If the Jacksonville Jaguars have any intentions of getting back in the AFC South race this year, they had better beat the NFL odds against the Houston Texans on Sunday at Reliant Stadium.
Jacksonville still just doesn’t look like a team that is all that great, but it got the job done against the Baltimore Ravens last week on Monday Night Football and really looked like a team that has the ability to win games as long as they stay fairly ugly. QB Blaine Gabbert’s completion percentage is still below 50%, and that’s bad news going against a Houston offense which can score and score in bunches. The defense has really done a great job over these last six quarters of football against two good clubs though, as both the Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers combined for just 10 points in those two halves of ball. The secondary has been particularly efficient, allowing just one pass for more than 20 yards in those six quarters and just one passing touchdown. It’s not like these were slouch quarterbacks that the team was going against either, as QB Joe Flacco and QB Ben Roethlisberger have won plenty of playoff games in their time.
The only thing that we know that we are getting with the Texans each and every week is the unexpected. Wins over the Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins gave way to optimism before the team had a terrible defensive second half against the New Orleans Saints, and then hopes were high once again after beating the Pittsburgh Steelers, only to have them crashed against both the Oakland Raiders and Baltimore Ravens. Now, hopes are high that again, this is the year that the Texans finally make the playoffs, as they smashed what should be their biggest challenges in the AFC South on the road 41-7 in a game in which they were field goal underdogs. A win in this one is expected, but a loss would crash the team right back to reality. There’s bad news for this team on the injury front as well. WR Andre Johnson might still be a week or so away from returning from his hamstring injury, and S Danieal Manning is out for at least the next month and a half with a broken bone in his leg.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans Pick: The Texans have historically played well against the Jags, especially here at Reliant Stadium. That being said, we’re taking Jacksonville on Sunday with all of those points, knowing that this game has the potential to be awfully close if the Jags’ secondary can crack down on QB Matt Schaub and his relatively innocent group of receivers sans Johnson.
NFL Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars +9.5 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.