Spread: Texans by 4.5
Money line: Titans +230; Texans -280
After starting the season with a 0-3 record, it looked like the Houston Texans were as good as dead in the water before the season really got going. Fast forward two months and they will be riding a seven-game winning streak into Monday night’s game against the Tennessee Titans.
Tennessee, on the other hand, has been wildly inconsistent this season. One week, they are beating the defending Super Bowl champs. But they follow that win with a dreadful loss to the woeful Buffalo Bills. They appeared to be getting consistent after wins over the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots.
But then they played dreadful against the Indianapolis Colts. Losing Marcus Mariota early on didn’t help, but he wasn’t exactly playing well, and that doesn’t explain the defensive struggles.
So far, the Titans are hopeful Mariota will be able to play Monday night. The official word is he suffered a stinger against the Colts. But while he didn’t reinjure the elbow that caused him to miss time earlier this season, another nerve-related injury could cause them to exercise more caution.
But if his defence can’t slow down Houston’s run game and put some pressure on Deshaun Watson, it may not matter if the Titans play Mariota or give Blaine Gabbert the start.
So—who’s going to win?
Both teams are going to struggle to run the ball against the other which means this one is going to come down to the quarterbacks. If Gabbert starts, the edge definitely goes to Houston. If Mariota does, Houston still gets the edge, but the game will be a lot closer.
In the end, Houston will come out on top, so take the Texans to win over the Titans. If Gabbert starts, they’ll win straight up and against the spread. If Mariota does, take the Titans and the points. As for the over/under—take the under.