Tennessee Titans (1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS) vs. Houston Texans (2-1 SU, 2-1 ATS)
NFL Week 4
October 2nd 2016 /Time: 1 PM EST
Where: NRG Stadium Houston, TX
by Jason Green, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Texans -4.5
Over/Under Total: 40.5
This has not been a good week for the Houston Texans. First they were flying high at 2-0 and then got shut out last Thursday night against the Patriots in prime time. On top of that the team has recently put 3-time Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt on IR after reinjuring his back and he may miss the rest of the season. However, Houston is still all-alone atop the weak AFC South and are home favorites this Sunday facing the 1-win Titans.
Oh what could have been for the Titans. In their last game they racked up nearly 400 yards against the Oakland Raiders, but still lost only scoring 10 points because of 3 costly turnovers. Tennessee has played solid D so far this season and that will need to continue for them to win, as their offense ranks 2nd to last in the NFL in ppg.
Last week the Titans lost to the Raiders 17-10 in a mistake filled game and the Texans were embarrassed in New England losing to Pats 27-0 last Thursday night.
It looks as if the sophomore slump has crept up on Tennessee QB Marcus Mariota, as his mistakes cost the team a chance at a win last week and for the season he has 4 INT and has lost 3 fumbles. The Titans do not have a stellar WR corps and it is key that they establish the run in this game.
DeMarco Murray had a solid game in the loss to Oakland rushing for 114 yards with a TD and he leads the ground game that ranks a legit 8th in the league in rushing yards per game. Houston only ranks 26th in the league defending the run so look for Murray and company to get a lot of carries, especially with Watt in street clothes.
Houston QB Brock Osweiler would like to forget about the Patriots game where he was only 24 for 41 for 196 yards with an INT. in his first 2 games in a Houston uniform he averaged nearly 250 yards per game. Like the Titans the Texans are thin at the WR position and DeAndre Hopkins only has 1 game this season with over 60 yards. Tennessee has a so-so secondary that gave up 245 passing yards to Oakland in their last game. However, also like the Titans, the Texans will look to run the ball with Lamar Miller, who ranks 4th in the league in rushing yards.
Miller has rushed for at least 80 yards in all 3 games this season, but also in all 3 games he has failed to average over 4 yards per carry. Still, the Tennessee run defense only ranks 17th in the league and they gave up 123 yards in the Oakland loss so Miller will get his carries.
Last season the Texans owned the Titans easily winning both games against them where in each they only allowed 6 points.
The Titans have only covered the spread in 1 of their last 5 road games and on top of that they have failed to cover the spread in their last 5 games facing the Texans. The Texans are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games and they are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 home games.
The Titans have issues, but it all begins with their 2nd year QB. He will limit his mistakes this Sunday in the Lone Star State and while he may not lead his team to a win it will be close and Tennessee will at least cover the spread. Houston is in for a tough stretch without their defensive leader and that may begin in this game.
Jasons Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Titans +4.5
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