Are the Patriots Worthy of -15.5 Point Favorite vs the Texans?
Houston Texans vs New England Patriots
AFC Playoff Pick by Russell Davis
Houston Texans (9–7; 7–9–1 ATS; 7–10 O/U) vs. New England Patriots (14–2; 13–3 ATS; 6–10 O/U)
Tip Off: 8:15pm EST Saturday January 14th, 2017
The Line: Patriots 15.5, 44.5
The Houston Texans handled the Oakland Raiders last weekend winning 27–14 at home. With the win they booked their tickets to the AFC Divisional Round to take on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. The Pats are the #1 seed in the AFC which gave them a BYE last weekend and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. But going up against the #1 defense in the NFL are the Patriots worthy of laying -15.5 points?
Houston’s biggest question mark leading up to their matchup with the Raiders was QB Brock Osweiler. Luckily for the Texans the Raiders defense didn’t get a lot of pressure on Osweiler and he made some impressive throws to do just enough to get the win. This team wins behind their defense but they can lose with bad play at the quarterback position. The Texans will get very little wiggle room going up against the Patriots and one of the all time greatest coaches and quarterbacks in the history of the NFL.
The Texans defense came up big last week, allowing only 203 total yards and held Oakland to a 2 for 16 mark on third downs.
It can be hard to gauge a teams performance coming off a BYE week but the Patriots are a different team. Since 2003, the Patriots are (19–4 SU) coming off a BYE but only (12–10–1) against the spread.
Tom Brady was typical Tom Brady this season and after missing Weeks 1–4 for “deflategate”, Brady threw for 3554 yards, 28 touchdowns and just two picks in 12 games.
The Patriots are 5–0 ATS in their last five games following a straight-up win, and 4–0 ATS in their last four games following an ATS win. New England is also 4–0 ATS in their last four versus the AFC, and 6–1 ATS versus a team with a winning record.
So are the Patriots worthy of laying -15.5 points? Yes. Only twice this season have the Patriots been favored by -13 or more: vs LA on December 4th and vs the Jets in Week 16 when they were favored by -17 points. They covered the spread in both games. I think the Patriots will be able to score points but more importantly the Patriots defense, often forgotten, has played really well and should have no problems shutting down this Houston offense. I like the Patriots to win by at least 17 points.
Texans vs Patriots Prediction: Patriots -15.5
Russell Davis is (12–2) L30 with his NFL Spread Picks.