The Denver Broncos (4-8) head to the Lone Star State this weekend for an all-AFC battle with the Houston Texans (8-4). Kickoff is set for 1:00 PM EST on December 8th at NRG Stadium and the game will be televised on CBS.
Oddsmakers opened this game up with the Texans listed as 9.5-point home favorites. The spread has come down by half a point after early betting, as Houston is currently available at -9. The total for this matchup is 41.5 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 14 NFL odds and for more links to our individual game previews.
Texans vs Broncos Game Odds & Betting Preview
The Broncos snapped a two game losing streak last weekend, beating the Los Angeles Chargers 23-20 at home to improve to 4-8 on the season overall. Denver scored two touchdowns in the first quarter and managed to hold on for the victory in the second half despite getting outscored 10-6 over the final 30 minutes of the game. QB Drew Lock played fairly well in his debut, going 18/28 for 134 passing yards and two touchdowns through the air. RB Phillip Lindsay led the way on the ground, rushing for 58 yards on a team-high 17 carries. Courtland Sutton also chipped in, making four catches for 74 receiving yards and two touchdowns. As a whole, the Broncos generated over 200 total yards of offense and found the end zone twice in the win.
Denver was fairly solid defensively against the Chargers, giving up just two touchdowns despite allowing almost 400 total yards of offense. However, the Broncos did struggle trying to slow down Los Angeles WR Mike Williams, allowing him to catch five passes for 117 receiving yards.
The Texans have now won three out of their last four games after stunning New England 28-22 at home on Sunday Night Football. Houston had a 14-3 lead at the half before adding two more touchdowns over the final two quarters en route to their eighth victory of the season. QB Deshaun Watson went 18/25 for 234 passing yards and three touchdowns through the air while RB Duke Johnson averaged 4.0 yards per carry on the ground. DeAndre Hopkins led the way for the receiving corps, hauling in five catches for 64 yards. Overall, the Texans gained 292 total yards of offense and scored four touchdowns against a very tough Pats defense.
Houston had a mediocre outing on the other side of the ball against the Patriots, surrendering well over 400 total yards of offense and three touchdowns. The Texans had no answer for New England WR Julian Edelman, allowing him to rack up six receptions for 106 yards and a touchdown.
Free NFL Betting Predictions and Pick: OVER 41.5
A case could easily be made for avoiding this spot altogether, as both the spread and the total currently look pretty spot on to me. While I really don’t want to throw darts against an efficient looking spread, I do think that there is still just a tiny bit of value with the OVER on 41.5 total points scored in this matchup – especially after how much better the Broncos offense looked with Drew Lock under center. Courtland Sutton could be in store for another multi-touchdown outing here in Week 14 after finding the end zone twice against the Chargers, as the Texans secondary has certainly been exposed fairly often through their first twelve outings.
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Of course, it is important to note that these two teams have been involved in plenty of low scoring battles together in recent years, as the total has now gone UNDER in five out of their last six meetings. The UNDER has also come through in 15 of Denver’s last 20 games overall as well, so I’m definitely going to avoid this AFC battle entirely if the total moves up by even half a point. However, as things sit now, the market may still be slightly underestimating the Broncos offense after their well-documented struggles with both Joe Flacco and Brandon Allen at quarterback. I’ll roll the dice and take a shot with the OVER on 41.5 total points scored.