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Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans Point Spread - Pick

Tennessee Titans (2-1 SU, 2-1 ATS) vs. Houston Texans (1-2 SU, 2-1 ATS)
Week 4 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, October 1, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
TV: CBS

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: TEN -1.5/HOU +1.5
Over/Under Total: 43.5

The Tennessee Titans come to NRG Stadium on Sunday to face the Houston Texans in AFC South action in week four. Tennessee scored a nice win on Sunday, winning their second in a row after a week one loss by beating the Seahawks, 33-27. Houston gave it a really good effort, but fell prey to late-game Tom Brady drama, losing in Foxborough, 36-33. They have been playing better and after two straight road games, they look to give the home fans something to cheer after losing at home in week one to the Jaguars, 29-7. Who will leave Houston with the win and cover on Sunday? Last season, each team won at home by 7 points in their two division games.

This is a bottom-line business, but hats off to the Texans in giving the Pats such a strong challenge. Last season, they were manhandled twice by the Patriots in Foxborough, once in the regular season and again in the playoffs. They hung in there and battled hard, but a Brady-to-Cooks connection late sealed the deal. But at least an offense that looked to be in ragged shape has sprung to life, with Deshaun Watson posting his first real big pro game. And the defense made some big plays, as well.

Watson threw two interceptions on Sunday, but was otherwise good with his first 300-yard game and two touchdowns, along with some useful runs along the way. Lamar Miller had some good work in the Houston ground-game, but most of Houston's work was done aerially, which gives them something upon which to build. Watson again connected well with number-one Houston receiver DeAndre Hopkins, while also hitting rookie back D'Onta Foreman with a few big receptions. TE Ryan Griffin caught a TD pass, as did WR Bruce Ellington. They could be getting Will Fuller, IV. back soon, as well.

The Houston defense melted late. And in allowing five TD passes on 378 yards to Brady, the pass-defense wasn't a strong-suit on Sunday. But they still made some good things happen. Whitney Mercillus sacked Brady in the first half, with Jadeveon Clowney returning the ball for a touchdown. Clowney also had two sacks. The front-seven was pretty solid, with JJ Watt making plays and showing signs of resuming his fearsome form. We still see a Houston defense that makes an impact this season, late collapse against New England aside.

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The Titans have rebounded well from a rough home defeat to Oakland in week one, now beating the Bengals and the Seahawks to nose above .500 at 2-1 on the young season. The Seahawks went up 14-9 in the third quarter before the Tennessee offense responded with three touchdowns in the quarter to take control against a good defense. The Seahawks made a late spurt that fell short, but it was impressive how the Titans took control of a close game in the second half after how they melted down late against the Raiders in week one. They look to make it to 3-1 this season against their division rivals.

The Tennessee offense did a lot of things on Sunday that makes up their offensive identity. QB Marcus Mariota was efficient with 225 yards and two touchdown grabs, including some useful runs along the way. And they got a good showing from DeMarco Murray, who galloped for 115 yards and a 75-yard TD. Derrick Henry added 54 yards, as he takes on a slightly-bigger role from last season. Rishard Matthews was big on the day, as Mariota has better aerial weapons with which to work this season. Matthews had 87 yards, including a 55-yard catch-and-run for a TD. Eric Decker got involved with some big catches, while tight ends Delanie Walker and Jonnu Smith were factors, as well. Smith caught a TD, as well. They could be getting exciting rookie WR Corey Davis in the mix again this week. In the last two weeks, we have seen a strong Titans' offensive line and they did a great job against a good Seattle defense on Sunday, allowing zero sacks, while helping spring some big plays in the run-game.

The Tennessee defense was a mixed bag on Sunday. They were adept in curtailing the Seattle run-game, holding their opponent to just 69 yards on the ground. But Seahawks' quarterback Russell Wilson was dynamic aerially with 373 yards and 4 TD passes. Granted, a lot of that happened after Tennessee had taken control of the game, entering the 4th quarter with a 30-14 lead. Still, this "D" has been a little dicey against the pass this season.

This is a good matchup, a game that can easily give way to a number of different possibilities. You could justify taking either team in this game. Houston should be able to do some of what they like to do—use the defense to stifle the opposing offense, while poking away with an offense that just might have found their QB of the future. Alas, he is a rookie and not the game-manager Houston has relied on in recent years as their defense does most of the heavy lifting. Still, I see some value with the Texans this week at home.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Houston Texans plus 1.5 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Tennessee vs. Houston game 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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