NFL Picks: Rams vs. Texans Play Lock

Steve Merril - Steve@prosportsinfo.com

Friday, October 11, 2013 5:34 PM GMT

St. Louis and Houston have been two of the most disappointing teams in the NFL this season.

Rams at Texans

The Rams and Texans are both 2-3 SU on the season and they’ve both been big losers against the pointspread. St. Louis is just 1-4 ATS and Houston is winless at 0-5 ATS. 

The Rams snapped their 3-game losing streak last week when they beat the lowly Jaguars 34-20. Despite the 14-point win on the scoreboard, St. Louis was unimpressive in that game, and they actually made Jacksonville look like a competitive NFL team.

St. Louis’ defense was gouged for 20 points and 363 yards by the inept Jaguars’ offense. The Rams allowed 267 passing yards on just 16 pass completions from the QB duo of Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne. That’s a whopping 16.7 yards per pass completion from two of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL. The Rams’ defense played awful despite what the final score indicates.

Overall this season, the Rams are allowing 28.2 points and 382.4 yards per game. Opponents have averaged 6.1 yards per play which ranks the Rams’ defense #27 in the league. St. Louis is also allowing 7.9 yards per pass attempt which has them ranked #28 in that defensive category.

The Rams’ offense has also struggled mightily this season as they are scoring only 20.6 points per game while averaging just 311.6 yards per game. St. Louis is averaging a terrible 5.6 yards per pass attempt and they are only converting 29.9% of their third downs. In their two road games this season, St. Louis has scored a total of 31 points.

Houston comes into this tilt on a 3-game losing streak. They were embarrassed last Sunday night in San Francisco in a 34-3 uncompetitive loss. It’s been well-chronicled that QB Matt Schaub has thrown a pick-six in four consecutive games. But this is the perfect spot for the Texans and Schaub to bounce back and play a solid offensive game, especially since they are facing a weak St. Louis defense. 

The Texans have been excellent on defense this season despite the fact that they are giving up 27.8 points per game. That number is skewed because opponents have scored a lot of defensive touchdowns on Houston. Overall, the Texans are #1 in the NFL in allowing only 260.2 total yards per game and also #1 in allowing just 134.2 passing yards per game. 

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Houston is holding opponents to just 4.6 yards per play which ranks them #3 in the league. Their secondary has been terrific as well with opposing teams averaging only 5.5 yards per pass attempt which also ranks them #3 in the league in that category. 

There’s a major rushing edge in favor of Houston in this game as well. On the season, the Rams have a negative 59.6 net rushing yards margin while the Texans are positive 7.6 on the ground. Houston will be able to control this game on the ground, and their defense will limit St. Louis’ offense from many scoring opportunities. 

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The current pointspread on this game has the Texans -7.5 (+100) with a total of 42 at the majority of sportsbooks.

St. Louis is 0-3 ATS as an underdog this season while losing those games by an average of 18.3 points per game. The Rams were an outstanding 11-3 ATS as underdogs last season so there’s obviously something amiss this year. 

Houston is on a 5-2 ATS run versus the current line when they win SU at home. The Texans won have won those games by an average of 19.6 points per game.

This is the perfect setup for Houston to bounce back strong and get a confidence building win. The Texans own every on-field match-up by a wide margin, and if the game plays out those advantages, Houston will win going away. We’ll lay the points with the Texans for our NFL picks in this game on Sunday afternoon.

Free Picks: Play TEXANS (-).