Houston Texans at New England Patriots: Divisional Round Pick

The Patriots blew out the Texans in Foxborough a few weeks ago so they’ll definitely blow them out again right? Well that seems to be what everyone thinks as, in spite of this ridiculous spread, the public is all over the Patriots. How ridiculous is this spread? Well, two weeks ago in the Patriots’ last game, they were favored by 10.5 over the Dolphins. Now they’re favored by 9.5 over the Texans? The Texans are 1 point better than the 7-9 Dolphins? Huh?

I love fading the public whenever it makes sense. The public always loses money in the long run. Odds makers are rich for a reason. Once again, I disagree with the public here. Just because the Patriots blew out the Texans last time, doesn’t mean they’ll do so again. This is a different game. In fact, the Texans may even have an edge because the Patriots might be overlooking the Texans a little bit here because of that game (and an impending showdown with the Broncos). Meanwhile, the Texans will use that as extra motivation.

Here’s an example: Boston sports writer Dan Shaughnessy joked that the Patriots were getting two bye weeks in a row, which Arian Foster turned into his Twitter avatar. Side note: I’m a Patriots fan, I was going to take Houston +9.5 anyway because it should be the right side, but when I found about what Shaughnessy said and Foster’s reaction to it, I was terrified (as a fan, for New England’s sake) because Shaughnessy always jinxes New England area sports teams. He’s not the only one. NBC’s Tony Dungy said that the Texans didn’t have a chance.

There’s a trend that sums the Texans revenge factor. Since 1989, teams are 8-4 ATS in the postseason trying to avenge a same season loss of 21 or more. The Patriots famously lost in this exact same situation a few years ago to the Jets. The Texans have the extra motivation. The Patriots might be overconfident. And this spread is out of control. Going off that trend, teams are 26-12 ATS in same season, same site, non-divisional revenge games since 1989.

The Patriots also tend to struggle as big favorites. They are 7-12 ATS as favorites of more than a touchdown since 2010, including that Jets loss. That’s crazy considering they are 23-9 ATS in all other situations. Whenever they have big expectations and are expected to blow teams out, they tend to disappoint a little and play closer games. Brady is also 1-7 ATS in his last 8 postseason games and 3-8 ATS all-time as a favorite of 4.5 or more in the post-season. I’m not going to pick the Patriots to lose or anything (they are 15-4 SU as favorites of more than a touchdown since 2010), but this game will be close, closer than people think. I’ll gladly take the points.

New England Patriots 27 Houston Texans 23

Pick against spread: Houston +9.5 (-110) 3 units


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