NFL Football Betting: Houston Texans at New England Patriots

NFL Football Betting:  Houston Texans at New England Patriots

The New England Patriots have two more games without suspended starting quarterback Tom Brady and they’ll have to do it without his very capable backup Jimmy Garrapolo. Garrapolo’s long term status remains up in the air but he’ll almost certainly miss this game. That means that rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett will start. That’s also why the Patriots are a home underdog for only the third time in the past three years (more about that in a moment). For the Houston Texans, it’s been ‘so far so good’ behind their free agent quarterback acquisition Brock Osweiler. Osweiler hasn’t lit up the scoreboard but the Texas are 2-0. This is his first road game as Houston starter, however, and that’s a completely different experience.

NFL bettors are always complaining about ‘how hard’ the game is to ‘beat’ but they keep making the same mistakes over and over again. One such mistake is completely overreacting to quarterback injuries and overvaluing the impact of the starting quarterback. The Patriots are interesting because the ‘public’ has done it twice this year with them–first with Garropolo and now with Brissett. They can’t make up their mind about this New England team–in some situations they convey godlike status on head coach Bill Belichick and particularly in terms of game preparation. In other situations, they act as if he’s going to be completely flustered by an injury situation. Obviously he’d like to have Brady or Garropolo in the lineup but it’s not like he’s scared of playing with Brissett under center.

At some point, they should realize that New England is *very* dangerous as an underdog and particularly a home underdog. In the last three years, the Patriots are 7-1 SU/ATS as an underdog. As a home underdog of three points or less? Try 2-0 SU/ATS last two years and going back further they’re on a 12-4 SU/12-3-1 ATS run. They’re also 18-2 SU/12-5-3 ATS at home during the last three years s well as 6-0 SU/5-1 ATS against the AFC South. The Patriots had no trouble against Houston last year on the road winning 27-6. The short week definitely hurts New England but Brissett looked competent in relief last week and in his preseason action this year. I like former Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien but in a battle of coaching wits he’s facing–to paraphrase the great ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair–‘the dirtiest player in the game’. Not to mention one of the best tactical coaches in NFL history.