AFC Divisional Playoffs: Houston Texans at New England Patriots: Preview, Prediction and Picks

texans patriots

Kevin Stott

Friday, January 13, 2017 2:49 PM UTC

Friday, Jan. 13, 2017 2:49 PM UTC

Potentially the largest playoff spread in 40 years awaits in the AFC Divisional matchup Saturday night between Tom Brady and the Patriots and the AFC South champion Texans. With the Patriots winning the first meeting, 27-0, is laying the large lumber again the best advice?

AFC Divisional Round Odds Preview

Houston at New England (CBS, 8:15 p.m. ET): The Texans (10-7 SU, 7-9-1 ATS) head to Gillette Stadium (FieldTurf) in chilly Foxborough (Partly Cloudy, 20°F) Saturday night to face the Patriots (14-2 SU, NFL-best 13-3 ATS) in this AFC Divisional matchup. Offshores have the Patriots massive 14½- (Heritage) to 16-point favorites (Bovada) with the Total from 44 (BookMaker) to 44½ (Bovada). The Moneyline sees New England in a big/big -1, 175 (5Dimes) to -2,500 (JustBet) range with Houston at a high of +981 (Pinnacle).

Houston Texans

Head coach Bill O’Brien and the Texans (42/1 to win AFC, BetDSI) actually had a negative Point Differential this Regular Season (-49, 279 PS-328 PA), and it’ll be important for Brock Osweiler and Houston not to be taken out of the game -- both mentally and scoreboard-wise -- in the first quarter here like in Week 3 when the Patriots jumped out to a 10-0 lead then coasted on against the road-poor Texans (2-6 SU) who’ve cut their teeth in the still-paltry AFC South.

With excellent WR DeAndre Hopkins, RB Lamar Miller back from injury and the NFL’s #1 Total Defense (301.3 ypg), it seems getting nearly 17 would be a no-brainer, but Houston (80/1 to win Super Bowl, BookMaker) has an Osweiler-Savage-Weeden QB rotation while the opponents boast Brady-Garoppolo. The Texans are 4-11-1 ATS L16 FieldTurf and 2-5 ATS L7 vs. Teams with Winning Records as well as against the AFC, with one of those covers coming against the Connor Cook-quarterbacked Raiders last weekend.

New England Patriots

Bill Belichick (172-124-7 ATS) and the Patriots (+133 to win AFC, 5Dimes) had a week off and have to love this #1 seed and its platinum home-field edge after heading to Denver and being eliminated in the AFC title game last winter. Even with Rob Gronkowski (Back) out, New England’s offensive cupboard is stocked with Julian Edelman and LeGarrette Blount producing like Dunkin Donut-makers and guys like Martellus Bennett, Danny Amendola, Chris Hogan, Dion Lewis and Michael Floyd making Brady's life easier.

The Patriots (+310 to win Super Bowl, 5Dimes) are 24-9-2 ATS L35 Home games, 13-3 ATS L16 overall and 4-1 ATS L5 Divisional Playoff games.

Points Should Be Scarce, But Hosts Should Roll

With so many offensive weapons for Brady, constant pressure, luck, winning the field position battle and turnovers will all have to go Houston’s way to escape here. But expecting much output from Osweiler (55.5 QBR) and the Texans seems like wishful thinking, especially with the Pats' unheralded defense (15.6 ppg, #1 scoring) playing as well as it has in years. You can send flowers to NPG Parkway, Houston, TX, 77054.

Predicted Score: Patriots 31 Texans 10NFL Free Picks: Patriots -14½, 'Under' 44.5Best Line Offered: Heritage

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