Better Defense Makes Texans -3 The NFL Pick vs. Struggling Titans

Nikki Adams

Saturday, December 26, 2015 8:37 PM GMT

Saturday, Dec. 26, 2015 8:37 PM GMT

Houston Texans look to advance their lead in the AFC South at the expense of the ailing Tennessee Titans on Sunday. Join us as we weigh in on the NFL odds and serve up NFL picks.

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NFL Picks: Texans -3 

Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

 

Houston Texans (7-7, 3-4 Away)
The Houston Texans are coming off a pivotal win over the Colts, coming through as the modest road underdogs for NFL bettors in both SU and ATS betting markets. They’ll be looking to continue the momentum as the significant road favorites in week 16 NFL betting, winning out the season in order to secure a spot in the playoffs.

Although most sportsbooks opened with last week’s AFC South showdown trading on a pick’em line, the Texans were bet up to 2.5-points at closing doors. It didn’t really matter as they proved the smart NFL pick in the 16-10 win, and, as a result, leapfrogged into first place with a 7-7 SU mark, ahead of the Colts (6-8).

That the Texans are even in a position to challenge for the AFC South is a minor miracle. The quarterback quandary has been one of the worst in the league with the whole Brian Hoyer-Ryan Mallet drama at the start of the season and then all the injuries in recent weeks at the position. Most recently, Brian Hoyer sustained a concussion in week 14 against the Patriots and was ruled out for the Colts game.

It was only the AFC South on the line. TJ Yates, the hero that led the Texans to the win over the Bengals, got the start against the Colts, but he ended up being replaced by Dallas castoff Brandon Weeden when he tore his ACL. With the top two quarterbacks in Houston side lined it came down to Weeden to put the Texans into the AFC South lead and so he did, marking the Texans’ first win ever on Colts ground.

Obviously, with the quarterback situation still up in the air for week 16 odds makers held off releasing NFL odds for this game. It’s still uncertain whether Brian Hoyer will start on Sunday in another must-win game for the Texans. The Colts will be looking to bridge the gap when they take on the Dolphins in Miami.

Brian Hoyer has practiced this week but is yet to be cleared to start on Sunday in a game that could see the Texans clinch the AFC South title with a win. Odds makers have installed the Texans as five-point road favorites at most sportsbook venues.

 

Tennessee Titans (3-11, 1-6 Home)
Despite the quarterback carousel, the Texans defense is still one of the stoutest in the league, allowing just ten points or less five times this season. That alone underscores their NFL odds as the five-point favorites. What’s more, J.J. Watt has really elevated his play since the Texans came out of their bye week and DeAndre Hopkins is having a standout season no matter which quarterback is calling the shots.

Another thing that tips the advantage towards the Texans is the likelihood that Marcus Mariota will be side lined in week 16. The No.2 draft pick suffered a knee injury against the Patriots last week.

As it is, it appears Zack Mettenberger is going to lead the Titans on Sunday. The second-year quarterback has struggled in the backup role for the Titans. Against the Patriots he went 20 of 28 for 248 yards and two touchdowns but he also threw a couple of costly picks.

 

NFL Betting Verdict
Although the Texans’ quarterback situation is still up in the air, there’s good reason to believe they’ll come through for NFL bettors. Haven’t they done just that, persevering through the trials and tribulations at the quarterback position to reach the cusp of the AFC South title? It helps that the Titans don’t strike a convincing pose at all this season with a 3-11 SU mark and a 4-9-1 ATS mark with a 5.6-point losing margin and a negative 3.1-point differential against the spread. Take the Texans to win and cover on your NFL picks.

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