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Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans Point Spread - Pick

Houston Texans (4-7 SU, 7-4 ATS) vs. Tennessee Titans (7-4 SU, 4-6-1 ATS)
Week 13 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, December 3, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee
TV: CBS

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: HOU +7/TEN -7
Over/Under Total: 42.5

The Houston Texans take on the Tennessee Titans on Sunday in an AFC South matchup from Nashville. On Sunday, Tennessee had their hands full with a tough Indy bunch. On the road and behind, they relied on a strong second half to corral a win, their 5th in 6 games. They now look to exact revenge over divisional foe Houston. On MNF, Houston fell short to the Ravens, 23-16. With four losses in their last 5 games, they are now 4-7. These teams played on the first of October, with Houston scoring a rollicking 57-14 win. And while that result should rightfully raise some eyebrows, Houston is without a lot of the horses that led to that win, namely QB Deshaun Watson. And with Marcus Mariota hurt in that game and everything going wrong with the Titans, they will be better off this time around.

After that awful loss to Houston, followed by a loss the following week to the Dolphins, the Titans have turned things around. Their only setback since early-October was a loss to a red-hot Steelers team. After taking a 6-0 lead on Sunday, the Colts started playing well and they led 16-6 late in the third quarter. But a Mariota TD pass to Delanie Walker and a DeMarco Murray TD run late notched the 20-16 win to move Tennessee to 7-4. They are in contention for a division title and look to take another step forward in what would be a nice win this week.

Mariota didn't have his best showing on Sunday, throwing for just 184 yards with one TD and two picks. He has six interceptions in the last two games and had two before getting hurt in the first game against the Texans in week four. He hit Walker for the TD and made some connections with Corey Davis, Eric Decker, and Murray, but looking ahead, he'd like to get more out of this aerial package. Getting Rishard Matthews back could help, as he sat the last game out with a hamstring injury. They do rely on running the ball a lot. Murray didn't have a good day other than the TD run, while Derrick Henry was effective with 79 yards on 13 carries. With Mariota also a threat to break loose a nice run, this Tennessee ground-game can be tough on the right week and against a Houston front that isn't as strong as it was in the first game between these two, it could be a major factor this week.

The Titans' defense performed well on Sunday. After a second-quarter spurt by the Colts, the Titans' "D" staged the comeback win by allowing only a field goal in the second half. Against a dicey Indy O-line, the Titans' pass-rush flourished. DE DaQuan Jones had two sacks, with Avery Williamson, Wesley Woodyard, Brian Orakpo, Derrick Morgan, and Eric Walden also getting to the quarterback. They are a defense that can make a lot of plays, while being very rigid against the opposing run. They can be exploited aerially from time to time, but they make up for it with a lot of big plays.

The Texans struggled against the Baltimore defense on MNF. With three turnovers and poor red-zone offense, they weren't able to get over the hump. With just a pair of field goals in the second half of the game, Houston couldn't keep pace. With Tom Savage behind center, they lack the offensive firepower they had shown with Watson in there, while a slew of costly injuries have made it so the defense can't make up the difference. The two-time defending AFC South champions are now in the midst of a lost cause-type of season.

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On Monday, Tom Savage threw for 252 yards, but didn't connect on any touchdowns. He now has 4 touchdowns and 5 picks on the season. On MNF, he hit DeAndre Hopkins for 125 yards receiving, but developing other playmakers hasn't been easy. They hope to get Will Fuller, V. back soon, but they are still at a deficit from a playmaking standpoint. WR Braxton Miller had five grabs. Running back Lamar Miller had 51 yards rushing and scored the Texans only TD on the night, but this is an offense that can struggle. And when looking like they did on Monday, they don't have the defense to emerge victorious in those types of slogs.

The Houston defense has lost a lot of its firepower, which has affected all aspects on this side of the ball. Without the fierceness up-front, the secondary seems to have taken a few steps back as a result. On Monday, other than a sack from Jadeveon Clowney, they were unable to generate much that was positive. They haven't even been playing that badly, giving up 44 combined points in their last two games. Prior to that, they were allowing a lot of points, so maybe they're becoming better as they deal with the injuries and voids in the front-seven. But for this team to be successful, this side of the ball will need to be really good and they haven't been very often this season.

Tennessee can't afford to mess around. Jacksonville is right there and in what looks like is going to be a crowded wild-card picture, they must continue to win. I wouldn't expect them to overlook a ragged-looking Houston bunch, especially not after losing to them, 57-14, the first time these divisional teams met in early October. In this matchup, it's not easy to picture either team really thriving offensively. At the end, I see it being really helpful to have 7 points. I'm taking the Texans.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Houston Texans plus 7 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Texans vs. Titans game from home by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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