Tennesse Titans vs. Houston Texans Prediction, Preview, Picks & Odds - 1/9/2022

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 1 p.m. ET
Venue: NRG Stadium, Houston, TX
Where to watch: CBS

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Titans -10.5; O/U 43
BetMGM: Titans -10.5; O/U 43.5
Caesars: Titans -10; O/U 43

Season record
Titans: 11-5 (Clinched AFC South)
Texans: 4-12 (Last place, AFC South)

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Titans - Texans preview and analysis


Last week
Titans: won 34-3 vs. Dolphins
Texans: lost 23-7 at 49ers

The Tennessee Titans should be sending a huge fruit basket to the Cincinnati Bengals for their role in last week's shenanigans.

Because of the Bengals clinching the AFC North last week and getting back to the playoffs, by way of beating the two-time AFC champions, the Titans only need a win on Sunday against the Houston Texans to clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs and home-field advantage.

It's almost crazy to think that way considering the Titans' season seemed all but over once Derrick Henry went down to an injury two months ago. Somehow, the Titans have stayed afloat and now could get the best running back in football back for Sunday with the chance to run wild in the postseason.

The Titans clinched the AFC South for the second straight season with a 34-3 win over the Miami Dolphins last week. Even without Henry, the Titans' offense has done more than enough to get by with how well the defense has played.

Ryan Tannehill had his third straight game of completing 70 percent of his passes, all while not throwing an interception either. Tannehill threw only 120 yards, but tossed two touchdowns while handing the Dolphins their first loss in almost two months.

Veteran running back D'onta Foreman had his best game since joining Tennessee, running for a career-high 132 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries. Just imagine Henry running on that Miami defense that was once stout; but getting the rushing king back in general with plenty to play for is another victory in of itself.

"It's definitely good to be in this position," Titans Pro Bowl safety Kevin Byard said. "Usually, the last game of the year we're fighting for something anyway. It's good to go into the last game of the season trying to fight to be this No. 1 seed."

The last time the Titans went to Houston, leading receiver A.J. Brown had 10 receptions for 151 yards and a touchdown. He'll need that production again if he wants to eclipse 1,000 yards. Touchdowns are a chance, though. He has a receiving touchdown in all but one career game against the Texans.

Houston is coming off its first loss in three game, a 23-7 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. No shame in that; the 49ers are fighting for a playoff spot while the Texans are trying to figure out what in the world is happening next year.

Davis Mills threw for only 163 yards, a touchdown and interception in the loss. Brandin Cooks, literally the only good thing about Houston right now, caught that touchdown and somehow reached the 1,000-yard mark this season.

Cooks is looking for his fourth straight game with at least seven receptions and at least 65 yards; he's crossed 100 yards in two of the last three.

"In the second half, we did some things that we've done earlier this season to lose ballgames," coach David Culley said. "We didn't protect the ball. We didn't stay consistent on offense and gave up some big plays on defense that we haven't been giving up. Those have been our Achilles heel all year long."

The Texans have a lot of questions staring them in the face, like who will be the quarterback next season. The Deshaun Watson saga won't be going away, but this could be an interesting audition for Mills to at least get a look for next season. A hard audition, but one nonetheless.

Prediction

There's this feeling of the late '90s and early 2000s when it comes to Titans playoff football. No one wants to go to Nashville in January and play a meaningful game. That atmosphere will be wild and fans are hungry to get back to the Super Bowl. That's why Tennessee isn't losing; this game has so much at stake and the No. 1 seed, forcing Kansas City to go to Nashville for a shot at the Super Bowl, is more than enough to think the Titans will get a full effort. Titans by 17

Betting trends


The Titans are 4-0 ATS in their last four when scoring 30 or more points the previous game.

The over is 9-1 in the Titans' last 10 on fieldturf.

The Texans are 1-4 ATS in their last five following an outright loss by 14 or more.

The over is 5-0 in the last five meetings in Houston.

Statistical leaders


Titans:
Passing: Ryan Tannehill -- 3,447 yards, 17 TD, 14 INT
Rushing: Derrick Henry -- 937 yards, 10 TD
Receiving: A.J. Brown -- 801 yards, 4 TD
Defense: Harold Landry -- 12 sacks

Texans:
Passing: Davis Mills -- 2,363 yards, 13 TD, 10 INT
Rushing: Rex Burkhead -- 403 yards, 3 TD
Receiving: Brandin Cooks -- 1,011 yards, 6 TD
Defense: Jonathan Greenard -- 8 sacks

Don't miss our champion handicappers' free picks and expert football picks today. And if you enjoyed this Tennessee Titans - Houston Texans prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our daily NFL projections and previews.

Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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