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Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans Point Spread - Pick

Tennessee Titans (5-5 SU, 6-4 ATS) vs. Houston Texans (7-3 SU, 4-6 ATS)
Week 12 NFL
Date/Time: Monday Night Football, November 26, 2018 at 8:15PM EST
Where: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
TV: ESPN

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: TEN +6/HOU -6
Over/Under Total: 41.5

The Tennessee Titans come to NRG Stadium to take on the Houston Texans in a big AFC South matchup on Monday Night Football. This week 12 battle could go a long way toward determining who the top dog in this division will be. Both teams have been headed in opposite directions as of late. Tennessee started at 3-1 with the Texans getting off to an ugly 0-3 start. It would have been hard at that point to predict these teams would be in this position, with the Texans completely turning things around, while the Titans have struggled to get their footing.

Therefore, it's hard to tell how much their week two matchup matters at this point. In Nashville, the Titans scored a close 20-17 win over the Texans with a field goal in the final minute of the game being the deciding score. Even with Deshaun Watson going over 300 yards and Marcus Mariota not even being in the game, the Titans were able to get the upper-hand. Tennessee's pass-defense was shredded, but a trick-play with safety Keith Byard of all people throwing a 66-yard TD helped get the win in what was a weird game.

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The streaky Titans are a hard team in which to get a read. They started the season, went into the tank, then re-emerged with some good games. Heading into the stretch-run, they are squarely still in a division where things could still go any number of ways. Sunday's loss to the Colts hurt, both in the standings and in how lopsided it was. Some of their losses have been by painfully-small margins and if a few things had gone differently, they could be in the driver's seat. They have started seeing their defense get better results, giving a struggling offense enough room with which to work. But it's a tenuous formula for success. Still, they look to score a key win this Monday.

Mariota (listed as day to day with an elbow issue) is trying to get his season on the right track. He certainly hasn't been lighting the world on fire this season, but there are some recent good signs. The way that he's connecting with receiver Corey Davis is impressive and the second-year player is slowly becoming a star in this offense. A little more help in the aerial department would help, as the Titans rank near the bottom of the league in this category. The run-game could still come around. Dion Lewis and Derrick Henry are a nice 1-2 punch and can help catching balls, as well, but in averaging less than 4 yards a carry this season so far, the run-game hasn't quite been a force.

While a boost in offensive production will go a long way, the Titans will call on their defense if they hope to do big things this season. There have been some special performances this season so far, as they've been among the stingiest of all defenses in the league. They feature solid balance against the pass and run. They have a pass-rush that manifests at times and the same goes for a secondary with playmaking potential, but they're just tough to score on this season, especially lately. It's a defense that doesn't have any stars, per se, but no real weak spots. Every slot is filled with very solid personnel.

The Texans really deserve a lot of credit for turning things around this season after a disheartening start to the season. Not all the wins have been wipeouts, as the Texans have shown they can pull out he close one. They have been clutch on both sides of the ball over recent weeks. Both sides of the ball have been making strides. They are achieving balance, while overcoming adversity and finding a way to keep the good momentum going.

Deshaun Watson is capable of having big games and had one the first time these teams played, even if the team only scored 17 points. And despite the Texans stringing some wins together, the offense hasn't really been all that electric. Losing playmaking receiver Will Fuller, V. didn't help, either, though acquiring Demaryius Thomas makes that an easier blow to withstand. We should see him contributing the more he gets used to operating in this offense after all those years with the Broncos. Still, DeAndre Hopkins is a tremendous receiver and there are youngsters like maybe Keke Coutee ho could help now that things are getting serious. Lamar Miller leaves something to be desired as a lead back in this offense, with Alfred Blue rounding out a desultory run-game that is actually the higher-ranked part of their offense..

But much like their opponent, the Texans hitch their hopes to the defensive side of the ball. And after looking ragged to start the season, they are on a nice run of not giving up a whole lot of points to opposing offenses. Jadeveon Clowney and JJ Watt do most of the pass-rushing, while also creating a lot of overall havoc. In the middle, Bernardrick McKinney and Whitney Mercillus are impactful. Kareem Jackson and Shareece Wright have been good at corner, with Tyrann Mathieu, Justin Reid, Mike Tyson, Jonathan Joseph, and others really getting the Houston pass-defense in order.

These teams have a lot in common. Neither has a particularly exciting vibe. And such is usually the case with teams who rely on defense are more-potent running the ball than throwing it. And while the script has completely flipped since Tennessee scored a three-point home win against Houston in week two, the signs are still there that neither team will run away with this one. I see a competitive affair where having the points will be a good feeling.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Tennessee Titans plus 6 points. Bet the Tennessee vs. Houston MNF game for FREE by taking advantage of a massive 100% sign-up bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $500 at GTBets!

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