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Go with Visiting Texans To Pull Off Upset on the Road

It has been a while since the Houston Texans went into a December matchup with Tennessee as the team with the better record and higher probability of making the playoffs. The NFL odds have host Tennessee as the favorite on Sunday.

Tennessee leads the all-time series 23-19. The Titans had won five of the previous six meetings before Houston’s 19-14 road win in the most recent matchup.

Go with Visiting Texans To Pull Off Upset on the Road
Go with Visiting Texans To Pull Off Upset on the Road

Houston is a game in back of first-place Jacksonville in the AFC South standings and is one of 11 AFC teams with winning records. Tennessee is in last place in the division with a 5-8 mark. However, four of those wins have come at home.

The NFL betting line has Tennessee listed as a 2½-point favorite. A week ago, Houston was favored before news of the injuries to key offensive players impacted the line.

The injuries are piling up for Houston with rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud (concussion), top receiver Nico Collins (calf) and tight end Dalton Schultz (hamstring) are all questionable for an offense already missing receiver Tank Dell as well as offensive linemen Kendrick Green, Kenyon Green and Jarrett Patterson. Linebacker Blake Cashman and defensive back Tavierre Thomas are also questionable. Schultz has been able to practice this week.

For Tennessee, cornerback Kristian Fulton and tight end Josh Whyle are questionable. Defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons is out.

When looking at the NFL futures odds, Tennessee was 14th among 16 teams with +5000 odds to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl with the Texans having the longest odds at +10000. Houston is now seventh at +3000 in the AFC championship odds with Tennessee priced at +50000.

When looking at the AFC South betting lines, Houston is priced at +650 to win the division with Tennessee well back at +15000 in the AFC South title odds.

Could Former Starter Mills Lead the Houston Offense?

More than a few NFL teams have been exposed for having backup quarterbacks not ready for primetime when the starter either was injured or ineffective.

That should not be the case for Houston if Stroud, the front-runner to be the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, is unable to go. The NFL odds will be impacted by what happens with Stroud.


Davis Mills passed for 5,782 yards and 33 touchdowns in 28 games over the previous two seasons before losing his job to Stroud.

Mills has thrown seven passes this season. He was held in check in the two games versus Tennessee a season ago with 178 and 152 passing yards with a touchdown pass and interception as the teams split two games in 2022.

Houston has covered in two of its last seven games.

Plenty of Close Calls for the Titans

This feels like a “what might have been” sort of season for the Titans with nine games being decided by eight points or less.

It started with a one-point loss to New Orleans when the Titans went for a field goal down by four points with 2:17 to play. Tennessee also lost one-score games to Indianapolis, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Indianapolis again before scoring twice in the final 2:40 to stun Miami the last time out behind the play of rookie quarterback Will Levis.

Even with that late offensive flurry, only three teams in the NFL have scored fewer points in the fourth quarter than Tennessee. The Titans are also 27th in scoring defense in the third quarter.

Tennessee is 3-6 against the NFL spread in its last nine games.

Texans vs Titans Head-to-Head

Houston snapped a nine-game losing streak as running back Rex Burkhead recovered a fumble in the end zone and Mills threw a touchdown pass with 2:52 to play to lift the Texans to a 19-14 win. Tennessee came into the game as the three-point favorite. The game fell just under the 34-point total thanks to a failed two-point conversion after the final score.

Tennessee has been favored by the NFL spread in the last seven meetings against Houston.

Texans vs Titans Betting Lines


 

Texans vs Titans Game Information

  • Game:  Texans (7-6) vs Titans (5-8)
  • Date/Time: Sunday, Dec. 17, 1 p.m. ET
  • Location: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN
  • Texans vs Titans Live Stream: CBS

 

Texans vs Titans Game Weather Conditions

The temperature is expected to be in the high 40s with mostly sunny conditions at the time of the opening kickoff so the weather should not play a role in the game’s outcome.

Texans vs Titans Game Prediction

Predicted Score: Texans 24, Titans 23

Worth Betting the Moneyline?

Obviously, keep an eye on the availability of Stroud and the other injured offensive players for the visiting Texans.

Tennessee is 5-15 over its last 20 games and Houston has dropped 11 of its last 16 road games.

The Titans are 1-1 outright as the home favorite this year while Houston is 4-3 when listed as the underdog by our sportsbook.

Tennessee showed some fight in rallying to beat the Miami Dolphins in Week 14. Can the Titans build on that improbable win?

NFL Pick: Houston Texans (+125)

Worth Betting ATS?

Both teams are just 6-7 against the spread. Tennessee covered in its only previous game this year as the favorite at home while Houston is 3-1 against the NFL betting odds as a road underdog.

That last number is the one that should attract the attention of those who bet online.

NFL Pick: Houston Texans +2½

Worth Betting on the Totals?

The total has gone under in six of the last seven times Houston played at Tennessee. The total has landed under in seven of Houston’s last 10 games. Twelve of Tennessee’s last 17 games also finished under. The under is currently at 38 for this game.

Both teams have seen just five of their games land over the total during the 2023 season.

NFL Pick: Over 37 1/2

 

 

Questions Of The Day

What impact will the loss of Kristian Fulton have on the Titans' secondary?


Fulton has played at least 87% of the defensive snaps over the last three seasons so he is a key piece of the Tennessee defense. However, he has missed 11 games during that stretch so this is not the first time Tennessee has played without him.

Will the Texans' defense be able to generate enough pressure on Will Levis to force him into mistakes?


There could be a matchup of former SEC stars as Houston rookie edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. out of Alabama will look to put the pressure on Levis, a former Kentucky quarterback.

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