NFL Week 3 Predictions - Thursday Night Football Texans vs Patriots O/U Pick

jacoby brissett and bill belichick

Nikki Adams

Wednesday, September 21, 2016 8:16 PM GMT

Wednesday, Sep. 21, 2016 8:16 PM GMT

Thursday Night Football kicks off in less than 24 hours. We weigh in on this much-anticipated AFC showdown with a view towards predicting the best bet for the total line on your NFL picks.

Can Patriots continue to defy the NFL odds?
Patriots can’t wait to put Deflategate behind them soon enough. The first two games of the season without Tom Brady went better than many expected they would. Certainly, better than the NFL experts predicted they would during the preseason. (Patriots are a perfect 2-0 SU and ATS and 1-1 against the total.)

The Patriots opened on the road against the Arizona Cardinals, an NFC heavyweight that many fancy as a viable contender for Super Bowl LI. The Patriots had no business winning if the NFL odds were any indication; heck, they closed as the +9 road underdogs.

Tale told they defied the NFL odds in a narrow 23-21 victory to the chagrin of their naysayers. The following week the outlook was admittedly more positive (Patriots closed as the -5.5 home chalk to Miami), largely down to Garoppolo’s poised play at the University of Phoenix Stadium that turned doubters into instant converts.

Week 1 Away: Patriots 23 vs. Cardinals 21
Closing Betting View: Patriots +330 ML, +9 ATS, and O/U 44

Week 2 Home: Dolphins 24 vs. Patriots 31
Closing Betting View: Patriots -230 ML, -5.5 ATS and O/U 42

Unfortunately, that market positivity came to an abrupt end following Jimmy Garoppolo’s untimely injury midway through the NFC East clash with the Miami Dolphins.  Everything changes with the Patriots set to field a rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett and nowhere more so than on the NFL odds board, naturally. Patriots reopened this week as the home underdogs around +2.5 and the total was set to 41 points.

Just to get a sense of the magnitude of this market about-change, one needs to go back to 2014 when Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos descended on Gillette Stadium for the last time the Patriots closed as home underdogs. Since 2002, the Patriots have closed as home underdogs only seven times!

Advanced Westgate Las Vegas Super Book lines opened with the Patriots as the -3.5 home chalk to the Texans, an early serving that was released before Sunday’s clash with the Dolphins. It’s also very likely they would have reopened on Sunday night/Monday morning even higher on the Patriots because the way Garoppolo was playing in the first half to lift the Patriots to the 24-0 lead was really something.

It’s still a way to go before the markets close on Thursday Night Football betting and it remains to be seen whether the Patriots will, in fact, close as the home underdogs. As it is, the NFL line has whittled down to Patriots +1 or a pick’em depending on your choice NFL sportsbooks, and the total has dropped by half-a-point as well. Intriguing NFL betting trends that we’ll examine shortly.


Houston Texans loom Large
It’s a short week, a tough Houston Texans side preparing to descend on the Foxboro for a Thursday Night Football showdown. Just the sheer magnitude of the matchup which pits two undefeated teams against one another is enough to give NFL bettors pause where the Patriots are concerned.

NFL bettors are blindly pounding the Texans, essentially betting against Patriots’ rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett. What else has changed, really? Aside from Brissett, the rest of the team is the same and Bill Belichick’s genius hasn’t waned over the last few days.

As it is, the Texans are receiving more than 55% of the tickets taken at the bookie's window and a whopping 93% of the money risked. Of course, betting against a rookie quarterback is a viable NFL strategy. One that we would advocate too in certain situations. In this particular case, involving a Patriots team that wins no matter who plays – one of the most successful organisations to implement the next-man up philosophy to great results – it shouldn’t be the obvious NFL betting approach.

Naturally, this isn’t only a negative look at the Brissett. There’s a touch of new-fangled love for the Houston Texans motivating this NFL betting trend as well. After all, Brock Osweiler and the Texans haven’t disappointed the NFL betting public. Coming through in the first two weeks for their backers, they take a 2-0 SU and ATS mark and a 2-0 record for the UNDER in total betting markets, the latter of which is underscored by a -8.2 differential to the closing total line.

They do look like the real deal and the defense led by J.J. Watt is doing a fine job. They dominated the Bears and Chiefs through two games and currently lead the NFL with 9 sacks. Not surprisingly, the UNDER is, therefore, the popular NFL pick receiving 53% of tickets so far.


Texans vs. Patriots Betting Verdict and Picks:
If there’s one thing that the Patriots have proven time and again it’s don’t count them out of any situation. Granted Brissett is relatively unknown but if Belichick feels confident in his rookie so should we. Patriots are 6-1 SU and ATS since 2002 as home underdogs. What’s more, since 2003 they are a perfect 4-0-0 OVER record when trading as the home underdog.

For our money, we’re not only taking the Patriots to win and cover at home but we’re also going against the grain with our total pick and shading the OVER 40.5 points currently on offer.


Free NFL Pick: OVER 39.5 -105 
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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