Houston Texans (1-4) at Tennessee Titans (4-0)
This is a tough one, as there are good arguments for both sides. On one hand, this line has shifted significantly since the early line last week, with the Titans going from being favored by 7 to being favored by 3.5. Normally I like to fade significant week-to-week line movements because they tend to be an overreaction to a single week of play. In this case, the line movement actually comes despite the Titans winning big over another good team in the Buffalo Bills, running away with the 42-16 victory on Tuesday Night Football last week, despite being without starting cornerback Kristian Fulton, starting wide receivers Corey Davis and Adam Humphries, and defensive lineman Jeffrey Simmons, who are all expected back this week. The Texans also had a big win last week, but it came over the Jaguars and I’ve never seen a line drop like this despite the favored team winning big the previous week.
On the other hand, you could make a good case for this line being right. The Texans are 1-4, but they’ve faced one of the toughest schedules in the league this season, starting the season with arguably the three best teams in the AFC in the Ravens, Steelers, and Chiefs and a Vikings team that is better than their record, before their blowout victory in their first easy game of the season against the Jaguars last week. The Texans rank 16th in my roster rankings and realistically are a middling team that just got dealt a tough schedule to start the season.
The Titans, meanwhile, started the season with one of the easiest schedules in the league over their first 3 games and they won those games by just a combined 6 points. That, of course, changed last week against the Bills, but the Titans might have benefitted from the extended rest in that game, while the Bills played the previous week. This time around, the Titans will have to play on a short week after just playing on a Tuesday, while the Texans will be on normal rest. My calculated line is Tennessee -4.5, as the Titans do have a top-10 roster on paper when healthy, but I’m actually going to go with the Texans for pick ‘em purposes because of the scheduling angle. I could really go either way on this one though.
Tennessee Titans 33 Houston Texans 30
Pick against the spread: Houston +3.5