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Texans Titans Betting – Tennessee Comes Off Bye, Takes Control Of AFC South

Posted by Stan Simmons on 10/19/2011 6:18:48 PM

For sports betting players, divisional games are always tough to pick and this weekend in the AFC, the top two teams will clash in Tennessee, where the Titans host Houston. Fresh off a bye week, look for the Titans to take advantage of Houston missing their star receiver and snatch a crucial victory at home.

What: NFL Betting
When: Sunday, October 23rd, 1:00 PM ET
Where: LP Field, Nashville, TN
Pick: Tennessee Titans -3

Why Bet On Houston Texans (3-3 SU, 3-3 ATS)

The Texans fell 29-14 in Baltimore, although they were in the game until the fourth quarter when the Ravens outscored them 13-0. Essentially, the Ravens loaded up to stop Arian Foster, who had 49 yards on 15 carries, and dared the Houston passing attack to beat them, which would be more dangerous if Andre Johnson was in the lineup. Matt Schaub was 21-of-37 for 220 yards and a touchdown, but there were no big plays, which are usually there as Johnson attracts so much attention. The defense held out as long as they could, and they forced a couple of turnovers out of the Ravens while limiting them to 113 yards on the ground. They even managed a couple of sacks without Mario Williams in the lineup, and they’ll need to continue that throughout the season without their best pass rusher.

But Houston allowed four sacks and if Schaub is going to be effective without his favorite target (and arguably the best receiver in the league), the line has to give him some time. Johnson (hamstring) is highly unlikely to come back this week, so everyone on the offense has to do their part if the Texans are going to stop a two-game skid. In particular, Foster needs to have a good game and take some of the pressure off of Schaub and the passing game but again, it all starts up front. Between the pressure of being favored to win the AFC South after Indianapolis lost Peyton Manning, and the injury to Johnson, the Texans are in trouble and they have to stop the bleeding this week.

Why Bet On Tennessee Titans (3-2 SU, 2-3 ATS)

The Titans are coming off a bye, which probably came at a good time as they got blasted 38-17 in Pittsburgh in Week 5. Most NFL betting players figured the Titans would be a run-first team after they picked up Matt Hasselbeck, and then Chris Johnson held out for a new contract, only to come back and struggle. The Titans are ninth in the league in passing yards and dead last in rushing, which is something that no one saw coming. However, his completion rate has dropped over his last two starts and the Titans need a couple of things to happen: one, Johnson simply has to produce before the fanbase turns on him (which is starting to happen), and two, receiver Donny Avery and Damian Williams have to step up for the injured Kenny Britt. Defensively, the Titans are ninth in the NFL and they don’t do anything fancy on that side of the ball; they simply line up and hit you as hard as they can.

Still, you have to wonder how long their NFL betting chances will hold up with their offense depending on the 36-year-old Hasselbeck at quarterback and an underachieving Johnson in the backfield. Johnson has one 100-yard game this season, and hopefully the bye week gave him some life because we knew he was going to start off slow due to his holdout. On the injury front, safety Michael Griffin (elbow) and tight end Craig Stevens (ribs) benefitted from the bye week and they should be ready to go for this huge divisional game, but as always, you should check the injury report.

How It Will Play Out

The Titans are a 3-point NFL betting favorite at home against the Texans, who are 1-4 SU and ATS in their last five trips to Tennessee, with all five games going over the posted total. Tennessee has scored at least 28 points in their last five at LP Field against Houston, who have scored 22 points or less in four of those games; not surprisingly, the Texans lost all four of those games.

Houston’s offense just isn’t the same without Andre Johnson, and they’re not going to be able to put up enough points to beat the Titans, who should get a solid game from Chris Johnson. The Tennessee defense should up enough for the Titans to come away with the win and not only that, they’ll cover the online betting spread.

Texans Titans Betting Pick: Tennessee Titans



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