Free NFL Picks - Oakland Raiders vs Houston Texans

Houston Texans player in action

Nikki Adams

Tuesday, January 3, 2017 3:19 PM GMT

Postseason hopes hang by a thread as the Raiders prepare for a stern test at NRG Stadium against the Texans, marking the first of four wildcard round games to spot on your NFL picks this weekend.

 Oakland Raiders vs Houston Texans  

 

Point Spread Value

In the space of two weeks, things have gone from bad to worse for the Oakland Raiders. If losing Derek Carr wasn’t tantamount to disaster, the loss of a second straight quarterback Matt McGloin in as many weeks must spell the end of the road, surely. McGloin went down with a shoulder injury in week 17, and going down with him was the AFC West title in the 24-6 loss to Denver along with Oakland’s slim hopes in the playoffs. What chance do the Raiders really have at NRG Stadium next week? According to the NFL betting odds, a decent shot.

Consider Jack Del Rio might have to resort to third string quarterback Connor Cook if McGloin is ruled out, the line for this game does seem rather generous. Suppose the assumption across markets is McGloin will be a ‘Go’ on Saturday, which is fine and dandy and might give Raiders a better shot than they would have under Cook. However, all this is just conjectured really. Excuse the pun here but McGloin is a bit of a wildcard. After all, we’ve barely seen the kid play this season. Do you really dare hang your wildcard NFL pick on that many uncertainties?

 

Free NFL Pick: Texans -3 (-110)Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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 The Survivor

It would be nothing short of a minor miracle for the Raiders to pull a rabbit out of the hat in the wildcard round. A great regular season under the emerging star Derek Carr seems to be crashing to a complete and abrupt halt. It’s really bad luck. The Raiders looked poor in week 17 and deserved to lose to Denver. The Texans might not be dazzling many NFL bettors this season but through hard grafting, they’ve emerged as the AFC South champions. This isn’t a team to take lightly. There may be uncertainty at quarterback: will O’Brien start pricey Brock Osweiler or resort to Tom Savage? It’s up in the air, but, one thing is for certain he has the choice between two relatively able quarterbacks. The same can’t be said of Jack Del Rio.

 

Free NFL Pick: Texans -179Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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 Game Total

Given the uncertainties at quarterback in both camps, it’s quite likely defense will be a top priority. It’s, therefore, no surprise this game is trading on one of the lowest totals on the odds board for the wildcard round. Consider the Texans are at home and have quite the stout defense while the Raiders hang much of their hopes on a pair of untried quarterbacks, shading the UNDER does seem to be the choice NFL pick.
 

Free NFL Pick: Under 37 (-110)Best Line Offered: at BetCris

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