Two teams that are up and coming in the AFC are going to square off at Reliant Stadium in NFL betting action on Sunday as a part of the Week 5 slate, as the Oakland Raiders pay a visit to the Houston Texans.
The Raiders still think that they have a shot at making the playoffs this year even though they were beaten pretty concisely by the New England Patriots at home last week. We still believe in this offense, especially now that we know that RB Michael Bush is going to be in the lineup. This is only the second week that QB Jason Campbell has had his full complement of wide receivers to choose from, and WR Jacoby Ford could be in for a sparkling game when push comes to shove. However, this team revolves around RB Darren McFadden. Run DMC is the game’s top rusher, and he is leading the best rushing team in the NFL. Houston has been known to struggle at times with offenses that run between the tackles this year, as the defensive line is clearly its weakness in this newly built 3-4 scheme. Meanwhile, LB Rolando McClain is leading an Oakland defense that has had its moments this year in the spotlight, though we know that the AFC East teams have absolutely crippled this unit.
Last year, the Texans had all sorts of problems getting their defensive stars on the field together. At some point over the year, both LB Brian Cushing and LB DeMeco Ryans, both of which are Pro Bowl caliber linebackers, were hurt, and the two only spent a few games together on the field. Now, the hope for Head Coach Gary Kubiak and company is that the offense isn’t going through the same problems. First it was RB Arian Foster, last year’s leading rusher that essentially missed the first three games of the season with a hamstring injury. Now, RB Ben Tate, the man who backed him up effectively in those games is hurting, as is his backup RB Derrick Ward. On top of that, the offense looked horrid for the most part in last week’s win over the Pittsburgh Steelers after WR Andre Johnson left the lineup. Johnson is once again out this week with a leg injury, and there is no timetable for his return. The good news, though? Foster rumbled for 155 yards on 30 carries against one of the most vaunted defenses in the game last week, and if he can do that to Pittsburgh, we can only imagine what he can do to the Raiders.
Oakland Raiders @ Houston Texans Pick: This is an odd spot for Houston to be in. This time around, and perhaps for the first time in team history, this is a game that the franchise is really expected to win and win handily, even without its best player. Being the hunted is a lot different than being the hunter, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see the Raiders pull off a surprise on Sunday.
NFL Pick: Oakland Raiders +5.5 at Bookmaker Sportsbook.
Andrew Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.