The Houston Texans travel to Foxboro again, hoping to avenge their week 14 embarrassment against the New England Patriots. History is on the Texans side, as the team that loses in the regular season has won three of the past five playoff rematches. If not for the Texans loss to the Patriots in week 14, that sent them on a slump, dropping three of the next four, it would be the Texans hosting this game. Last time, the Texans 7th ranked offense failed to produce against the Patriots 25th overall defense. In their previous game, the Patriots got a 21-0 halftime lead, forcing the Texans to throw the ball to catch up. Matt Schaub and Arian Foster are going to need to start fast, control the clock, and slow down The Patriots if they hope to advance to their first AFC Championship.
Matt Schaub vs. Patriots Secondary
There aren't many souls in the football landscape willing to take a chance on the Houston Texans vs the New England Patriots on Sunday. I'm going to go against the grain and make a case for the Texans, so let's take a closer look at this juicy Divisional round match-up.
Before the Wild Card round, Vegas put up -7.5 in favor of the Patriots for their theoretical match-up with the Texans. After reviewing everything, this was a very accurate point spread for this game. Yet, after the weekend games, the line re-opened at -9.5. There hasn't been a lot of movement during the week as it still hovers around the -9 to -10 range (odds from SBRforum). Books know if they drop it below -9 they'll get a ton of teaser action on the Patriots.Between -7.5 and -9.5 there aren't any "key numbers", but once you hit -10 you have to begin looking at the underdog. With a 2.5 point inflation, I'm more than prepared to ride the Texans and take my chances.
Blood in the Water?
The Denver Broncos have won 11 straight games. The Ravens are coming off an inspired playoff win at home, but enter the game as big underdogs. Do they have a chance to win this game? Can they cover the point spread? Let's take a closer look at this Saturday match-up.
Prior to the Wild Card round, Vegas put up a theoretical point spread for every potential Divisional Round match-up. For the Ravens/Broncos, they put up a line of -7. At that number I would have made Denver an official pick this week, but when things re-opened for betting on Sunday night the Broncos were listed at -9.5 (odds from SBRforum). That's not a number I want to get involved with, but it's also not inflated enough to come in on the underdog either. The true point spread for this game should be Broncos -7.5.
Do the Ravens Have a Chance?
In a word, no.
Ray Lewis is retiring, but what difference will that make? Can Andrew Luck sour to new heights? Let's take a closer look at the first Sunday playoff game.
When it comes to playoff point spreads, nothing is much of a surprise. The books usually do a great job at finding a sharp line that spreads public (and sharp) opinion. However, what we have here is one of the most intriguing lines of the weekend. They opened up with the Ravens as -6.5 point favorites and it's taken almost the full week before we've seen any hints of movement. Right now, books are creeping towards -7, but you'll have to lay a little extra juice depending on what side you like.What strikes me is that the line didn't move to -7 when the lines were posted last Sunday. This is a clear indication that nobody with a clue respects the Ravens that much. In fact, I'm surprised that they opened up this high. I'll gladly pay a little extra and buy an affordable +7 to take a chance on Andrew Luck and company (odds from SBRforum).
The Bengals are souring. The Texans are tanking. Is that all there is too it? Let's dive in and take a closer look at the first playoff game of the weekend.
It was only logical for the Texans to settle in as -4.5 point favorites for this game. The line opened up at the "dead" number of -5, but early action came in on the underdog. There was a point where the line fell all the way to -4 at one point, but it didn't last long given that it's a key number (odds from SBRforum).Where is money going to go in the final couple days? If anything, I'd expect more money coming in on the Bengals given the way both teams have played down the stretch. This line could close at -4, but I'd be surprised if we saw a ton of movement either way.
Bengals Are a No-Brainer?