New England (10-1) at Houston (7-4)
When: Sunday, December 1st, 2019
Where: NRG Stadium,
Time: 8:20 ET | TV: NBC
Opening Odds: New England -4.5/45
It seems that nothing can stand in the way of the New England Patriots’ quest for another Super Bowl title this season – except maybe the flu? It’s that time of year where the ugly bug goes around and it has hit the Patriots’ locker room in full force this week. Ten players landed on the injury report due to flu-like symptoms, but things seem to be trending in the right direction for the team heading into Sunday night’s road game against the Houston Texans. Backup tight end Ryan Izzo is the only player the club has officially ruled out because of illness, which means several key starters including cornerback Stephon Gilmore, left tackle Isaiah Wynn and linebackers Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins and Kyle Van Noy, still have a chance to play. New England has won back-to-back games to maintain a two-game lead over Buffalo atop the AFC East after an ugly 13-9 home win over Dallas last Sunday. Houston has a one-game cushion over Indianapolis and Tennessee following last week’s 20-17 victory over the Colts, but they’re installed as slight home underdogs against the Pats. You have to go back to Christmas Day 2017 to find the last time the Texans received points at home and they haven’t fared well in this role. Houston is just 3-9 ATS in its last 12 games as a home underdog, while New England is 6-2 ATS in its previous eight road games and has covered seven of its last 10 games against AFC opponents dating back to the middle of last season. The total for this game sits at 46.5 with most bettors taking the under so far, which goes along with some recent trends. The Patriots come in having gone 4-1 to the Under in their past five contests, while the Texans are 8-1 in favor of the under of their last nine home games. However, the Over is 8-3 in the last 11 meetings between the teams. New England won 27-20 at home over Houston last season as 6.5-point favorites.
With the New England offense playing below their usual standards, the defense has stepped up in a big way. The Patriots last two victories over NFC East foes Philadelphia and Dallas were not the prettiest, but the defense allowed just a combined 19 points to lower their average to 10.6 surrendered per contest. Tom Brady completed a season-worst 45.9 percent of his passes in last week’s win over Dallas while going with two rookies at wide receiver, but to be fair, the weather was awful. Brady has 1,548 passing yards with 16 touchdowns and two interceptions in the last five meetings with Houston. Julian Edelman had eight catches for 93 yards last week, marking the sixth time in seven games he had at least seven receptions. Sony Michel had 85 yards rushing on 20 carries but has yet to hit 100 this season and the team ranks 23rd in the league at 91.9 yards rushing per game. The Patriots will host Kansas City next week.
Texans head coach Bill O’Brien is a former assistant under Bill Belichick but has had a very hard time beating him. O’Brien has gone 0-5 SU in his five career meetings with his former boss, and the Patriots have beaten Houston in eight consecutive head-to-head encounters overall. The Texans have been playing better at NRG Stadium of late, winning their last four games there while averaging 31.5 points per game in that span. Houston rebounded from getting pounded at Baltimore to earn a 20-17 win over Indianapolis in a showdown for first place in the AFC South. Quarterback Deshaun Watson threw for 298 yards with two scores and one interception, while wideout Will Fuller returned from missing more than a month with a hamstring injury and had seven receptions for 140 yards. Carlos Hyde leads the league’s sixth-best rushing attack with 836 yards on the season and four touchdowns. The Texans rank 25th against the pass at 259.3 yards per game and 17th versus the run (108.0). Houston will host Denver next week.
I’m taking the home dog in this one. New England hasn’t impressed me lately and Houston is playing really well at home, going 4-1 this season. I expect a close low-scoring affair.
Pick: Texans +3 (More Week 13 Free Picks)
Patriots are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games after scoring less than 15 points in their previous game.
Patriots are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss.
Patriots are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 road games.
Patriots are 13-5 ATS in their last 18 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Patriots are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 games in December.
Patriots are 20-8 ATS in their last 28 games after allowing less than 15 points in their previous game.
Patriots are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 vs. AFC.
Patriots are 18-8 ATS in their last 26 games on fieldturf.
Patriots are 47-21 ATS in their last 68 games overall.
Patriots are 35-16 ATS in their last 51 games following a straight up win.
Patriots are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games in Week 13.
Texans are 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 games following a ATS loss.
Texans are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games after allowing more than 150 yards rushing in their previous game.
Texans are 5-13 ATS in their last 18 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
Texans are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
Texans are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. AFC.
Texans are 2-9-1 ATS in their last 12 games in December.
Texans are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games.
Texans are 1-5 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
Texans are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games on fieldturf.
Under is 5-0 in Patriots last 5 games after scoring less than 15 points in their previous game.
Under is 10-2 in Patriots last 12 games in December.
Under is 4-1 in Patriots last 5 games overall.
Under is 4-1 in Patriots last 5 games in Week 13.
Under is 4-1 in Patriots last 5 vs. a team with a winning record.
Under is 20-7 in Patriots last 27 games following a ATS loss.
Under is 5-2 in Patriots last 7 games after allowing less than 15 points in their previous game.
Under is 25-10 in Patriots last 35 road games.
Under is 5-2 in Patriots last 7 games following a straight up win.
Under is 5-2 in Patriots last 7 vs. AFC.
Under is 9-4 in Patriots last 13 games on fieldturf.
Under is 4-0 in Texans last 4 games overall.
Under is 4-0 in Texans last 4 games after allowing less than 150 yards passing in their previous game.
Under is 8-1 in Texans last 9 home games.
Under is 4-1 in Texans last 5 games following a ATS loss.
Under is 20-6 in Texans last 26 games after allowing more than 150 yards rushing in their previous game.
Under is 6-2 in Texans last 8 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
Under is 20-7 in Texans last 27 vs. AFC.
Under is 8-3 in Texans last 11 games in December.
Under is 5-2 in Texans last 7 games following a straight up win.
Under is 5-2 in Texans last 7 games on fieldturf.
Over is 7-3 in Texans last 10 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
Patriots are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
Home team is 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 meetings.
Favorite is 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 meetings.
Over is 8-3 in the last 11 meetings.