Texans Patriots Odds
The New England Patriots (12-4) host the Houston Texans (13-4) Sunday at 4:30 PM ET in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs. CBS has the television coverage. Oddsmakers have listed the Patriots as a 9.5-point favorite and have set the total at 48.0.
Why New England Covers
The Patriots have won three of four all-time meetings with the Houston Texans and are 2-0 straight up and against the spread in the two home meetings during this span. New England won 42-14 at home during the regular season while outgaining Houston 419-323. The Patriots won the previous home meeting 40-7 Dec. 17, 2006.
As you can see, the Texans had no answer for New England’s explosive offense in the regular-season matchup. The Pats finished the regular season ranked first in the NFL in both scoring and total offense with 34.8 points and 427.9 yards per game.
It is significant that New England averages 5.9 yards per play. That’s because the Texans are on a 0-6 against the spread slide in road games in the second half of the season versus good offensive teams that average 5.65 yards or more per play. The Texans have lost these contests by an average score of 31.3 to 20.7.
This may seem like a lot of points to lay, but consider that the Patriots are 56-37 against the spread all-time under coach Bill Belichick as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points. They have won these games by an average score of 28.3 to 17.0.
The Houston offense has had trouble putting points on the board lately. It has scored less than 20 points in four of its last five games. New England, on the other hand, has scored at least 23 points in each of its last 14 games while averaging 36.1 during this span.
Why Houston Covers
The Texans were crushed in their Dec. 10 visit to New England. However, that defeat actually puts them in a solid wagering situation. Consider that road underdogs or pickems that are out for revenge for a loss of 14 points or more to an opponent, provided they have a winning record and are matched up against another winning team, are 25-6 against the spread the last 10 seasons. Teams fitting into this situation have lost by only 1.3 points on average.
Houston has been terrific in revenge spots. In fact, it is 10-2 against the number the last three seasons when it is out for revenge for a loss to an opponent. It has won these games by an average score of 29.3 to 17.4. The Texans are also 9-2 against the spread all-time under coach Gary Kubiak when looking for revenge for a loss of 14 points or more to an opponent. They have won these contests by an average score of 25.6 to 20.8.
The Patriots have had an extra week to prepare, but history suggests that isn’t necessarily a good thing. New England is on a 1-9 against the spread slide in home games when playing with two weeks of rest or more. It has won these games on average but only by 2.7 points.
In addition, the Patriots are 1-8 against the spread in their last nine playoff games. They are 1-7 against the spread in their last eight playoff games at home.