Well, the Houston Texans caught a bit of a break last weekend as they were able to feast on the Oakland Raiders and their third-string quarterback to move ahead in the AFC playoffs. But the vacation is over, and now they have to figure out a way to slow down the record-setting Tom Brady, who is waiting with his New England Patriots on Saturday night in the AFC Divisional round. It will kick off at 8:15 PM ET at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, and VietBet customers will have the opportunity, after the contest begins, to challenge the playoff betting odds in real time by accessing Live Betting Ultra.
Texans vs Patriots – NFL Betting Line:
In the AFC playoff betting odds posted on this game by the folks at VietBet, the Patriots are huge favorites:
New England Patriots -15.5
Houston Texans +15.5
Over 44.5 points -110
Under 44.5 points -110
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Texans vs Patriots – CJ’s Take:
These teams met back in September, and it was the third game of Brady’s four-game suspension that he had to serve as a result of the “Deflategate” scandal. Coach Bill Belichick had to use Jacoby Brissett, a rookie making his first NFL start with injured thumb. But Belichick must the known something about what he could do against his opponent, because he didn’t even sign an emergency backup, designating wide receiver Julian Edelman for that purpose. The end result was a 27-0 shutout victory, in which Houston quarterback Brock Osweiler flailed away, completing 24 of his 41 passes, but to no avail. One of the big advantages New England has over this Houston club is that the Texans are horrible the red zone, ranking #31 out of 32 NFL teams in converting touchdowns.
One of the things Belichick and his staff can do just about as well as anyone is improvise in situations where they face a little adversity. Obviously they did that when they were missing Brady for four games, winning three of them. And of course, they are without tight end Rob Gronkowski, who is quite simply the best in the business. But they have won all eight games without him this season. Brady’s naturally a big part of it, and this season set a record for touchdown-interception ratio with 28 scoring passes, while being picked off only twice. And one of the great revelations was that the offensive line, which had been the subject of a lot of skepticism, held together for almost the whole season, allowing Brady to be sacked only 15 times.
VietBet patrons know that Texans head coach Bill O’Brien was a former assistant in New England, and he tries to do some of the same things with his offense. But he always a does not have the horses. Osweiler, who was signed to a $72 million contract in the last off-season, has been disappointing to say the least, with less than six yards per attempt and 16 interceptions. He was even benched toward the end of the regular season in favor of Tom Savage, who had practically no real NFL experience behind him. Savage, in fact, was going to be the option going into the post-season, but he suffered a concussion in the finale against Tennessee, and Osweiler took advantage of his opportunity, to a certain extent, managing to get through the game against Oakland without a turnover, but still only passing for 168 yards.
You have to give Houston credit for defense, however. No team gave up fewer yards per game than they did. But New England fully intends to pound the football into the line with LeGarrette Blount, who went over 1000 yards and led the league with 18 rushing touchdowns. Let’s not forget as well that the Patriots led the league in scoring defense this season, giving up just 15.6 points per game. Against an opponent that doesn’t score much, that doesn’t add up to winning formula for O’Brien or Osweiler.
By Charles Jay
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