What a difference one week makes. Right, Patriots fans?
The New England Patriots entered Week 10 two games below .500 with their most recent victory coming in a comeback, needing a game-winning field goal, to beat the winless New York Jets. Then the Patriots hosted the Baltimore Ravens Week 10 on “Sunday Night Football” and the team’s outlook changed in just one rain-soaked contest.
The 4-5 Patriots are riding a two-game win streak into NRG Stadium in Houston, where they’ll face the 2-7 Texans on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. With a win, New England would get back to .500 for the first time since Oct. 5.
Here’s our betting preview for the AFC clash between the Patriots and Texans. All lines and props were provided via consensus data.
(-2) New England Patriots at Houston Texans
Neither team enters Sunday with an overall record above .500, and the same can be said regarding their respective against-the-spread success rates. Houston is 2-7 ATS this season, identical to their overall record, including a 1-3 record in games played at home. There is only one team in the NFL with a worse ATS record — the 1-8 Dallas Cowboys — while the 2-7 New York Jets are on the same page as Houston. That’s not company you want to keep.
The Patriots improved their ATS record to 4-5 with a win over the Ravens last week. New England, however, does have a stark contrast between games on the road, where it is 1-3 ATS, and home contests, where it’s 3-2 ATS.
The over has hit in three of the Patriots’ four away games this season, though it’s hit in just one of the four Houston home games. New England allows 23.4 points per game this season while Houston is allowing 28.0 points per contest.
First-half line, total
Patriots -0.5, 23.5
First touchdown scorer
Cam Newton +625
Duke Johnson Jr. +775
Will Fuller +825
Brandin Cooks +1050
Damien Harris +1100
Rex Burkhead +1150
Jakobi Meyers +1200
Deshaun Watson +1250
Deshaun Watson over/under 278.5
Cam Newton over/under 215.5
Damien Harris over/under 80.5
Duke Johnson over/under 50.5
Cam Newton over/under 41.5
Will Fuller over/under 60.5
Jakobi Meyers over/under 59.5
Randall Cobb over/under 36.5
Damiere Byrd over/under 35.5
PICK: Patriots minus-2
It’s fair to note the last time the Patriots went on the road, and against a similarly-struggling opponent — Week 9 at Jets — New England failed to cover. But that came on a 9.5-point line, a huge contrast to just the two-point spread against Houston.
Without getting too high on just two wins, saying the Patriots have found their run game would be an understatement. Damien Harris, Cam Newton and Co. have eclipsed 159 rushing yards in each of their last three games and now are second in the NFL in rushing yards per game (first in attempts). Houston, on the other hand, is quite literally the league’s worst defense at stopping the run. The Texans have allowed a NFL-worst 5.2 yards-per-rush and 167.4 yards per game.
The fact the Patriots can cover with merely a field goal seems like a pretty easy call.