Monday Night Football Predictions - Houston Texans vs Denver Broncos

Houston Texans players celebrating

Monday, October 24, 2016 5:21 PM GMT

Houston Texans travel to face the Denver Broncos in this MNF game that is filled with subplots and intangibles. The bottom line of the selection is value, as this line has been “bet” up by 3 points since the (-6) opener. Time for us to step in, in a very contrary way with our NFL pick.

Houston Texans vs. Denver Broncos (-9) 8:30 ET / ESPN

First, let's discuss those intangibles that have impacted the betting line. Houston starting QB Osweiler will be rudely greeted by the more than 75,000 Denver faithful when he returns to the Mile High city for this contest. Drafted in the 2nd Round by Denver GM, Elway, Osweiler was groomed for 4 years (most recently behind QB Manning) as the heir apparent to the Denver signal-calling position. He played well down the stretch while Manning was injured last season, before abandoning the Broncos for a $72 million offer by Houston. This year, his first as a Houston starter, he has put up decent numbers, averaging 234 PYPG on 59% completions with an 8/8 ratio. While the Broncos would appear to have that psychological edge, for this reason, it should also be noted that Denver HC Kubiak was fired by Houston, after 8 years, in 2013. Kubiak missed the Broncos' last game, a 21-13 loss at San Diego (migraine), but is expected to return for tonight's contest. With those intangibles as a backdrop, let's take a look at the numbers that lead us to the CONTRARY Houston Monday night football pick tonight.

Denver Broncos

The defending champion, Broncos, had an unusual start for defending champs with a 4-0 SU ATS beginning. But, the bottom has fallen out in their previous two games, as they lost on this field to Atlanta (23-16) in their previous home game. That was followed by a 21-13 loss at San Diego last Thursday night. That made it back to back losses in a span of only 5 days. The most recent loss to the Chargers snapped their 15-game divisional road winning streak in a contest they trailed 21-3. The Broncos continue to prosper from one of the league's best defenses, allowing just 18 PPG and 295 YPG. But, their sub-100 running game and the fact they average only 323 YPG is clearly cause for concern when laying this kind of number. The Broncos are now 12-6 ATS as a non-div home favorite but on a 2-6 ATS slide as home chalk of late.

Houston Texans

Houston enters with an identical 4-2 SU mark. The home/road dichotomy has been undeniable. The Texans have won all 4 home games, beating Chicago, KC, Tennessee, and Indianapolis. In last week's Sunday night victory over the Colts, they overcame a 14 point deficit in the final 3 minutes to tie the game and win in OT. Their results bring them into this contest on a run of 10-5 ATS dating to last season. Much like the Broncos, the offense has had trouble getting untracked, averaging just 18 PPG. It is also disturbing that the Houston rush defense has allowed opponents to carry the ball an average of 30 times per game (a sure recipe for failure in an NFL game). Of equal concern are the results of the Texans' first 2 road games, which have seen them drop a Thursday nighter at New England (27-0) with QB Brissett at the controls for the Pats, and a 31-13 road loss at Minneapolis. That makes it 0-2 SU ATS away with a (-39) AFP mark. Finally, it should be noted that under 3rd year HC O'Brien that the favorite is now 26-12 ATS in Texans' games.

Final Analysis

You can see from the above numbers that it is an easy leap for the public to the lineup with a Broncos team, who plays this game at home on MNF with all the intangibles in their favor, coming off a previous home loss and BBLs. Meanwhile, Houston has struggled on the road against quality teams. With the inflated line, however, it only strengthens the contrary resolve of this selection, making it a Top Play on Houston on MNF. I invite you to put the NFL odds in your favor and join me in my pick on the Houston Texans tonight.

Free NFL Pick: Houston Texans +7.5

Best Line Offered: at Intertops

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