Houston Texans vs. New England Patriots Total Pick
Two of the top teams in the NFL this season will clash under the prime-time lights of Monday Night Football when the 11-1 Houston Texans battle it out with the 9-3 New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. This AFC showdown is set to get underway at 8:30 p.m. (ET) and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
Houston nailed-down its 11 straight-up victory in its first 12 games this year by rolling over Tennessee 24-10 last Sunday as a seven-point road favorite. The win pushed its record against the spread to 8-4 and the total has now stayed UNDER in three of its last five games. The Texans are a perfect 6-0 SU on the road this season and 4-2 ATS.
Heading into this matchup, Houston has a few question marks on defense with cornerback Johnathan Joseph and linebackers' Bradie James and Brooks Reid all listed as questionable for Monday night's game. This could be bad news for a unit that has given-up a combined 78 points in its last three games. Fortunately the offense continues to perform at a very high level. Matt Schaub has thrown for 3,062 yards and 21 touchdowns including 1,114 yards and three TDs to wide receiver Andre Johnson. Arian Foster continues to anchor the running game with 1,102 yards and 13 scores on the ground.
New England comes into this showdown in excellent form with six-straight wins including a 23-16 victory over Miami as an eight-point road favorite last Sunday that clinched yet another AFC East title. The Patriots are now 7-5 ATS overall with the total going OVER in nine of the 12 games. They are 4-1 SU in five home games this season but just 2-3 ATS.
The Patriots' potent passing attack received another blow this week, after already losing tight end Rob Gronkowski in Week 11, when wide receiver Julian Edelman was lost for the season with a foot injury against the Dolphins. This simply means that someone else will have to step-up on an offense that is ranked first in the NFL in both total yards and points per game. Tom Brady has thrown for 3,537 yards and 25 touchdowns while running back Stevan Ridley is having a break-out year with 1,010 rushing yards and nine scores on the ground.
Game Betting Trends
The Texans are 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 games against a team with a winning record and 6-0 ATS in their last six road games against a team with a winning record at home. The total has stayed UNDER in six of their last eight road games.
The Patriots are 1-4 ATS in their last five games played in December and 2-5 ATS in their last seven home games. The total has gone OVER in 19 of their last 26 home games.
These two teams last met in 2010 with Houston coming away with a 34-27 victory as a seven-point home favorite. The total went OVER the 46.5-point line. Dating all the way back to 2003, the overall series is tied 1-1-1 ATS.
This is the kind of showdown that should easily live up to all the hype with a high level of star power on both sides of the field. Look for this battle to remain tight to the final gun with New England squeaking-out the victory at home. I actually see this as the three-point shootout either way, so the top play in this one is on the OVER.