Tennessee Titans (1-2) at Houston Texans (2-1)
I’m glad I locked this one in at 7 earlier in the week, because the line has since shifted to 5 thanks to a season ending injury to 3-time Defensive Player of the Year JJ Watt. Either way, I’d take the Titans for a big play. About 3 in 10 games are decided by 4 points or fewer and the difference between these two teams in terms of talent is not enough to warrant this high of a line, especially without Watt. The Titans only won 3 games last year, but that was largely due to injuries and close losses. They added a good amount of talent this off-season, especially through the draft, and are at least a capable opponent. They rank 16th in rate of moving the chains differential (RMCD) through 3 games and that’s right about where I’d rank them as a team, in the middle of the pack. This line underrates them.
The Texans are also a middle of the pack opponent at best, especially without their best defensive player. On the season, they rank 14th in RMCD. Their defense has been strong this season, but they’ve also scored just 3 offensive touchdowns all year and are coming off of a game in which they were shut out by the Patriots. They also remain without left tackle Duane Brown. This line should be much closer to 3 because these two teams are pretty evenly matched talent wise. I’m taking the points for a big play and expecting a close game and possibly a Tennessee straight up victory.
Houston Texans 20 Tennessee Titans 17
Pick against the spread: Tennessee +7