Houston Texans (1-1) at New England Patriots (1-1)
Ordinarily, you have to pay a pretty high premium to bet on the Patriots at home. As a result, they are just 21-21 ATS as home favorites of 7.5 or more over the past 8 seasons, despite going 35-7 straight up in those games. The casual public loves betting on New England, so we don’t usually get good line value with them. However, in this game, I think we are getting a little bit of line value with them. The Patriots are favored by 14 points, which is a lot, but this is a matchup between one of the best teams in the league and one of the worst, so you can make a case for this line being a couple points higher.
The Texans get a lot of attention for their front 7, but, when you look at the rest of their roster, this is one of the worst teams in the league right now. They’re starting a rookie quarterback behind arguably the worst offensive line in football with no receivers to throw to after DeAndre Hopkins. Even on defense, they have issues in the secondary, especially with Kevin Johnson hurt again. That all could be a recipe for disaster against a New England team that doesn’t have any upcoming distractions.
The Patriots host the Panthers next week in a game in which the Patriots are expected to be favorites of at least a touchdown. Teams that are favored by a touchdown or more are 61-36 ATS since 2012 before being favored by a touchdown or more again, as good teams tend to take care of business without upcoming distractions on their schedule. That’s what I expect to happen here. New England is worth a small bet at 14 and should win this game by at least two scores.
New England Patriots 31 Houston Texans 13
Pick against the spread: New England -14