NFL Picks: Texans vs. Falcons Will be a Lot Closer Than Many Expect

Charles Stark

Sunday, October 4, 2015 1:20 PM GMT

Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015 1:20 PM GMT

The Falcons have come out as one of the hottest teams in the NFL at . Today, though, I like the Texans to hang with them so I'm backing them getting points as the underdog.

NFL odds Rundown
NFL odds makers set this line out at five and it is moved a little bit since it first opened. Right now you can take the Houston Texans at +6 at Bovada (-105). This is pretty good value on a good defensive team that could give Atlanta a lot of trouble today. For one of my NFL picks of the day I will back the Texans getting this many points with a small play on the money line.

 

Houston Texans
Offensively Houston has averaged 18.7 points per game, 369.7 yards per game, and a third-down 31.37% conversion rate. The conversion rate has really hurt them in not being able to convert on third-down which is crucial in the NFL. With Ryan Mallett now at the helm they have been a pretty pass happy team throwing the ball 62.66% of the time which ranks eighth in the NFL. More so they are ranked number one in the NFL at 48 passes attempted per game. He has that type of ability, just not the experience yet, but with every game I think he will get a little bit better. Right now the running attack is questionable so I'm not going to speculate on who is going to play. Nevertheless, for the most part they have moved the ball up and down the field pretty well and I believe they will be able to move the ball on Atlanta.

Defensively Houston has allowed 20 points per game, 332.7 yards per game, and a third-down 21.05% conversion rate which ranks second in the NFL. This a good defense that should be able to get some stops even against a real good offense in Atlanta. Matt Ryan has been pretty good this year and Atlanta has utilized him well as they pass the ball 57.42% of the time. But what Houston brings the table on the defensive side is that they have only allowed of 53.77% completion rate which ranks first in the NFL. From stopping the run to stop in the pass so far this Houston defense has been solid and I expect them to play well today.

 

Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons have averaged 29.7 points per game, 411.7 yards per game, and a third-down 53.33% conversion rate. Their yards per game is ranked third in the NFL and a third-down conversion rate is ranked second, this is a good offense. Atlanta has not given away the ball very much to the other team keeping possession to themselves and moving the chains (ranked fourth in giveaways per game). Still, in my opinion they're facing the toughest defense that they have so far this season so things might not run as smoothly for them as they have the past three games. This is the guts of this play , although they rank second in the NFL in passing yards per game they have yet to face a defense as good as the Texans.

Defensively Atlanta has allowed 24 points per game, 378 yards per game, and a third-down 40% conversion rate. They have been essentially a subpar defense so far this season. They have been solid against the run but they are allowing opponents a 72.03% completion rate. This might spell some trouble against the Houston Texans team that likes the past the ball as much as they do. In my opinion the jury is still out on this Atlanta defense and today will be telling just to see how good this team could be this year on that end the ball.

 

Final Analysis
I can see why a lot of people would want to jump on the Falcons, but on statistics alone with a solid defense Houston not only has a chance to cover the spread but a chance to win this game. For one of your NFL picks I recommend backing Houston in this spot. This a very interesting matchup of two teams that both like to pass the ball but only one team so far has shown the capability of stopping the pass, the Texans. Don't be surprised if Houston pulls the upset.

NFL Pick: Texans +6 (-115) at Bovada

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