Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans Matchup Preview (10/18/20): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)

The 1-4 Houston Texans travel to Nashville to take on the 4-0 Tennessee Titans. After a horrendous 0-4 start that ultimately lost head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien his job, the Texans finally got a notch in the win column on Sunday against the Jaguars. Tennessee finds themselves still undefeated after an impressive victory over Buffalo in week five. For odds movement and full matchup history, visit the Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans Matchup Page.

TV Schedule

Date: Sunday, October 18th, 2020
Time: 12:00 PM CT
Location: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee
TV Coverage: CBS

Texans vs. Titans Live Stream

Where can you watch Texans vs. Titans online? You can stream this game and many other NFL games live online with Hulu. Hulu has a 7 Day free trial and is cheaper than cable options at $5.99/month. Watch Texans vs. Titans Free Online Now.

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Houston Texans: Available Wednesday/Thursday

Tennessee Titans: Available Wednesday/Thursday

Houston Texans Analysis

Houston Texans

If you travel back just six games in the history of Texans football, Bill O’Brien and Deshaun Watson were leading the Kansas City Chiefs 24-0 in the divisional round of the 2019 AFC Playoff Bracket. Now, O’Brien is unemployed, the Texans are 1-4, and are in need of a substantial winning streak to even get into the playoff conversation. For the most part, there have been red flags on both sides of the ball.

Offensively, the Texans have been disappointing. They’re currently the eighth-lowest team in the NFL in terms of points per game. While they’re the ninth-highest in terms of passing yards per game, only the Washington Football Team and New York Giants are averaging less rushing yards per game. The one-dimensional aspect and reliance on Watson, with the absence of DeAndre Hopkins, is making the offense predictable and inefficient. The Texans are the seventh-lowest team in the NFL in terms of third-down conversion percentage, and only Joe Burrow and Carson Wentz have been sacked more than Watson. Through it all, Watson is completing nearly 67-percent of his passes for 1451 yards, nine touchdowns, and five interceptions. David Johnson is the team’s leading rusher, with 293 yards and two touchdowns on 68 carries. Will Fuller leads the team in receiving with 332 yards and three touchdowns on 22 receptions. Look for the Texans to make an effort to establish their running game to take pressure off of their star quarterback Deshaun Watson, as Tennessee is giving up a league-leading 5.5 yards-per-carry.

While the Texans have been disappointing defensively, they’ve gone through a gauntlet of strong offenses thus far in the 2020. Three of their five opponents (Chiefs, Ravens, Steelers) are top-10 in points-per-game, and a fourth (Minnesota) is top-15. One of the biggest issues is their inability to make plays to get off the field. The Texans defense has the highest average time spent on the field, stemming from their inability to stop the run and below-average ability to get stops on third down. No team has given up more rushing yards than the Texans, and only four other teams have given up more first downs. If Houston wants to control this game, they’ll need to find a way to scheme against slowing down Derrick Henry on the ground and Ryan Tannehill’s efficient passing.

Houston Texans Depth Chart

QB: Deshaun Watson
RB1: David Johnson
RB2: Duke Johnson
WR1: Will Fuller
WR2: Brandin Cooks
WR3: Randall Cobb
TE: Darren Fells

Tennessee Titans Analysis

Tennessee Titans

After being locked out of their facilities for weeks, an impromptu week-four bye, taking harsh criticism from the NFL community for gathering during their outbreak, and a depleted lineup, many thought the Titans would come out flat against the Bills on Tuesday. However, that was not the case. Tennessee looked as sharp as ever on both sides of the ball, leading to an dominate victory that maintained their undefeated record. At 4-0, Tennessee is once again a playoff-caliber team that somehow continues to fly under the radar.

Since taking over as the starting quarterback in Tennessee, Ryan Tannehill has provided much needed consistency in the passing game to compliment Tennessee’s strong running game, creating one of the NFL’s smoothest-running offenses. Currently, they’re middle of the pack in terms of passing yards per game, but are top-10 in terms of rushing yards per game, and it’s equating to the NFL’s sixth-highest scoring offense. The Titans are above-average in terms of third-down conversion percentage, and have the second-best red zone touchdown conversion percentage behind Seattle. Ryan Tannehill has been incredibly consistent, completing nearly 69-percent of his passes for 1004 yards, nine touchdowns, and just one interception. In addition to his four rushing touchdowns, Derrick Henry’s 376 rushing yards trail only Dalvin Cook and Josh Jacob for the lead-league. Lastly, Jonnu Smith has been a consistent presence for Ryan Tannehill amidst the inability of his top receiving options, A.J. Brown and Corey Davis, to stay on the field together. Smith has 221 yards and five touchdowns on 18 receptions. Brown, however, just returned to action on Tuesday and looked great, securing 7 catches for 82 yards and a touchdown.

On the defensive side of the ball, Tennessee is searching for consistency. In week one, Tennessee’s defense played well against Denver. However, in weeks two and three, they gave up nearly 500 yards of offense and 30 points to both Jacksonville and Minnesota. Lastly, on Tuesday, they slowed down the incredibly potent Buffalo Bills offense, intercepting Josh Allen twice, shutting down the run game, and holding them to 16 points. Perhaps their biggest issue is their inability to get off the field on third down. They’re giving up a league-leading 60-percent third-down conversion rate, stemming from them giving up a well above average yards-per-play of 6.2. They’ve also failed to keep teams out of the end zone in the red zone, as opponents have converted on 10 of 12 red zone opportunities, which trails only the Saints in terms of conversion percentage. Week six will be a real test for Tennessee’s defense, hoping to slow down Deshaun Watson to remain undefeated.

Tennessee Titans Depth Chart

QB: Ryan Tannehill
RB1: Derrick Henry
RB2: Darrynton Evans
WR1: Corey Davis
WR2: A.J. Brown
WR3: Adam Humphries
TE: Jonnu Smith

Betting Corner Titans -3

Spread: Titans -3
Moneyline: Tennessee -180, Houston +148
Over/Under: 54

The betting line opened at Titans -3. Coming off an impressive victory against Buffalo, remaining undefeated, and taking on a wildly inconsistent Texans team at home, the Titans opened as favorites. Considering the narrative surrounding these two teams, it will be interesting to see if the Titans domination over Buffalo tightens the line as betting favors Tennessee early on.

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Daily Fantasy Picks

Derrick Henry

You’ll have to pay up for Derrick Henry, as there are not many running backs more expensive than him. However, he’ll be hard to pass up on in this matchup. Nobody in the NFL has allowed more rushing yards than the Houston Texans. In week one, Clyde Edwards-Helaire dropped 138 and one on the ground, the trio of running backs in Baltimore combined for 176 and one in week two, James Conner had 109 and one in week three, and Dalvin Cook had 130 and two in week four. Despite the price and the fact that he’ll likely be chalked, Henry is a near can’t-miss in fantasy in this matchup and I’d gladly pay up for him to be my week-six stud.

Ryan Tannehill

Ryan Tannehill has done nothing but produce in Tennessee. Considering how he is nearly $2000 cheaper than the most expensive options, it’s hard to pass up on Tannehill, who’s been more likely than not to finish as a top-12 fantasy quarterback week in and week out since taking over as Tennessee’s quarterback in 2019. Houston has given up a few big games to quarterbacks, including 211 and three to Patrick Mahomes and 237 and two to Roethlisberger. There’s a danger with Tannehill, as Houston’s inability to stop the run might limit Tannehill’s upside, but the scoring opportunities will be there.

David Johnson

David Johnson has not been an enticing play in fantasy, but at a full $3000 less than the most expensive options, he’d be a wonderful RB2 to pair with a stud elsewhere. Four of his five games have been north of 10 points, most notably this past Sunday when he notched 19.9. Meanwhile, Tennessee is currently ranked 23rd against fantasy running backs, making it a favorable matchup for Johnson. Against Tennessee so far, Dalvin Cook ran for 181 yards and one on the ground in week three, James Robinson had 101 and one in week two, and Melvin Gordon had 78 and one in week one.

Will Fuller

When Houston traded DeAndre Hopkins and made Will Fuller the de-factor WR1, many doubted his ability to stay on the field, but very few doubted his talent. While he admittedly missed a game to injury in week two, he has otherwise proved his keep as Deshaun Watson’s number-one target. His 7.5 targets per game are leading to 83 yards on 5.5 catches per contest. He’s also found the end zone once in each of the last three weeks. He won’t be incredibly cheap this week, currently at $6800 in DraftKing’s standard $50,000 budget, but the opportunity and matchup will be there for Fuller. This is the same team that gave up 7 catches for 175 yards and a touchdown to rookie Justin Jefferson in week three, and they’ll be playing with a depleted defense due to the COVID-19 outbreak on the team.

Zach Boeder is a high school math teacher that has a passion for sports and data journalism. Zach received a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics and a Master's Degree in Education from the University of Arizona. He currently teaches in Saint Paul and Lives in Minneapolis with his partner Sarah, their dog Dozier, and cat Remy. Zach plans to argue for a very long time that "2020 would have been the Twins' year if baseball hadn't been shut down."

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