Left: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Deshaun Watson / Right: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Marcus Mariota
Betting odds: Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans
- Spread: Texans -2.5
- Over/Under: 44.5
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- TV channel: CBS
>> All odds as of Friday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets
Betting market: With Marcus Mariota officially playing (elbow), the lines for this game finally opened on Wednesday evening with the Texans a -2/-2.5 road favorite.
Most early bettors are banking on a better performance out of Deshaun Watson and the Texans, but we’ll need to see some sharp action on them as well if the line is going to make it to the key number of 3 (see live odds here). —Mark Gallant
Trends to know: Houston opens the season with back-to-back road games. Since 2003, teams in this spot have gone 18-26-2 against the spread in Week 2. In the past five years, teams in this situation are 4-15 ATS, failing to cover by six points on average. — John Ewing
Since 2003, Nissan Stadium in Tennessee has treated over bettors better than any other field in the NFL.
The over is 66-50-4 (+13.2 units) in Nashville, going over the total by 2.2 PPG in that span. When Marcus Mariota starts, the over is 13-7-1 (+5.6 units) at Nissan Stadium, going over the total by 3.4 PPG. — Evan Abrams
Injury watch: Several of the Texans’ key contributors on both sides of the ball were limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday, but each of OLB Jadeveon Clowney (back, elbow), DE Christian Covington (thigh, knee), and WR DeAndre Hopkins (foot) are expected to suit up.
Elite field-stretcher Will Fuller (hamstring) is hopeful to make his season debut, but rookie WR Keke Coutee’s status (hamstring) is less certain. The team also placed starters CB Kevin Johnson (concussion) and RT Seantrel Henderson (ankle) on IR after they were injured in Week 1.
The Titans might have the league’s most-banged up offense. TE Delanie Walker’s (ankle) season is over, and each of WR Corey Davis (hamstring) and Marcus Mariota (elbow) were limited in practice Thursday.
The offensive line will have its hands full with J.J. Watt & Co., as neither LT Taylor Lewan (concussion) nor RT Jack Conklin (knee) practiced Thursday. Backup RT Dennis Kelly (illness) also missed Thursday’s practice.
The good news is each of LB Derrick Morgan (knee), DE Harold Landry (ankle), and LB Rashaan Evans (undisclosed) practiced in full Thursday and are on track to suit up Sunday. — Ian Hartitz
Note: All injury info as of Thursday 9/13 at 5:30pm EST. Please visit our Week 2 Injury Dashboard for updated daily practice participation and game statuses up until game time.
Bet to watch: Over 44.5
Watson continues to receive all the hype, even after the Texans lost in Week 1 in New England, but what I am focusing on is his ball protection and line protection.
In Watson’s career, he has 283 total dropbacks with nine interceptions, 22 sacks, four total fumbles and 11 turnovers.
Since Watson made his first start last season, 36 different QBs have had at least 200 pass attempts. Among those 36 QBs, Watson ranks fifth-best with 26.4 pass attempts per interception and seventh-best with 10.8 pass attempts per sack.
Watson’s only start vs. the Titans last year totaled 71 points, including 44 in the first half. Expect points in this one. — Evan Abrams
Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.