Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans(-6.5)
Mon. 11/26, 8:15 p.m. ET
Four things you need to know before betting on Tennessee-Houston:
1. The Texans seek their eighth straight win when they host a Titans team that comes into this one having pulled off a pair of upset victories earlier this month. After a convincing 14-point Monday night win as a four-point road underdog on Nov. 5 against a Dallas team that has since won three straight, Tennessee came back on a short week with a resounding 24-point home victory as a 6.5-point underdog against New England. That victory improved the Titans’ record to 3-1 straight up and 4-0 against the spread as an underdog of between 3.5 and 9.5 points this season.
2. This past Sunday was a different story for Tennessee, as quarterback Marcus Mariota sustained an elbow injury in the second quarter of what would turn out to be a 38-10 loss to the Colts. The Titans trailed the Colts 24-7 when Blaine Gabbert took over for Mariota to begin the second half. With Mariota having been a limited participant in each of Tennessee’s first two practices this week, his status for Monday night remains unclear. Although Gabbert is 13-34 as a starter in his career, he is 2-0 in that role this season. The first of those two wins came in a 20-17 home victory over the Texans in Week 2. Gabbert had fewer than 100 passing yards in that game until a 12-play drive that lasted nearly six minutes ended when a Ryan Succop game-winning 31-yard field goal with one minute remaining broke a 17-17 tie.
3. Although Houston’s 23-21 win as a three-point favorite in Washington this past Sunday was the team’s seventh straight victory, only three of those seven wins have been by more than three points. That trio of victories took place over a 12-day stretch in October against the Bills, Jaguars and Dolphins—were it not for the existence of the New York Jets, none of those three teams would have any victories since mid-October. (The Jets have been the opponent for the most recent victory for each of those three teams.) Houston is 0-6-1 against the spread when coming off a win by three points or fewer since Bill O’Brien took over as the team’s head coach prior to the start of the 2014 season. Although Tennessee is one of 15 NFL teams that entered Week 12 allowing opponents to complete at least 65% of their pass attempts, the Texans have gone 3-12 in the second half of the season since the midway point of 2016 when facing a defense that allows a completion percentage of at least 64%. The Titans, meanwhile, are 9-2 against the spread since the start of last season when coming off a loss.
4. Of the 13 games Tennessee has played against AFC opponents over the past calendar year, 11 have gone under the total, with an average of fewer than 36 points per game having been scored over the 13 contests. Meanwhile, 10 of the 13 games Houston has played against AFC opponents since the start of last November have gone under the total. Under the total is 11-1 in the second half of the season since the midway point of 2016 when an NFL team is coming off a loss by more than 20 points to a division rival.
Side: Tennessee +6.5
Confidence Level: High (on a scale of Low/Moderate/High/Very High/Extremely High)
Total: Under 41.5
Confidence Level: High