Week 8 NFL Betting: Titans Have Hard Task Ahead Against the Struggling Texans

Posted by Mickey on October 31, 2015 in

This week, the Houston Texans take on the Tennessee Titans in a battle of struggling franchises, although, the game represents a great chance for bettors looking for valuable NFL betting opportunities. The Texans are in a bit of flux themselves, as they cut quarterback Ryan Mallett this week after he failed to make a flight this past week for their game in Miami, having to fly commercial just to catch up with the team. This means that Brian Hoyer, who has been anything but dominant for them, will start. The Tennessee Titans look to see starting quarterback Marcus Mariota back in the lineup after missing time with an injury. Zach Mettenberger, once seen as a gifted young quarterback in his own right, struggled in relief of Mariota.

Titans vs Texans Game Preview and Odds

Date/Time: Tomorrow, 1:00 PM
Location: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
TV: CBS
Odds: Texans -4

When the Texans are on offense, they need to focus on running the ball, so they can keep Mariota off the field. They only have an average running attack, but the Titans have been giving up big games on the ground. The Texans have been averaging 239 yards per game through the air, but pass defense is one area in which the Titans have been pretty good this season. Also, QB Bryan Hoyer has a penchant for throwing that crucial pick at the wrong time. Giving him fewer opportunities to throw the ball to the other team on third-and-long situations will be very important.

Houston Texans NFL

The Titans average 25 points per game and are decent in the red zone, scoring 59% of the time. The Titans have struggled in the red zone on defense, particularly against the ground game. The Titans are not all that great at forcing takeaways either, and they don’t pressure passers all that well. The Texans’ offensive line has been one of the few strengths of the team this year, so as long as the Texans can maintain ball control, they should be able to control the pace of the game.

Tennesse Titans

Even though the Titans have Marcus Mariota at the helm, he has cooled off a bit since his hot start. It might be that he is refreshed after his injury layoff, but his struggles are consistent with a young quarterback finding his way in the NFL, particularly on a team that doesn’t have a lot of other offensive weapons. They don’t run the ball all that well, averaging only 102 yards per game, which means that the onus is on Mariota to produce more than it is on some other teams. The Titans are only averaging 20 points per game, but that could have to do with featuring a backup quarterback this year. They score 55% of the time in the red zone, and the Texans don’t play great red zone defense.

BETTING ODDS TRENDS

TENNESSEE TITANS
HOUSTON TEXANS

So if the Titans can move the ball, they could end up doing quite well. The Texans have a decent pass rush, and the Titans’ line has not been good at protecting Mariota and Mettenberger, so look for J.J. Watt & Co. to make some noise when the Titans have the ball.

It’s difficult to see one team really dominating this game. The Texans are favored to win by 5.5. One play I might take instead of picking a side of that tricky line is to take the under (the total is at 45 right now). I don’t see this game being more than something like a 20-17 or 24-20 win, which would leave the points under 45.