Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans Betting Odds - Point Spread Pick
The Wild Card Round of this season’s NFL Playoffs gets things started this Saturday afternoon with an AFC clash between the 12-4 Oakland Raiders and the 9-7 Houston Texans at NRG Stadium, which just so happens to be the same venue as this year’s Super Bowl. Kickoff for this game is set for 4:35 p.m. (ET) and it will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
Raiders at Houston Game Overview
At one point this season the Raiders were in excellent position to claim the top playoff seed in the AFC, but a pair of division losses both straight-up and against the spread to Kansas City and Denver in their last four games dropped them to fifth as the first wild card team. Oakland finished the year 12-4 SU with a 10-6 record ATS after failing to cover in three of its last six games. The total has stayed UNDER in three of its last four contests.
Derek Carr came into his own this year in his third season with the team with 3,937 yards passing and 28 touchdown throws, but head coach Jack Del Rio will have to turn to Matt McGloin or rookie Connor Cook as his starting quarterback this Saturday. McGloin is listed as questionable on the current injury report with a shoulder injury so Cook might be the only viable alternative. The Raiders could try and rely on a running game that was sixth in the NFL in yards per game (120.1), although they could only manage 57 total yards on the ground in Sunday’s 24-6 loss to Denver.
The Texans held onto to win the AFC South title at 9-7 SU (6-9-1 ATS) despite losing four of their last seven games SU. They were really tough on bettors with a 1-6 record ATS during this slide. The total has stayed UNDER in five of their last seven games and it has stayed UNDER in 10 of 16 games this season. Houston went 4-3-1 ATS this season on its home field.
Houston head coach Bill O’Brian also has some issues to deal with for this game at the quarterback position. A few weeks back he benched Brock Osweiller in favor of Tom Savage due to his ineffective play. Savage left this past Sunday’s game against Tennessee with a concussion so it remains to be seen if he will be available for this Saturday’s matchup. Houston is another team that has done a good job running the ball this season with an average of 116.2 yards a game, but it only managed to gain 46 yards on the ground in Sunday’s 24-17 loss to Tennessee.
Raiders at Houston Game Betting Trends
- The Raiders are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 road games and they are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games against a team with a SU winning record. The total has stayed UNDER or ended as a PUSH in seven of their last nine games following a SU loss.
- The Texans are 1-3-1 ATS in their last five home games and they have failed to cover in five of their last six games against a team with a SU winning record. The total has stayed UNDER in nine of their last 12 road games.
- Head-to-head in this AFC matchup, the road team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings and the total has gone OVER in four of those five games. Oakland beat Houston 27-20 at home on Nov. 21 as a 6.5-point favorite and the total went OVER the 45.5-point closing line.
Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans Prediction
It is easy to see why the total line for this game has been set so low given the dire situation at quarterback for both teams. I would still be tempted to go with the UNDER as a viable play in what will most likely be a four-quarter grinder that ends up getting decided by a field goal.
Even with Carr out of the lineup, I see Oakland as the better overall team in this matchup. The Raiders lack of experience in the postseason is somewhat of a concern, but Houston has hardly been a juggernaut in its past three appearances in the playoffs. Take the three points and take Oakland to cover in this one.
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