The second week of the NFL season is arguably the hardest to wager on. In week one you’re betting on potential but in week two you’re basing your pick largely on a one game sample size. Both Houston and Tennessee come into the NFL Week 2 AFC free pick with 0-1 records, but the Texans outcome last week has to be considered a ‘better loss’ – if there is such a thing. Houston lost 20-27 in New England whereas Tennessee lost by the same score in Miami, but as -1 favorites. Do the Titans bounce back today as home ‘dogs (HOU -3.5).
Texans Had a Chance to Win Last Week
They signed Tyler Marz off the practice squad to start at left tackle. Journeyman Kevin Pamphile starts at RT.
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) September 16, 2018
Many people had the Texans as one of their upset specials in week one vs. New England but of course the Patriots are going to Patriot. Giving up a 21-6 halftime deficit is what doomed Houston and their defense – which was supposed to be a bright spot – was largely to blame. The Patriots actually ran for 122 yards in that game with 4 New England back having 10+ yard runs. The Texans also gave up 3TD in the air. Perhaps more worrisome the defense led by JJ Watt, JaDaveon Clowney, and Whitney Mercilus only sacked Tom Brady twice. At least if Marcus Mariotta can’t go today for the Titans, that unit will get to tee off on backup QB Blaine Gabbert (although Clowney is listed as OUT with an abdominal injury).
The Texans offense also needs to improve to cover the -4 in the AFC week 2 free pick. DeShaun Watson looked so-so playing in his first regular season game since suffering an ACL tear last season. He completed just 50% of his passes in week 1 with 176 yards and 1TD/1 INT. Ryan Tannehill completed 20 of 28 passes last week against the Titans defense (although he was picked twice) so Watson should find some holes today. Lamar Miller broke off a 31-yard run on his way to 98 yards vs. the Patriots and Tennessee allowed 120 on the ground to Miami so Houston should bring a diverse attack today.
Biggest Question For Tennessee – Mariota Or No?
Mariota injured on this DIRTY play by Williams Hayes. He had the ball out for more than a second and Hayes didn’t hold up pic.twitter.com/DetOOREOTz
— Abdul Memon (@abdulamemon) September 9, 2018
The NFL week 2 AFC free pick offers good value with Tennessee +3.5 at home if Marcus Mariota can play. That’s a huge IF however as prior to game time the QB was still having a hard time gripping the ball after injuring his right elbow last week. Blaine Gabbert did get some reps last week against Miami but went just 11/22 for 117 and an INT. Facing the Houston front 7 is a whole different animal especially considering Tennessee’s O-line is also banged up. LT Taylor Lewan and RT Jack Conklin are both ruled OUT today as is top backup Dennis Kelly. You think Watt and company’s eyes aren’t lighting up at this news? Oh, and top TE Delanie Walker was also lost for the season last week.
To win this game the Titans offense is going to need a huge day from Dion Lewis and Derrick Henry on the ground but their defense must also limit Houston to minimal, minimal points. That defense held Miami to 10 points through 3 quarters last week and you have to take that game with a grain of salt altogether since it last 7 hours because of multiple lightning delays. Malcolm Butler and Kenny Vaccaro did both have INT’s last week to lead the revamped Titans secondary. They’ll have their hands full with DeAndre Hopkins today so Tennessee really needs to get something going on the defensive front.
NFL Week 2 AFC Free Pick Betting
The public is definitely liking the Texans today as the 82% marks the highest percentage of the season thus far. Usually that would be an automatic fade but realistically how does Tennessee have any chance today? Even if Mariota would somehow play, the Titans are missing their top 3 offensive tackles and their top pass catcher in Delanie Walker. They’re not just playing any defensive front either – Houston brings the heat. Take Houston and if Titans coach Mike Vrabel can somehow orchestrate the upset there is nothing to do but tip your cap to him.
AFC Free Pick: Houston Texans -3.5