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Football Betting Action – Denver (- 1.5) vs. Houston (+ 1.5)
This is a battle between two teams that do much better at home than they do on the road. Denver will take their 2-4 SU road record in to Reliant Stadium, where the Texans are a solid 4-2 SU. The Broncos are coming off a massive victory over Kansas City, while Houston man-handled Tampa Bay with Sage Rosenfels at the helm last weekend.
Denver Offense vs. Houston Defense
The Denver offense went absolutely ballistic against Kansas City last weekend. They totaled 453 total yards of offense behind Jay Cutler’s four passing touchdowns When Cutler plays at that level, the Broncos are nearly unstoppable. Problem is, he never plays like that on the road.
Cutler averages a 76.7 quarterback rating on the road and has thrown at least one interception in games where has made more than 10 attempts (he was knocked out of the game against Detroit in Week 9 and only completed 3-of-4 passes). Houston’s secondary only gives up 217.2 yards per game through the air, and they have 11 interceptions on the year.
Fortunately for Cutler, the Texans will be without DeMeco Ryans who has a sore ankle and will be unable to go in the short week. It will be up to Mario Williams and the front four to provide adequate pressure on Cutler to force him in to making those crucial mistakes. It will also be up to the front four to stop a rushing offense from maintaining their 128.1 rushing yards per game average. The Texans give up 118.2 yards per game on the ground, and Denver would be smart to take this game out of Cutler’s hands considering his road play this season.
Houston Offense vs. Denver Defense
Say what you will about career back-up Sage Rosenfels, but this guy can play. In six games this season, he has 11 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. He has scored multiple touchdowns in two games, including last week’s upset over the Bucs where he went 27-for-36 for 209 yards and three touchdowns. However, he will be facing a Denver secondary that was supposed to be tops in the nation but currently ranks seventh, giving up 195.9 yards through the skies.
However, Andre Johnson is an unstoppable force of nature and Rosenfels is smart enough to realize that the only he performs well is by force feeding it to Andre. The Texans average a startling 246.0 passing yards, and most of that was done without Johnson in the fold. The Texans will unleash Sage in the passing game, especially with significant injuries at the safety position for Denver.
NFL Betting Trends
-Denver is 5-16 ATS in their last 21 games
-Houston is 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games at home
-total has gone OVER in 5 of Denver’s last 5 games on the road
-Denver is 1-5 ATS in their last 5 road games
The Broncos are simply a team you cannot rely on when they play on the road. Though the Texans have been plagued by injuries in the backfield, Darius Walker will play with a chip on his shoulder after not being drafted. He is the type of shifty runner that excels in zone blocking schemes like the one Houston employs. At the end of the day, Andre Johnson will burn this secondary like a bad skin rash. As much faith as you don’t want to put in to a guy like Sage Rosenfels, you are far better off placing your betting dollars in his hands than in Jay Cutler’s on the road.
Denver Broncos (6-7) vs. Houston Texans (6-7)
Thursday, December 13th — Reliant Stadium, Houston — 8:15pm
Opening NFL Betting Line: Houston -1.5 (46)
NFL Betting Free Pick: Denver 17 Houston 21
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