Titans vs. Texans: NFL Week 18 betting odds, preview, and pick
Tennessee will look to secure the top seed in the AFC on Sunday, when the Titans travel to Houston for a division matchup with the Texans in Week 18.
Let's dive into this matchup, beginning with the latest betting odds.
Sun, January 9 2022, 6:00 PM
Titans get some weapons back on offense
After a 34-3 dismantling of the Dolphins in Week 17 and Kansas City’s loss to the Bengals, the Titans now are in the driver’s seat for the top seed in the AFC heading into the NFL playoffs.
A win against the Texans on Sunday gives them both home field throughout the playoffs, and a crucial bye week.
Star running back Derrick Henry, who returned to practice on Wednesday, has a small chance to see some snaps in the game on Sunday. It's unlikely the Titans will risk playing him, however, as D’Onta Foreman has filled in well over the past few games.
Foreman rushed for a career-high 132 yards against the Dolphins and has topped the century mark in three of his last five games. He will be motivated against the team he entered the league with, playing in the city he grew up in.
Additionally, Julio Jones is expected to return on Sunday, having played in just nine games following his trade this summer. That is important, as the Titans lost tight end MyCole Pruitt, one of their best blockers and red-zone threats, to injury against Miami.
Tennessee won’t overlook the Texans, who upset the Titans 22-13 at home earlier this season. Ryan Tannehill threw a career-high four interceptions, and the Titans turned it over five times. However, they outgained Houston 420-190 and averaged more than five yards per play.
Tennessee’s run defense will make Houston one-dimensional. The Titans are ranked second in the NFL in rushing yards allowed and are within a yard of the league lead. They also rank sixth in scoring this season, and had four sacks and forced two turnovers against the Dolphins.
Texans playing for nothing but pride
Houston has won two of its last three games, but one of those wins was against the lowly Jaguars. Last week, the Texans were easily dispatched by the 49ers, with rookie quarterback Trey Lance looking like a veteran and the 49ers' run game gashing the Texans to the tune of 175 yards.
Houston is struggling mightily against the run this season, a big problem for the team this weekend. On the other side of the ball, the Texans rank dead-last in the NFL in rushing, averaging just 84.9 yards per game, despite rushing for 189 yards against the Chargers in Week 16.
Rookie quarterback Davis Mills has been a lone bright spot, and can break David Carr’s franchise rookie passing record in just 12 games, if he throws for 230 yards against the Titans. However, he has just 13 touchdowns this season, as the Texans are among the lowest scoring teams in the NFL.
The Texans have been double-digit underdogs in 10 of their 16 games this season, and have covered in seven of them. That said, their last three defeats have seen them outscored by an average of more than 22 points per game.
Titans vs. Texans injury report
|Tennessee Titans||Houston Texans|
NT Teair Tart: Questionable (ankle)
TE Jordan Akins: Questionable (reserve/COVID-19)
DE Denico Autry: Questionable (knee)
C Justin Britt: Questionable (knee)
RB Derrick Henry: Questionable (foot)
LB Kamu Grugier-Hill: Questionable (knee)
Titans and Texans Betting Trends
- The Titans are 3-1 ATS in their last four games
- The Under is 5-1 in Tennessee’s last six games
- The Titans have covered the spread just twice in their last seven road games as favorites
- The Texans are 2-4 ATS in their last six games
- The Over is 3-1 in Houston’s last four games
- The Texans are 5-2 in their last seven games against division opponents
Motivation is a key factor in deciding how to wager on a game, and Tennessee has plenty of it. The Titans have a quarterback motivated to perform better than he did in their first meeting, and they have a team looking for revenge for their embarrassing defeat at home.
Most importantly, the Titans have the motivation of knowing a win means the road to the Super Bowl in the AFC goes through Nashville, and the bye week would be crucial for their banged-up roster. Houston’s only motivation in this game is to get to the end of it so the offseason can begin. A loss means the team will have one of the top three picks in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Given how banged up the Titans are, an early blowout could see them rest key starters, and with a double-digit spread, a backdoor cover is the fear there.
Just once in Tennessee’s last five games has the game total topped 40 points. Meanwhile, Houston tends to either win or get blown out, and only four of Houston’s 12 defeats this season have seen more than 43 points scored.
I would go with the Under here and buy the hook, as I expect the Titans to jump out big and rest players, while the Texans pack it in for the season.
For a Same Game Combo, pair the Under (43.5) with a Texans team total Under (15.5 points). In Houston’s 12 defeats in 2021, it has put 16 or more points on the board just three times, the last such instance taking place in Week 8.
Score prediction: Tennessee 27, Houston 13
Titans vs. Texans pick powered by The Quant Edge
Our predictive engine is calling for the Titans to win, and the Texans to cover the spread.