup.

Betting Trends

  • The Texans are 8-1 ATS in their last nine games against the Titans.
  • The Texans are 5-2 SU and ATS in their last seven games.
  • The Titans are 1-9-1 ATS in their last 11 games against their division.

All point spread and lines data courtesy of Odds Shark, all quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line movement updates and get the free odds tracker app.

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