Houston Texans (4-7) at Tennessee Titans (7-4)
Last week, the Texans were 7 point underdogs in Baltimore and I bet against them. The Texans managed a push, but didn’t get in the end zone on their final 11 drives, after scoring a touchdown on their first drive of the game, when the Ravens committed 3 dumb penalties for 39 yards to keep the drive moving. Tom Savage had yet another horrible game, only managing big plays when DeAndre Hopkins or Baltimore’s penalties bailed him out, and he will be the starter again this week because of the lack of a better option. In a season where many teams have questionable quarterback situations, Savage is arguably the worst starting quarterback who has seen extended action.
Despite that, the Texans are just 6.5 point underdogs here in Tennessee, a half point lower than they were last week in Baltimore. And considering about 9% of games are decided by exactly a touchdown, it’s a big half point. Tennessee is undoubtedly a better team than the Ravens, who have one of the worst offenses in the league. The Titans beat the Ravens earlier this year in a game they led by 10 until a garbage time touchdown cut the lead to a field goal with less than a minute left. I have this line calculated at -11.5, so we’re getting significant line value with the Titans at 6.5. Without Quarterback Deshaun Watson, left tackle Duane Brown, wide receiver Will Fuller, defensive end JJ Watt, and outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus, the Texans are arguably the least talented team in the league, while the Titans are a borderline top-10 team and one of the healthiest teams in the whole league.
The Texans are in a great spot as road underdogs in their 2nd of two road games off of a road loss. Teams are 119-77 ATS in that spot since 2008. That’s because teams typically do better in their second of two road games, as opposed to a single road game sandwiched between two home games, but lines don’t really adjust for that. Teams are 256-269 straight up in their 2nd of two road games since 2008, getting outscored by an average of 0.78 points per game, as opposed to 377-521 straight up in a road game that’s sandwiched between two home games, getting outscored by an average of 2.96 points per game, a difference of about 2 points. That being said, we’re still getting enough line value with the Titans that this is my Pick of the Week. This line is at 7 still in some places, but I would wait for 6.5, even if you have to pay a little extra juice.
Tennessee Titans 24 Houston Texans 13
Pick against the spread: Tennessee -6.5
Confidence: Pick of the Week