Point spread: Atlanta -3
The Atlanta Falcons will look to extend their winning streak to three games while ending the Houston Texans streak at five when the two teams square-off this Sunday afternoon at Reliant Stadium. Game time for this clash is set for 1 p.m. (ET) and it will be broadcast on FOX.
Back-to-back victories over Tennessee and Minnesota have kept Atlanta just one game behind New Orleans in the NFC South Division race with an overall record of 7-4 straight-up. It is just 4-6-1 against the spread and the total has stayed ‘under’ in eight of its 11 games this season.
The Falcons will never be mistaken for a flashy or glamorous team, but their meat-and-potatoes style of running the ball and stopping teams on defense has proven to be effective this season especially over the last month or so. They find themselves in a perfect position to return to the postseason, but cannot afford too many more losses in the highly competitive playoff race in the NFC.
Houston is tied for the best record in the AFC at 8-3 SU (7-3-1 ATS), but critics are already writing it off for the year after season-ending injuries to both Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart. Next up at quarterback will be rookie T.J. Yates, who saw is first action of the season last week in the Texans 20-13 victory over Jacksonville as six-point road favorites.
Yates is no Schaub, but Houston also has Arian Foster and Ben Tate to run the ball to go along with a defense that is ranked first in the NFL in total yards allowed and second in points allowed. This team is more than capable of grinding out a win especially against a very similar foe like Atlanta.
The Falcons are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games on the road, but just 2-5-1 ATS in their last eight games as favorites. The total has stayed ‘under’ in their last seven games.
The Texans are 4-1-1 ATS in their last six home games and 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games overall. The total has stayed ‘under’ in four of their last five games at home.
This game will not be pretty, but you can rest assured that it will be a hard-fought battle to the end. Stick with the Texans to persevere at home by hammering-out a straight-up win.
The Pick: Houston 17 Atlanta 16
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.