Houston Texans (1-4) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-4)
Both of these two teams are 1-4, but the Texans are the better of the two teams. They have just one loss by more than a touchdown and rank 18th in rate of moving the chains differential, while the Jaguars rank 30th. Despite that, the Jaguars are favored by 2 points, suggesting these teams are close to even. I disagree with that and I don’t think the Jaguars should be favored by 2 points over anyone other than a few awful teams (San Francisco and Tampa Bay come to mind).
The Jaguars also have to go to London next week to take on the Bills. Teams are just 6-16 ATS all-time before an international game. It’s a small sample size, but the trend makes a ton of sense. The Texans have to go to Miami next week, but that’s not that bad. The only reason I’m not putting money on the Texans is injuries, as they’ll be without talented outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney with injury. The Jaguars, meanwhile, are getting healthy. While they have lost right guard Brandon Linder to injury and while they could be without running back TJ Yeldon in this one, cornerback Dwayne Gratz, safety John Cyprien, middle linebacker Paul Posluszny, defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks, left guard Luke Joeckel, and tight end Julius Thomas have all missed time with injury thus far this season and will all play this week. It’s not enough for me to be too worried about the Jaguars winning, but enough to stay away from making a higher confidence pick.
Houston Texans 16 Jacksonville Jaguars 13 Upset Pick +110
Pick against the spread: Houston +2