Houston Texans (0-1) vs. Tennessee Titans (0-1), LP Field, Nashville, Sunday, Sept. 20th, 1PM Eastern, CBS
By Z-Man of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Texans +6.5/Titans -6 1/2
Over/Under: 40 1/2
A couple of AFC South Division rivals coming off opening-week losses hook up when the Tennessee Titans host the Houston Texans Sunday afternoon.
After going 8-8 last year with five wins in their last six games, Houston entered this season with hopes of making the playoffs for the first time in their seven-year existence. But the Texans stumbled out of the gate last week, falling at home to the New York Jets 24-7 as four-point favorites. And their offense, which ranked third in the league last year at 382 YPG, got held to 183 yards and zero points, as Matt Schaub struggled, throwing for just 166 yards. Houston’s only score came on an interception that was fumbled, picked up and run in. And their defense allowed the Jets to run for 190 yards.
Tennessee won its first ten games last season, but drew a tough opening game this year at Pittsburgh and lost 13-10 in overtime last Thursday night. But the Titans provided their financial backers with winning wagers by covering the pointspread as six-point underdogs on the road.
Tennessee outrushed Pittsburgh 86-36, but kicker Rob Bironas, one of the best in the league, missed one makable FG attempt and had another blocked.
Many sportsbooks opened Tennessee as a seven-point favorite for Sunday’s game vs. the Texans, but as of Thursday afternoon that number had been nudged down to 6 ?. And the total started off at 41 at most NFL betting outlets, and has since been dropped a half-point to 40 ?. The Titans are also listed at right around -290 on most NFL moneylines, with Houston getting +240 as the road dogs.
These two teams split their two meetings last season. The Titans won at home in week three 31-12, while the Texans won 13-12 at home in week 15. But Houston needed that win to break a seven-game losing streak vs. Tennessee.
The Texans rolled up 692 yards of offense in those two games vs. the Titans last year, 253 on the ground, while Tennessee gained 624 yards vs. the Houston defense, 254 rushing. In that first game, Schaub threw three INTs, and the Titans returned one of them 99 yards for a score in the final minute to put the game over its total of 40. In the second game, Houston held a 36-24 time-of-possession advantage, and kept Tennessee out of the end zone, as the score never came close to approaching its total of 45.
However, five of the last six games in this series and seven of the last nine have gone over the totals.
The Texans went just 2-6 straight up but 4-4 against the pointspreads last season on the road. They also went 3-1 vs. the numbers when getting six points or more. Meanwhile, the Titans went 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS at home last year, and 3-0 ATS when favored by six points or more.
In opening week NFL betting action, home teams went 9-7 straight up and just 6-10 vs. the pointspreads. Favorites went 13-3 SU but only 8-8 vs. the numbers. And NFL totals went 8-8, as week 1 games averaged a very average 41 points.
Zman’s Pick: Houston looks to be in disarray. I can’t imagine them having as bad of week as they had in Week 1, however, the Titans defense is the real deal, with or without the departed Albert Haynesworth. Lay the points and take the Titans -6.5.