8* Sunday NFL HOU/NE
Houston vs. New England,
01/13/2013 16:30 EDT,
Score: 28 - 41
Point Spread: +10/-120 Houston
The New England Patriots host the Houston Texans in Divisional Round playoff action on Sunday.
The line movement that’s taken place since the first time these teams met is unreal. A 10-point spread in today’s NFL means the oddsmakers are expecting a blowout. Keep in mind this is a Houston Texans team that appeared destined for the AFC’s top seed just a month ago.
The first go around between these teams saw Houston get beat up. The key to this game will be making the right adjustments, and that starts with defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. Phillips made great adjustments in last year’s playoffs against the Bengals, forcing Andy Dalton into a three interception game without a touchdown.
Phillips will have more flexibility for this meeting, as Johnathan Joseph made his return from injury to play that Sunday night game against the Patriots, but he and the entire Houston secondary are healthier for this game, opening up the types of calls Phillips can make during the game.
The Patriots are great at not generating any bulletin board material for their opponent, but an unfortunate Boston Globe article has served to rile up Arian Foster, which is the last thing New England would have wanted to do.
Defensively, Houston has the personnel to slow Tom Brady and the Patriot machine. The Giants put out the blue print on how to slow the Patriots, and it starts with a dominant pass rush, which the Texans have.
New England is 3-8 ATS in the playoffs as favorites of 4.5 points or more under Bill Belichick, while the team’s last six playoff losses have come against teams they met in the regular season that year. Take Houston.
8* Play on Houston Texans +10