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Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans,
10-1-2017 - Expert Prediction

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Game Snapshot with Current Line

#259 Tennessee
Titans
#260 Houston
Texans

Sunday, October 1, 2017 at 1:00pm

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

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Tennessee Titans (2-1 SU, 2-1 ATS, 2-1 O/U) at Houston Texans (1-2 SU, 2-1 ATS, 1-2 O/U)

When and Where: Sunday, Oct. 1, NRG Stadium, Houston, Tx., 1pmET

Line: Tennessee -1.5

Total: 43.5

The Tennessee Titans look to get a jump on the rest of the AFC South with a matchup against Houston. Last season, the Titans won the first game at home (24-17), while the Texans won the rematch (27-20). The Titans are coming off a 33-27 home win over Seattle, while Houston fell at New England, 36-33.

Titans dominate Seahawks in second half

The Titans led the Seahawks, 9-7 at the half, thanks to a Ryan Succop 47-yard field goal as time expired. That’s the game this was supposed to be-a slugfest. But instead, it became a shootout. Tennessee outscored the Seahawks, 24-6 in the next quarter and five minutes, as DeMarco Murray pulled off a 75-yard touchdown run and Richards Matthews hauled in a 55-yard touchdown pass from Marcus Mariota to fly by the vaunted Seattle secondary. Mariota completed 20 of 32 for 225 yards and two TDs with no picks in a very efficient performance. But it was the running game that was the key for the Titans. Murray had 14 carries for 1156 yards and a TD, while Derrick Henry added 54 yards on 13 carries.

Murray needed that kind of performance because he was hampered by injuries and had just 69 combined yards in his previous two games. Mariota is completing 60 percent of his passes for 696 yards with three TDs and one pick in his first three games. He might get more run against Houston because Henry is listed questionable with a thigh contusion. The Titans have been solid against the run, allowing 92.3 yards per game on the ground and 275 yards in the air.

Watson near leads Texans to upset win

DeShaun Watson looked like a poised game-manager in his first start against Cincinnati, which turned out to be a 13-9 win. He faced a much tougher challenge against the New England Patriots from Foxborough and the rookie nearly did the impossible. Bill Belichick was 16-5 against rookie quarterbacks and while it became 17-5 after the game, Watson provided a tough challenge, going 22-of-33 for 301 yards with two TDs and two picks. Houston was up early in the game and down 28-20 with 12:45 left. But he brought them back on a 12-yard pass to Ryan Griffin and then led two drives for two Ka’imi Fairbairn field goals. The Texans led 33-28 with 2:24 left but unfortunately for the Texans, they had to face Tom Brady. The future Hall of Famer hit Brandin Cooks for a 25-yard pass in the corner of the end zone with 23 seconds left to give the Pats another win.

Watson spread the ball around, hitting DeAndre Hopkins seven times for 76 yards and Griffin for five receptions for 61 yards. Watson is completing 61.3 percent of his passes for 528 yards with three TDs and three picks. Houston is averaging 295.3 yards per game and 166.7 passing yards per game. They are allowing 323.7 yards per contest and 98.7 rushing yards per game.

NFL Trends:

Tennessee is:

  • 1-5 ATS last 6 on fieldturf.
  • 4-14 ATS last 18 in Week 4.

Houston is:

  • 12-3 ATS last 15 in Week 4.
  • 6-1 ATS last 7 in series.

Houston has covered 6 of the last 7 in this series and is 5-1-1 ATS last 7 at home. The Titans are improved but Houston looks to be better with Watson at the helm instead of Tom Savage. They also can’t afford to get behind 1-3 in the AFC South.

Pick: Houston

It’s hard not to be impressed by Mariota and Watson at quarterback. They are both very young but extremely poised and intelligent. It would not be a surprise if this is a shootout. The Titans are not as good as advertised on defense and the Titans have some issues as well. The Over is 5-1 the last 6 meetings in this series in Houston. The Titans are 8-2 Over last 10 vs. AFC South.

Over

4

Benjamin Hayes

Ben has been a sports writer for over 30 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for over 25 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13!

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