Betting Pick: Patriots look for third-straight win at Texans
By Bob Garcia
The New England Patriots were nearly left for dead just two weeks ago, but suddenly find themselves back in the playoff chase. They visit the Houston Texans this Sunday at 1pm ET.
This game will take place at NRG Stadium in Houston. Around 13,300 fans will be allowed in the stands (20% capacity) according to ESPN.com.
New England is currently a 1.5-point favorite at the Americas Cardroom sportsbook. The total is 49 points.
The Patriots (4-5 SU and ATS) reached a low point back on November 9th when they trailed the hapless New York Jets at halftime 20-10. However, they railed to pull out a 30-27 victory and then followed it up with arguably their best game of the year last week, 23-17 over Baltimore as 7-point home dogs.
The Patriots are the NFL’s second-best rushing team (161.1 YPG). Second-year running back Damien Harris has emerged seemingly out of nowhere to rush for 471 yards in just 6 games. Quarterback Cam Newton is also still dangerous with his legs and he has to be with an anemic passing attack that might have the NFL’s worst set of receivers / tight ends.
The Texans (2-7 SU and ATS) continue to struggle despite playing hard under interim coach Romeo Crennel. Quarterback Deshaun Watson and the passing attack (266.6 YPG, ranked 8th) are the strength of the offense, with the rushing attack ranking just 31st (87.9 YPG). The problem is Watson will be going against a strong Patriots’ pass defense that could have Stephon Gilmore back from injury.
Houston’s only two wins this year have been Jacksonville. Their run defense (167.4 YPG) is also the worst in the league, so expect New England to pound it on the ground all game long.
Pick: New England -1.5