NFL Picks: Texans vs. Jaguars Betting the Total

Darin Zank

Thursday, December 5, 2013 7:14 PM UTC

Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 7:14 PM UTC

Earlier this week we took a look at Thursday night's expected thriller between the Texans and Jaguars, and offered up a pick on the spread.

Today we'll revisit the game from the OVER/UNDER angle, and offer a pick on the total.

As always, take this pick for what you think it's worth. At least the price is right.

Texans-Jags: The Number

Most NFL betting shops we consulted opened the NFL odds on this game at 43 on the total, and while there's been some fluctuation during the week, as of Thursday morning most books were still lining it at 43, or 43.5.

Texans-Jags: Game Set-Up

Neither of these teams is contending for a playoff spot – Houston's 2-10, Jacksonville 3-9. But in a match-up like this we're liable to see anything; fake field goals, fake punts, going for it on fourth down when you usually wouldn't, things like that.

Also, both teams are starting quarterbacks who should be treating these last few games of this season as a tryout for the starting spot for next season. The Texans have been going with young Case Keenum instead of veteran Matt Schaub, while the Jags have been playing Chad Henne in place of young Blaine Gabbert.

Houston just ran for 121 yards against New England, scoring 31 points. They also just gave up 34 points.

Jacksonville just put up 32 points at Cleveland. They also gave up four touchdowns to one of the worst offenses in the league.

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Texans-Jags Recent History

These two teams just met a couple weeks ago, when Jacksonville, 1-9 at the time, went into Houston and came away with a 13-6 victory.

The teams only combined for 550 yards of offense that day, and the game never threatened its OVER/UNDER of 44.

In fact, four of the last five meetings in this series have played UNDER on the totals.

Texans-Jags: By the Numbers

Houston is 8-4 on the OVER/UNDERS this season, as its games have averaged 46 total points.

Jacksonville is 7-5 on the totals, as its games have averaged 44 points.

Through their first eight games the Jags averaged 11 points per; over their last four games they've averaged 22 points.

The Texans rank 10th in total offense and third in total defense. But a -12 turnover ratio has directly resulted in numerous scores by their opponents.

Jacksonville ranks dead last in the league in total offense, and 25th in total defense.

Texans-Jags: The Weather

The forecast for Thursday night in Jacksonville calls for temps in the 60s, light winds and a slight chance of rain. Doesn't sound like that should affect the game too much.

Texans-Jags: The Kickers

As we've said before, kickers can play a huge part in deciding OVER/UNDERS. A couple of good kickers kicking in good conditions can be worth 12-15 points in a game.

Houston kicker Randy Bullock has missed nine of 29 field-goal attempts this season. He's 10-for-15 from between 40 and 49 yards, which is below average for kickers in this league.

Jacksonville K Josh Scobee is 17-for-19 on field goals this season, with a long of 53. He's 11-for-11 from inside 40 yards, six-for-eight beyond 40.

Our Take on the Total

We'd like to think both these teams might come out tonight and go crazy, throw the ball all over the field, take gambles, go for it on fourth down in their own territory, and in general create some excitement for a national TV audience. The question is whether they've got the personnel to pull it off.

Henne has actually played a couple good games in a row. If the Jags can get some balance going with Jones-Drew running the ball, they could score 21 points tonight.

Keenum, meanwhile, may be win-less as a starter, but that's not all his fault. In fact, he's thrown eight TD passes and only three interceptions. Houston has scored at least 23 points in four of his six starts.

It's a close call, but we'll go with the OVER 42.5 offered at Pinnacle for our free NFL pick on the total on tonight's game.

NFL Picks: Over 42.5

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