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NFL Football Betting: Houston Texans at Oakland Raiders
Two teams who are not doing too well will clash on Sunday in the Bay Area when the Oakland Raiders (2-5 SU, 3-4 ATS) play host to the Houston Texans in an NFL inter-divisional game starting at 4:15 PM ET at the McAfee Coliseum in Oakland (natural turf). In the Top Sportsbooks NFL betting odds, the Raiders are listed as a three-point favorite, with the total posted at 42 points.
NFL football betting odds: Oakland -3, Total 42
NOTABLE STAT: Oakland – 33 points and two offensive TD’s in last three games
KEY NFL BETTING TREND: Oakland has played three straight unders, and 14 of last 19 under the total
(For more useful stats and NFL betting trends, check out our special NFL Matchup Tool)
The Raiders lost 13-9 to Tennessee on Sunday as a seven-point underdog, in a game that went under the 39-point total. Houston committed a slew of mistakes and trailed 35-3 at the half before losing to the San Diego Chargers 35-10 as a ten-point underdog. The game went just under the 45.5-point posted total.
Let’s take a look at the TOTALS-RELATED pro football betting trends concerning this matchup:
* OAKLAND has played 14 of its last 19 games under the total
* OAKLAND has played six unders in its last nine home games
* OAKLAND has played three straight games under the total
* HOUSTON has played five of its last six road games over the total
* HOUSTON has played five of its eight games over the total in 2007
These teams played last season – a 23-14 Houston victory in Oakland that went over the 35.5-point total, and in fact was the only “over” for the Raiders in a 12-game stretch last year.
Houston’s games have averaged 48.5 points per game (22.4 PF, 26.1 PA), while Oakland’s games average 40.2 (19.3 PF, 21.9 PA). That would seem to point this to the “over.” But there is a lot more to it than that.
Houston has spent a great deal of its season battling injuries on the offensive side. Pro Bowl wide receiver Andre Johnson’s knee injury has kept him out of action since early in the year; rookie wideout Jacoby Jones, who looked great in training camp, has battled a shoulder injury, and running back Ahman Green has been hampered by a bad knee. Quarterback Matt Schaub, who was over 70% completions at one time, has suffered injuries to his ankle, hip, thigh and back, and received a head injury in Sunday’s game that could keep him out of action for the Oakland trip. Sage Rosenfels would take his place; even though Rosenfels has been intercepted five times in the last two games in a backup role, I’m not sure his insertion will make a difference in the analysis of the total. But the absence of other players does.
Oakland started off the season with four overs, but has played three games under the total since then. Daunte Culpepper led a 35-point eruption against the Dolphins in his first start, and scored three TD’s himself, but has led this team to 14, 10 and nine points in the last three games. Against the Titans he was 15-for-32 for just 167 yards. But at this point, coach Lane Kiffin is not giving serious consideration to going back to Josh McCown or using JeMarcus Russell, and Andrew Walter is nothing more than an afterthought. The Raiders have not scored a touchdown on their opening drive in the last 32 games. Houston has given up 37, 38 and 35 points in its last three games, as almost everything has gone wrong. The Texans have turned the ball over 11 times in the last two contests.
Statistically speaking, neither of these defenses has done a very good job against the run. Houston surrenders 4.6 yards a carry, while Oakland yields a whopping 5.3 yards an attempt. It can’t be said, however, that either side is executing their running game with a lot of consistency. Oakland was listed among the NFL’s best rushing teams, mostly on the basis of a 299-yard performance against the Miami Dolphins. But since then, the Raiders have rushed for just 200 yards in their last three games. Lamont Jordan has rushed for just 87 on 41 carries in that period. And Dominick Rhodes, the former Texan acquired in the off-season, simply isn’t being used in the backfield. Houston had 115 rushing yards against the Chargers, mostly in garbage time. But the Texans generated only 58 yards a game in their previous three.
Speaking of “garbage time,” I’m sure that what Tennessee thought it was when it held a 32-7 lead in the fourth quarter two weeks ago, and before Houston miraculously got back in the game. But I don’t think those kind of points are as likely to happen in game that will be played closer to the vest. At this point, Houston coach Gary Kubiak has to be very concerned about coughing the ball up, as his team leads the league with 23 turnovers. So I would look for a more conservative game plan than usual. And if his team doesn’t put forth a more intense effort on defense after the embarrassment in San Diego, then Kubiak doesn’t deserve to keep his job. Oakland’s defense has actually improved, holding Vince Young to just 42 yards passing last Sunday. And Houston’s defense actually gave up just 237 yards against San Diego.
Offensive ineptitude will prevail. I look for the Oakland-Houston game to go under the 42-point total that is posted in the BetUS NFL football betting odds.
Free Pick: JAY’S PLAY: UNDER 42 ** (Graded on a scale of 1-4 stars)
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