Bill O’Brien will look to get his first win over mentor Bill Belichick this weekend when the Houston Texans visit the New England Patriots. Game time is 1:00 EST on Sunday, September 24 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The game will be available in local markets on CBS.
The Patriots enter the game as 13-point favorites at home. The line opened with New England at -11, but betting thus far has favored the Patriots. The over/under for the game is 43.5 points. Click here for a full list of the Week 3 betting odds and links to more game previews.
Texans vs Patriots Vegas Odds Preview
The Texans will have a little extra time to prepare for this game after playing last Thursday, beating the Bengals 13-9. Of course, at this point, a win over Cincinnati isn’t all that impressive. That’s particularly true after an unsettling 29-7 loss at home to the Jaguars in Week 1.
That being said, rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson showed some potential in his first career start last Thursday. He was 15 for 24 for a rather modest 125 yards throwing the ball, but he also had a 49-yard touchdown run. Houston also has what could be a rather formidable defense, especially with J.J. Watt getting back into shape after playing just three games last season.
The Patriots, rather surprisingly, enter this game with a 1-1 record after a shocking home loss to the Chiefs in Week 1. Naturally, Belichick and company bounced back the following week, taking care of the Saints 36-20. But whatever cloak of invincibility the Patriots may have worn this season is off after their Week 1 loss.
Offensively, there were some questions about New England’s contingent of receivers following Week 1. But Tom Brady didn’t seem to have a problem with his pass catchers last week. However, defensively, one has to wonder whether the Patriots may have a problem. Alex Smith of all people threw for over 350 yards against New England in Week 1. Drew Brees did the same the following week, so it appears the Patriots could be vulnerable on that side of the ball.
Free Betting Pick & Predictions: Over
With an 11-point spread, this game is tough to call, especially with so much familiarity between the two head coaches. But I get the sense that both teams will be able to score against the other, which makes me think that taking the over is the best play.
On the surface, this may seem risky, as the Texans are averaging just 10 points per game. But O’Brien will have a few extra days to come up with a game plan that it’ll work. Between that and his familiarity with Belichick, the Texans will be prepared to play a New England defense that’s giving up 31 points per game through two weeks.
One more thing to consider is Watson’s mobility. His 49-yard improvised touchdown run against the Bengals will give Belichick nightmares. Watson may not throw for over 350 yards like the first two quarterbacks to face the Patriots this year, but he’ll make some things happen with his legs that will frustrate the New England defense.
Click on the link for more free NFL betting predictions from our experts on staff.
On the other side of the ball, I’m not too worried about Brady and company moving the ball. Despite some injury concerns earlier in the week, both Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola have been cleared to play Sunday. With those two lining up alongside Brandon Cooks, the Patriots will be a threat to score against any defense.
With an over/under of 43.5 points, even a scoreline of 24-20 will be enough to win on the over. Games involving the Patriots this season have seen point totals of 69 and 56. That’s enough to make me think that the Texans and Patriots can score at least 44 points between them.
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