Week 11 Texans vs. Browns: NFL Odds, Preview and Pick

Kevin Stott

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 8:56 PM GMT

The Cleveland Browns are off to a 6-3 start and it’s still hard to tell if this team is as good as its record. Sunday’s meeting against the Texans will reveal much and Houston +3 may be worth a bet.

 

Odds Overview
Houston Texans at Cleveland Browns (-3, 42½, Pinnacle), Sunday 18:00 (CBS, 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT): This AFC interdivisional matchup at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland sees the surprising Browns (6-3 SU, 5-2-2 ATS) welcome the Houston Texans (4-5 SU, 5-4 ATS) in an AFC interdivisional dance on the banks of Lake Erie in the Buckeye State. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook’s Advanced Line (released last week) had the Browns as -3 (Even) Favorites, so, the linemakers has this NFL Odds exactly where they want it and right where it should be and this number may stay at -3 all the way up until game time. The Total Points in this game is set at 42½ (bet365) while in the Money Line (Winner) marketplace, the host Browns are modest -170 Favorites (Paddy Power) with the Underdog Texans priced at +160. The Browns Total Team Points is set at 23 (Stan James) while the Texans Total Team Points is 20. A random prop bet to mull? The seldom-discussed wager for this game to go to Overtime is as high as 10/1 (+1000, Bwin).

 

Houston Texans
Coming in off their Bye week, the Texans will be rested and QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (1,960 yards), RB Arian Foster (822 yards, 10 TDs) and DE JJ Watt (8½ sacks) and Houston will be looking to get up to the .500 mark and theoretically stay in the playoff race in the AFC South where the Indianapolis Colts (6-3) are absolutely running away with the division (Colts 1/40 to win AFC South, Texans 8/1, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook). Houston ranks #4 in the NFL in Rushing, thanks in great part to Foster, but the Texans rank an anemic 28th Passing, thus the subpar record so far. But this Texans team only loses to fairly decent teams—the Giants, Cowboys, Colts, Eagles and Steelers—and whether or not this Browns team is for real remains to be seen, at least in my eyes. In other words, I’m not drinking the Brown(s) Kool-Aid (insert Woodstock reference here) just yet and it really doesn’t sound that appetizing anyway. And this Texans (206-197) team almost has identical PF-PA numbers as do the Browns (209-172) and has played a tougher schedule and honestly needs the game more than Cleveland and has the team to go in to the Dawg Pound and win. Woof.

Aforementioned stud Houston RB Foster (pulled groin) was listed as Probable on Monday night while LBs Brian Cushing (knee) and Jeff Tarpinian (knee), DB Darryl Morris (ankle) and CBs Jonathan Joseph (concussion) and Kareem Jackson (knee) were all listed as Questionable for Sunday’s game. Obviously, Houston (4-19 SU L23, 2-10 SU L12 Road) will need the services of Foster in order to beat the Browns (1-4 SU L5 vs. Texans) on the Road and you can probably count on him being ready and in there on Sunday and possibly even making a big difference. Foster is a good choice for an Anytime TD Scorer prop bet when that market opens up mid-week.

 

Cleveland Browns
You have to give credit to the Browns (5-1 SU L6) and first-year head coach Mike Pettine for what they have done so far, especially in the rough-and-tumble AFC North—Where Losing Records Aren’t Allowed™—but it’s also important to note that half of Cleveland’s 6 wins have come against the Titans (2-7, L3; by 1 point), the Raiders (0-9, L15) and the Buccaneers (1-9, L5)—or teams with a combined 3-25 SU record and a combined 23-game losing streak. Bring out your dead. And the one of the Browns 3 losses was at lowly Jacksonville (1-9, L3) who probably wouldn’t even have a win if it didn’t have Cleveland on the schedule. That’s right, the Jaguars beat the Browns.

Cleveland QB Brian Hoyer (161 completions, 2,212 yards, 10 TDs) has been impressive and has kept rookie draftee Johnny Manziel on the bench while RBs Terrance West (396 yards, 3 TDs) and Ben Tate (342 yards, 4 TDs) have been very efficient while WRs Andrew Hawkins (39 receptions, 504 yards, TD) and Taylor Gabriel (24 receptions, 435 yards, TD, 18.1 ypc) have made the Browns somewhat forget about the suspended Josh Gordon who will be eligible to return next week. But still, the Cleveland offense is hardly dominant in either facet (16th Passing, 12th Rushing).

On the injury watch, Browns CB Johnson Bademosi (concussion), TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) and the aforementioned impressive WR Hawkins (knee) were all listed as Day-to-Day on Monday evening.

 

Best Betting Approaches
Noticeable amongst the trends and stats here is the fact for our NFL Pick. Cleveland has played 5 straight Unders (27, 39, 36, 30 and 41 total points) and that the Under in this Browns-Texans series has hit 5 straight times for its betting backers. The Texans are an impressive 4-1 ATS L5 against the Browns and Cleveland is also 1-6 after the Bengals, so, the Texans +3 looks even juicier knowing all of this and figuring that it may be a low-scoring game by the posted Total and tactics Houston may have to employ to win this one in Cleveland, which will be getting a little taste of winter in the fall (The Weather Channel’s Sunday Forecast: Chance of Snow, High 45°, Low 23°). If this affects either side, it will surely be the visitors from the state where snow is seldom seen among the bluebonnets and the longhorn steer.

The last time these two teams played was in 2011 where the Texans pounded the Browns, 30-12 as 10½-point Favorites at Home in Houston and for some strange reason it seems Houston is in the right place at the right time to bring this Browns team back down to earth—or at least Cleveland—while breathing some much-needed life into its own season should the Texans find a way to win this Week 11 game. And if they can’t, the 3 points may still loom very large here.

 

FREE NFL PICK: Texans +3 at Pinnacle
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