Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:01 AM
MNF - Titans at Texans
The Titans (5-5 SU, 6-4 ATS) were flying high off a pair of underdog victories over the Cowboys and Patriots, but ran into a buzzsaw against a red-hot Colts’ squad. Indianapolis ripped up Tennessee, 38-10 as one-point home favorites, while the Colts jumped out to a commanding 24-3 halftime lead. Marcus Mariota started at quarterback for Tennessee, but didn’t finish as the Heisman Trophy winner suffered a stinger in the first half.
Blaine Gabbert replaced Mariota and played the final two plus quarters, but it wasn’t enough to save Tennessee from falling back to .500. Gabbert threw a late touchdown pass to get the Titans in the end zone for the first time against the Colts, as the former Missouri standout will be backing up Mariota on Monday night. Mariota is expected back to help lift a Titans’ offense that was limited to less than 300 yards in the setback at Indianapolis.
The Texans (7-3 SU, 4-6 ATS) remained on fire following an 0-3 start as Houston captured its seventh consecutive victory in a 23-21 triumph at Washington. Although the Texans failed to cover as three-point road favorites, Houston overcame three turnovers, including two interceptions thrown by Deshaun Watson. The Texans squandered a 17-7 lead but were able to come out on top thanks to a 54-yard field goal booted by Ka’imi Fairbairn to give Houston the advantage for good in the fourth quarter.
The lone offensive touchdown by the Texans came on a Watson connection to DeAndre Hopkins from 16 yards out in the first quarter to give Houston a 10-0 cushion. The last touchdown by Houston occurred late in the first half on a Justin Reid 101-yard interception return for a score, as the Texans settled for two field goals in the second half, but it was good enough for the win to remain atop the AFC South.
Only the Saints own a longer current winning streak (10) than the Texans in the NFL, as Houston last lost in Week 3 at home to the Giants. The Texans passed the Colts, Titans, and Jaguars along the way, while allowing 21 points or less in five of the past six games. The offense hasn’t been spectacular in this stretch by scoring 20 points or fewer four times, but Houston has grabbed four victories away from NRG Stadium in this span.
Tennessee entered last Sunday’s contest with a 5-2 SU and 6-1 ATS mark in the role of an underdog, which included outright victories over Houston, Jacksonville, Philadelphia, Dallas, and New England. However, the Titans have lost twice as a ‘dog by 21 points against Baltimore and 28 points at Indianapolis, as four of the covers came when receiving 4 ½ points or more.
These two division rivals hooked up in Week 2 in Nashville as the Titans held off the Texans, 20-17 as 3 ½-point underdogs. The offensive spark for Tennessee came on a perfectly executed fake punt which resulted in a 66-yard touchdown from Kevin Byard to Dane Cruikshank early in the first quarter. Mariota didn’t start after getting injured in the season opener at Miami as Gabbert connected with Taywan Taylor on an 18-yard strike to give the Titans a 14-0 advantage.
Watson tossed a pair of touchdowns to go along with a Fairbairn field goal to put Houston in front, 17-14, but Ryan Succop drilled a pair of fourth quarter field goals to give Tennessee the three-point victory. The home team has captured the last five matchups in the series, while the Titans have dropped six straight meetings in Houston since 2013.
VegasInsider.com expert Joe Nelson checks in on this AFC South battle as he looks at the impact of Watson following Houston’s slow start, “After his abbreviated rookie season, Watson has guided the Texans to seven straight wins since the 0-3 start. He has taken 33 sacks this season but has been a solid statistical quarterback currently 13th in the league in QB Rating, though just 20th in QBR after posting what would have been the league’s best QBR last season had he qualified with enough playing time.”
From a defensive standpoint, both these rivals have been solid of late according to Nelson, “The success for Houston has been due to the defense allowing just 20.5 points per game, though Tennessee is actually second in the NFL allowing only 18.9 points per game. Houston’s offense has scored 61 more points than the Titans in 10 games with Tennessee the fifth worst scoring team in the NFL. Houston has allowed just 3.7 yards per rush this season for the fourth best mark in the NFL, surrendering only five rushing touchdowns all season.”
GAME PROPS - According to Westgate Superbook
Total Completions - Marcus Mariota
OVER 19 ½ (-110)
UNDER 19 ½ (-110)
Total Touchdown Passes - Marcus Mariota
OVER 1 ½ (+130)
UNDER 1 ½ (-150)
Total Gross Passing Yards - Deshaun Watson
OVER 248 ½ (-110)
UNDER 248 ½ (-110)
Total Touchdown Passes - Deshaun Watson
OVER 1 ½ (-125)
UNDER 1 ½ (+105)
Total Receiving Yards - DeAndre Hopkins
OVER 88 ½ (-110)
UNDER 88 ½ (-110)
The Texans opened up as 6 ½-point favorites at the Westgate Superbook, but the line has sunk to four and even down to 3 ½ at several books. There hasn’t been much movement on the total, which opened at 41 and currently sits at 41 ½ across the board. The last two meetings in Houston have finished OVER the total, but the Texans have scored 17 points or less in three of the past four matchups (in Nashville), while putting up 57 in last season’s showdown at NRG Stadium.
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