New Orleans Saints (4-6) at Houston Texans (5-5)
The Texans won last week, 24-17 at home against the Jets, to improve their record to 5-5. After a 1-4 start, the Texans are right in the thick of the playoff race in the AFC. Last week’s win came as home underdogs and teams are 42-71 ATS since 2012 off of a win as home underdogs, including 7-20 ATS at home. However, the Texans have moved up to 10th in rate of moving the chains differential and they are a better team than the Saints, who rank 17th. That’s not what this line suggests, as the Texans are just 3 point favorites at home. The Texans also get cornerback Kareem Jackson back from injury, after a 4 game absence.
The Saints also have a tough upcoming game, as they host the Carolina Panthers, a game in which they’re expected to be 4 point home underdogs, according to the early line. That number could jump even higher after the Panthers’ huge win over the Cowboys in Dallas on Thanksgiving, which improved them to 11-0. Teams are 77-120 ATS since 2012 before being 3+ point home underdogs, 44-81 ATS before being 4+ point home underdogs, and 23-53 ATS before being 6+ point home underdogs, as teams tend to get caught looking ahead before such a big home game. I’m not confident in them, but I’m taking the Texans.
Houston Texans 24 New Orleans Saints 20
Pick against the spread: Houston -3