(4-5, 3-6 ATS)
New York Jets
(7-2, 6-3 ATS)
If the Houston Texans think that they are making the playoffs, they need to go on a run, and in a hurry. They’ll take on one of the two teams that are tied for the best record in the NFL in their conference on Sunday afternoon, as they crack skulls with the New York Jets in NFL betting action.
What a way to get beaten… Houston knows that it got unlucky against the Jacksonville Jaguars when the hosts had their Hail Mary prayers answered with no time left on the clock, but this is becoming a real trend for the Texans. They just aren’t able to put away these close games in big spots. The only good news this week is that their secondary shouldn’t be abused like it has been all year long. We know that Houston’s schedule has been rough, but there is absolutely no excuse to be giving up 301.3 yards per game through the air. Needless to say, an offense that ranks No. 6 overall in the league is being wasted, and it’s a shame as well, as this is the most balanced attack that the Texans have ever had on their offense in franchise history. RB Arian Foster is amongst the league’s top rushers with 920 yards on the campaign, while QB Matt Schaub has 2,319 yards through the air. Houston has failed to cover five straight games and is just 1-4 SU in those outings. The schedule isn’t getting any easier either, as this is just the first of five straight games against teams that are almost certainly going to be in the second season.
The Jets have been awfully interesting this year, as this doesn’t feel like a team that should be 7-2 on the season. Close call wins against the Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns, and Denver Broncos could have easily swung the other way, results which would have put New York in Houston’s spot at 4-5 through nine games. A defense which absolutely looked impenetrable last season has allowed 20+ points in four of its last nine. At home this year, the offense has scored an average of just 16.5 points per game and was shut out in its most recent game. RBs Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson have only combined for six rushing touchdowns… However, the play of QB Mark Sanchez has picked up quite a bit, and that has made a huge difference. Sanchez might only have 1,978 yards and might be completing just 54.7 percent of his passes, but he has a TD/INT ratio of 12/6, a very acceptable number by the standards of most NFL signal callers. Virtually all of his passes go to one of five men, but his top two targets are WR Braylon Edwards and TE Dustin Keller. The two have combined for 62 catches for just under 1,000 yards, and each has taken in five TDs on the campaign.
It has been close games that have been killing the Texans all season long, and this is going to be no exception whatsoever. Expect Houston to stay close, but when push really comes to shove, it is going to be beaten in the dying moments once again, which is a sign of a team that isn’t nearly as good as many think. Still, this will be a triumph for NFL betting fanatics.
NFL Free Pick: Houston Texans +7