This game has playoff implications for both teams. The Tennessee Titans are in a “win and your in” situation. They currently hold the # 6 seed in the AFC playoff picture and a win assures them of that spot. Our NFL pick for this game will come later after we preview the matchup. However, a loss and they will need the Pittsburgh Steelers to lose on Sunday to secure their spot. A loss and a Steelers win puts Pittsburgh in the playoffs and the Titans go home. Most NFL predictions have the Titans as the favorite.
The Texans are currently slotted as the # 3 seed in the AFC by virtue of winning the AFC South and their 10-5 record. However, a loss by the Kansas City Chiefs gives them a chance at a higher seed which could give them something to play for. The Titans – Texans matchup has been moved to a 4:25 ET start, and with the Chiefs and Chargers playing at 1:00 ET, there’s a good chance the Texans will know by kickoff if they need a win.
Tennessee knows they need a win in this game and will do everything they can to get it. Running Back Derrick Henry will return after sitting out last week and the workhorse will be highly counted on. One of the surprise players of the year has been Titans Quarterback Ryan Tannehill. After taking over in week 6, he has led the team to victories in 6 of the 9 games he has played.
The Texans, as usual, have been led by their Quarterback DeShaun Watson. He has the team playing well, with wins in four of their last five games and six of their last eight. But it’s the playoffs that really matter, and how Head Coach Bill O’Brien manages his team in this final game may have a lot to do with what the Chiefs do on Sunday.
Will DeShaun Watson play?
Watson comes in banged up with a myriad of back, foot and ankle issues. O’Brien has said he will play his regulars in this game, but if the Chiefs win and the Texans are locked into their current seeding, why risk injury to his star player?
Will Tennessee feel the pressure?
With just one playoff appearance for the franchise since 2008, how much pressure will they feel to win to secure a playoff game this season? With a young and aggressive Head Coach in Mike Vrabel, who has a winning pedigree from his days in New England, the hope is that he has the team focused and ready to go.
Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans NFL Pick and Prediction
Even though this is a road game for Tennessee, they are listed as a 3.5 point favorite. This is most likely due to the importance of this game from their standpoint. But they are still playing on the road against a Divisional rival who they already lost to back in week 15 in a tight contest. We expect a tight game with most of the pressure and urgency on the Titans side of things. With four road wins already to their credit, I think Tennessee gets another and heads to the playoffs. With the point total set at 45.5 points, we lean towards the under, but it could be closer to a pick-em.
Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans
4:25 p.m. ET
Betting Spread : Titans -3.5 / Total 45.5
Pick and Prediction: Titans -3.5