The Tennessee Titans are set to host the Houston Texans this Sunday in Week 17. Kickoff is set for 1:00 EST at Nissan Stadium and will be televised locally on CBS. Oddsmakers have Tennessee as a 3-point home favorite with the total at 40.5 points.
Texans vs Titans Vegas Odds Preview
Houston (9-6) clinched the AFC South title with a 12-10 win over the Bengals on Christmas Eve. A win is a win, but it certainly wasn’t pretty. Especially, given Cincinnati was simply playing for pride. Houston didn’t take their first lead until the 4th quarter.
The Titans (8-7) played a role in the Texans ability to clinch the AFC South. Tennessee’s shocking 17-38 loss at Jacksonville opened the door for Houston. Had the Titans won or Texans lost, this game would have been for the division title. Not only did Tennessee’s playoff hopes go out the window, star QB Marcus Mariota broke his leg. Mariota’s injury came late in the 3rd quarter with the Jags up double-digits.
These two teams played at Houston back in Week 4. The Texans won that meeting 27-20. Houston led 14-0 early but Tennessee tied it up at 20-20. The game-winning score game on a 67-yard punt return touchdown in the 3rd quarter.
Free Betting Pick & Predictions: Texans +3
I would have to lean towards Houston in this one. I know the Texans don’t have anything to gain from a playoff perspective. However, head coach Bill O’Brien has came out and said they are playing to win and won’t rest starters. I actually think given the circumstances, Houston should be the team favored here.
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A big key here is the Texans just recently made the switch to Tom Savage at quarterback. Last week’s game against the Bengals was his first full game of the season. Houston needs to build some more confidence with Savage and get him in a rhythm going into the playoffs.
To me this just doesn’t have the feel of a team that would benefit from taking a week off. So much has to go right for them to win games. Taking a 4-game winning streak into the postseason can only help.
On the flip side of this, this is an absolutely awful spot for the Titans. Tennessee just had their playoff hopes crushed last week. It would be one thing if Houston had to win to get in. There’s nothing for the Titans to use as motivation here. Even if the Texans rested some of their star players, I still think they would be the team that wants this game more.
To top it off, the Titans won’t have Mariota at quarterback. Instead they have to turn to backup Matt Cassel, who I’m surprised still has a job. Just look at how bad Cassel was behind that Dallas O-line last year and what a rookie is doing this season.
Cassel did throw a 14-yard TD, but also had an interception. He was just 13 of 24 for 124 yards in relief of Mariota. Keep in mind that was with the game really out of reach and the Jags playing just not to give up big plays. Simply put, I’m not laying points with Cassel under center. So it’s either take the Texans or pass for me.