NFL Playoffs Betting Prediction: AFC Divisional Round

Patriots Are Huge NFL Betting Favorites vs. Texans on Sunday

Written by on September 21, 2017

The Houston Texans don’t play in the AFC East but it almost feels that way in how often they play the New England Patriots. Sunday’s match-up in Foxborough will be the fourth one between the two since 2015. New England has dominated the series, and once again the NFL betting lines.Tom Brady and the gang are huge favorites, so the question is more about the NFL Over/Under at 44. Can they tear up J.J. Watt’s defense?

New England at Houston Week 3 Game Preview & NFL Betting Pick

When: Sunday, September 24th, 1 PM ETWhere: Gillette StadiumTV: CBSRadio: KILT 610 AM (Houston) / 98.5 FM (New England)Stream: NFL Game PassOpening NFL Betting Lines: Patriots -13.5 (44)

Series History

Last season, the Patriots and Texans played two times with New England taking a 27-0 victory on Sept. 22 and then a 34-16 win in the Divisional Playoffs. Both of those games were played at Gillette Stadium. QB Jacoby Brissett — now with Indianapolis — made his first NFL start in the 2016 regular season meeting. Overall, the Patriots have met Houston nine times and hold an 8-1 advantage since Houston entered the NFL in 2002. The Patriots are 5-0 overall against the Texans when playing at home.New England’s only loss against Houston was in the final game of the 2009 regular-season when Houston defeated the Patriots 34-27. The Patriots had already clinched the division prior to that game and had little to play for. Thus Tom Brady didn’t play much.
  • Total Meetings: 9
  • First Meeting: Texans 20 – Patriots 23 (2003)
  • Last Meeting: Texans 16 – Patriots 34 (2017)
  • All-Time Series: Patriots dominates 8-1
  • Largest Margin of Victory: Patriots by 33 points
  • Longest Win Streak: Patriots W6
  • Current Win Streak: Patriots W6

New England NFL Betting  Analysis

The Pats feast on rookie quarterbacks. Overall, Sunday will mark the 21st game in which a team coached by Bill Belichick faces a rookie quarterback. The Patriots are 15-5 in those games. The Patriots practiced against Watson when the Patriots and Texans got together for two joint workouts in mid-August in West Virginia, and they then faced him in the preseason when he wasn’t particularly sharp, finishing 3-of-10 passing for 102 yards.Watson is somewhat similar to the first rookie quarterback to ever beat a Belichick-coached Patriots team — the Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger, in 2004. Roethlisberger has always been tough to bring down. The other rookie quarterbacks in the win column are the Jets’ Mark Sanchez (2009), the Browns’ Colt McCoy (2010), the Seahawks’ Russell Wilson (2012) and the Jets’ Geno Smith (2013).Pats tight end Rob Gronkowski exited Week 2 against the Saints with a groin injury but is expected to play. Gronkowski finished with six receptions for a team-high 116 yards and one touchdown. He was charted on the field for 46 offensive snaps. WR Danny Amendola will not play due to concussion.Tom Brady reminded everyone in Week 2 that he’s still amazing by torching the Saints. Another reason for optimism is the Patriots’ stable of running backs, who have combined for a league-best 385 yards from scrimmage this season. James White, Mike Gillislee and Rex Burkhead are all producing early on.

Team Statistics

Offense:
  • Average Score For: 31.5
  • Total Yards: 463
  • Rush Yards: 121.5
  • Passing Yards: 341.5
Defense:
  • Average Score Against: 31
  • Total Yards: 483
  • Rush Yards: 133
  • Passing Yards: 350

Houston NFL Betting Analysis

Well, Brock Osweiler is gone. He was terrible in both losses last year as the team’s starting QB. Now the Pats get a look at rookie Deshaun Watson. The former Clemson star made his first NFL start last Thursday in a win over Cincinnati. He was 15 of 24 for 125 yards and had five carries for 67 yards and a TD.Watson provided the most exciting play, and the only touchdown, of the Texans’ 13-9 victory over the Bengals — on a scramble up the middle and then down the right sideline for a 49-yard touchdown. The rookie QB showed some improvement from his Week 1 performance (he relieved Tom Savage in a loss to Jacksonville) but acknowledged after the game that he still has a lot to learn before he is a complete quarterback. Watson didn’t turn the ball over but did have two passes that were almost intercepted.JJ Watt and the Texans are not a safe NFL Betting Pick in Week 3.Deshaun could get a big-play weapon back for this one as WR Will Fuller (collarbone) returned to practice this week. It’s a potential sign Fuller could return for Week 3. When he was hurt in early August, it was thought Fuller would be out 2-3 months. Texans coach Bill O’Brien is hopeful TE Ryan Griffin (concussion) returns this week. He said the same about TE Stephen Anderson, who is also dealing with a concussion.Houston remains without left tackle Duane Brown, who continues to hold out. And top cornerback Kevin Johnson will miss 4-6 weeks with a knee injury. It’s a huge blow losing a player the Texans proactively let A.J. Bouye walk in favor of playing. Johnson was a first rounder in 2015 and has flashed promise when healthy.

Team Statistics

Offense:Average Score For: 10Total Yards: 234.5Rush Yards: 130.5Passing Yards: 104Defense:Average Score Against: 19Total Yards: 287.5Rush Yards: 118.5Passing Yards: 169

NFL Betting Trends & Expert Pick

Texans are 1-6-1 ATS in their last 8 meetings.Texans are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 meetings in New England.The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Houston’s last 10 gamesPatriots are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 gamesPatriots are 11-1 SU in their last 12 gamesThe total has gone OVER in 5 of New England’s last 5 gamesNo question the Patriots win, of course, but that’s a lot of points. Sometimes mobile QBs give New England trouble. I would buy up that side to 14.5 and take Houston. Really like the under.
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