NFL Picks: Texans vs. Cardinals Week 10 NFL Betting

Swinging Johnson

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 7:21 PM UTC

Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013 7:21 PM UTC

The Texans’ season of discontent continues as they stagger into Arizona after dropping their last six while the Cardinals are fresh off a win and a bye week but where is the value in this NFL odds preview?

Houston Texans (2-6 SU, 1-7 ATS)

Only the Atlanta Falcons could be deemed more disappointing than the Houston Texans this season and even that is debatable. At least in their last game the Texans showed some signs of life as they hosted the upstart Colts though they withered down the stretch en route to a 27-24 loss. Not only did they lose the game they also lost their head coach Gary Kubiak as he collapsed after the game, suffering what has been determined as a mini-stroke. 

Despite losses to the Chiefs and last week to the Colts, Case Keenum has shined in replacement of inured and floundering starter Matt Schaub. In his two starts, Keenum has not thrown an interception and launched three touchdown strikes to a suddenly reinvigorated, and apparently healthy, Andre Johnson in last week’s game. When the dust settled in their loss to the Colts, Keenum had racked up 350 passing yards and three TD’s (all to Johnson) with a passer rating of 123.4.

The defense is ranked 1st in both passing yards allowed and total yards yet is ranked near the bottom in points allowed, surrendering 27.6 per contest. And just as the yardage stats appear promising on defense though the results yield misery, so too has the offense where Houston ranks 11th in passing and 9th in rushing. However, they are averaging only 18.2 points per game which places them 28th amongst the 32 NFL franchises.

Arizona Cardinals (4-4 SU, 5-3 ATS)

The Cardinals rebounded from two consecutive defeats to score a 27-13 victory over the hapless Atlanta Falcons last week. The win came courtesy of a ball-hawking defense that tortured Matty “Cold As” Ice to the tune of four picks and augmented by a stellar effort from rookie running back Andre Ellington who blazed across the gridiron in an 80-yard touchdown run which contributed mightily to his 154 yards rushing on the day.

The Cardinals mediocre stats reflect their mediocre record. They are ranked 18th and 24th in passing and rushing yards respectively while their defense has surrendered over 254 yards per contest which places them 24th in the league. However, their run stop unit has worked well, limiting the opposition to only 88.3 yards per game (4th in the league). The offense is sputtering along at 20 points per game (24th…seems to be their unlucky number) while the defense is surrendering 21.8 PPG, tied for 22nd in the league.

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The Pick:

In the interest of full disclosure I have been guilty of fading the Cardinals this season and the results have not been pretty. I’m just not enamored with an aging veteran like Carson Palmer pulling the trigger nor have I ever been a fan of Rashard Mendenhall. However, their defense has been opportunistic despite their propensity to surrender points.

The long and short is this. Case Keenum has rekindled the pass/catch combination with Andre Johnson and the defense is better than they have played up to this point. Texas is due and has been due for about six weeks but this is a good spot for them. The offense is invigorated and the defense should be able to give Carson Palmer plenty to think about. 

While those who have backed the Texans this year will no doubt be looking to fade them in order to get some of their hard earned bankroll back, I believe they will be in the winner’s circle on Sunday as part of my NFL picks this week.

Play the Texans +3 (-120) in Sunday’s NFL odds at

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