This Sunday the Houston Texans (3-6) will host the Arizona Cardinals (4-5) in a non-conference matchup of two teams that have been hit hard with injuries to star players. Kickoff is set for 1:00 EST at NRG Stadium and will be televised locally on FOX.
Oddsmakers currently have this game listed as a pick’em with the total set at 38.5 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 11 NFL betting schedule, plus more links to our game previews.
Cardinals vs Texans Vegas Betting Odds & Game Preview
Arizona comes into this contest off a 16-22 home loss to the Seahawks on Thursday Night Football. The Cardinals had their chances to pull out the win, as they only trailed 10-15 midway through the 3rd quarter. The defense certainly did their part, as they held the Seahawks to just 287 total yards and 14 first downs.
The Texans woes since losing Deshaun Watson continued in Week 10, as Houston lost 7-33 at Los Angeles to the Rams as a 13-point underdog. The Texans offense was dreadful to say the least, as they mustered just 283 yards and had 4 turnovers. That’s now 3 straight losses for Houston, who have to be wondering what could have been if Watson didn’t get hurt.
NFL Betting Predictions & Free Pick Against the Spread: Cardinals PK
I think it’s worth the risk here to take the Cardinals on the road in a pick’em game against the Texans. I’m actually shocked that the public isn’t all over Arizona given how bad Houston has looked with Tom Savage as their starting quarterback. I know the Rams are playing great right now, but to only score 7 points and put up 283 yards of offense is hard to ignore. Keep in mind it wasn’t much better the week before at home against a bad Colts team, where they scored just 14 points and had 288 total yards. The defense was responsible for 7 of those points and the offense didn’t score a single point until late in the 4th quarter.
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Let’s also not forget that Savage started their opener against Jacksonville at home and they lost that game 7-29. Note the only touchdown in that game came in the 2nd half after Watson replaced Savage. So in basically 10 quarters of work this season, Savage has guided the Texans to 14 points. An even more telling stat is that he’s completed just 47.3% of his passes, which is downright awful by NFL standards (there’s 29 quarterbacks who are completing 60% or better).
I believe the fact that this game is being played at home and the Cardinals could be down to 3rd string QB Blaine Gabbert, is the only thing that is keeping this line where it is. Whether it’s Gabbert or backup Drew Stanton, both are substantially better than Savage.
I also like this matchup for Arizona. I’ve already noted how bad Savage is and his horrific accuracy throwing the ball. For Houston’s offense to have any hope of success they need to be able to run the ball. That’s not going to be an easy task here, as the Cardinals own the league’s 8th ranked run defense, giving up just 97.7 ypg. Bruce Arians is also a smart head coach and you can bet that he’s going to load the box here and force Savage to beat them. Adding to the coaching edge is the fact that Arizona will have had 3 extra days to prepare for this game after playing on Thursday.
One last thing to note about the Cardinals is that while they are just 4-5 on the season, all 5 of their losses have come against teams who currently own a winning record (Lions, Cowboys, Eagles, Seahawks, Rams). Taking care of business against bad teams on the road has been one thing this team has done well, as Arizona is 14-4 ATS in their last 18 road games against a team with a losing home record. On the flip side of this, the Texans are just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games against a team with a losing road record. Give me the Cardinals.