Jacksonville Jaguars (1-9) at Houston Texans (2-8)
One of the most powerful trends in betting is known as the six and six trend, meaning teams who finish with 6 wins or fewer are 25-69 ATS as favorites of 6 or more since 2002. There are two issues with this trend. One, it’s very rare (it only happened 7 times all last season, going 2-5 ATS). Two, it’s even rarer that a situation will come up in which you can confidently use the trend. The Eagles were 8.5 point favorites in Cleveland last year week 1 (they didn’t cover), but at the time there was no way to know that the Eagles would finish 6-10 or worse.
The Texans, however, sit at 2-8 and would need to go 5-1 or better in order to avoid finishing 6-10 or worse. I think we can safely put them in the six and six trend and they are favored by 10 points here. However, they might actually deserve to be. They’re much better than their record on paper. They’ve just been killed by turnovers (-11) and return touchdowns (-6 touchdowns) and by a 2-5 record in games decided by a touchdown or less. They are moving the chains at a 73% rate, as opposed to 70% for their opponents, which ranks 10th in the NFL.
They aren’t the 10th best team in the NFL. You can’t blindly follow that, but it’s worth noting. They do rank 30th in the NFL in DVOA, according to Football Outsiders, but I think they’re definitely better than that. They’re probably somewhere in between, but they’re better than their record. The Jaguars, meanwhile, have lost every game by double figures or more and rank dead last in DVOA by a large distance, so I’m not that confident in them. They should be the right side though. The Texans could also be caught looking forward to New England next week, as divisional home favorites are 21-36 ATS before being non-divisional home dogs since 1989.
Houston Texans 30 Jacksonville Jaguars 24
Pick against spread: Jacksonville +10