Tennessee Titans (12-1) -3, 44 O/U at Houston Texans (6-7)
Reliant Stadium, Houston, T.X., 1:00PM Eastern, Sunday
By Jay Horne of Predictem.com
The Tennessee Titans look to improve the best record in the NFL this weekend when they take on AFC South foes the Houston Texans. Houston has won three straight games and scored an impressive victory over the Green Bay Packers last week 24-21. The Titans continue to impress the football world with their surprising season and they have won two straight after suffering their only defeat of the season against the New York Jets. Tennessee has already clinched the AFC South and a first round bye in the playoffs and one more victory would seal home field advantage throughout the postseason.
Houston has already been officially eliminated from the playoff picture, but will try to close out the season on good terms. The Texans sport the 3rd best offense in the NFL averaging 380 yards per game. Houston also ranks 4th in the NFL is passing offense averaging 264 yards per game through the air behind the arm of quarterback Matt Schaub. Schaub has completed 67% of his passes this season for 2,176 yards and 12 touchdowns. Schaub has been picked off 9 times this season and will need to avoid the turnovers against one of the best teams in the NFL at forcing turnovers.
Tennessee has been as solid as any team in the league on both sides of the ball. The Titans versatility on offense and defense has proven to be too much for nearly every team to handle. The Tennessee offense ranks 7th in the NFL in scoring offense averaging 25 points per game this season. The Titans also hold the 3rd best overall defense in the league holding teams to only 273 yards per game. Tennessee also sports the 2nd best scoring defense in the NFL holding teams to 14.2 points per game this season. Houston will have a tall task to climb in overcoming the talented Titans.
Las Vegas has listed the Tennessee Titans as the favorites in the game, but the betting line is surprisingly low. The Titans are favored a mere field goal (-3) over the Texans. Early betting action has over 80% of the betting public favoring Tennessee ATS. The over/under for the contest is holding steady at 44 points. ML numbers have the Titans listed as the -170 favorites and Texans as +150 underdogs.
Tennessee running back Chris Johnson leads the Titan offense with 1,094 yards on the ground this season. Johnson has 4.9 yards per carry average along with 8 touchdowns on the season. Tennessee veteran quarterback Kerry Collins has surprised many this season and has been effective behind center. Collins numbers may not be impressive only throwing for 2,280 yards, but the veteran controls the ball very well. Controlling the ball has been the biggest key to the Titans success this season with the defense and the running game. When Tennessee controls the clock, they are nearly impossible to defeat.
Houston may have got one of the best draft selections in the NFL last season when they drafted rookie Steve Slayton out of West Virginia. Slayton has adapted well to the NFL rushing style carrying the ball 206 times for 1,024 yards and 8 touchdowns. In the last two games, Slayton has rushed for 250 yards and 3 total touchdowns. Houston hopes Slayton can have a big day against the Tennessee defense. Texans star receiver Andre Johnson looks to play a big role in a Houston mild upset. Johnson ranks 2nd in the NFL in receiving yards with 1,201 yards on the year. Johnson has 13.1 yards per catch average along with 5 touchdowns. Houston playmakers will need to score some touchdowns this weekend in Reliant Stadium where they have played very well this season.
Tennessee is 11-1-1 in their last 13 games ATS while earning a 5-0 ATS record in their previous 5 games on the road. Houston is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games while going on the over total in 11 of their 15 contests. The Texans own a 7-3 record ATS in their last 10 games in Reliant Stadium.
Jays Pick: This is a much improved Texans squad and Tennessee looks like they may be on the decline. Take the points here and look for the Texans to win straight up.