Divisional champions are decided in all but one of the AFC divisions heading into Week 17, when the Tennessee Titans travel to NRG Stadium knowing a win over the Houston Texans will clinch the South.
Mike Vrabel’s men scraped a 42-36 victory in overtime when the Titans (10-5) hosted Houston (4-11) in Week 6. Tennessee retain a tiebreaker advantage over level leaders Indianapolis, but a win is likely needed considering the Colts’ Week 17 foe, the Jacksonville Jaguars, have lost 14 in a row.
A tumultuous 2020 regular season reaches its climax on Sunday (Jan. 3), and this matchup ranks among the most highly anticipated deciders in the AFC with a playoff guarantee on the line.
Tennessee fans will expect their side to get the job done and can back their team as 7.5-point favorites with BetMGM, priced as -375 moneyline favorites and some way ahead of +300 Houston.
Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans Game Info
Date: Sunday, January 3
Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
Venue: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
TV Info: CBS
Titans @ Texans Moneyline Odds & Prediction: Titans by 10
Tennessee Titans: -375
Houston Texans: +300
Odds via BetMGM TN
Derrick Henry got two of his 15 touchdowns for 2020 in that Week 6 duel (Oct. 18), the second of which was the overtime score that extended Tennessee’s season-opening win streak to five.
Henry is the driving force behind the Titans’ second-overall rush offense, a troubling stat for a Houston team that’s conceded 2,276 running yards this year, second only to the Dallas Cowboys (2,416). Vrabel’s side are averaging 30 points scored per game this season—third in the NFL—though Tennessee are susceptible themselves, one of only six teams to have given up more than 4,000 passing yards in 2020.
Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson hasn’t gone missed as having an incredible season despite Houston’s woes, and his form could make this a high-scoring back-and-forth:
The Texans are going through a rough season, but Deshaun Watson has quietly been fantastic
4,458 Pass Yards 2nd
112.1 QB Rating 2nd
70.1 Comp % 3rd pic.twitter.com/Bs8P8hDKKu
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) December 28, 2020
The rivals exchanged 78 points in their clash earlier this campaign, the fourth consecutive meeting in which the Titans and Texans have totalled at least 45 points.
Houston lost via those means at home to the Cincinnati Bengals last time out (31-37), and a Tennessee team in pursuit of playoff football promise to prove much hotter to handle.