Jacksonville Jaguars (2-11 SU, 5-8 ATS) vs. Houston Texans (7-6 SU, 6-6-1 ATS)
NFL Week 15
December 18th 2016 /Time: 1 PM EST
Where: NRG Stadium Houston, TX
by Jason Green, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Texans -6
Over/Under Total: 39
The Texans are coming off a big 22-17 road win over the Indianapolis Colts and they are tied atop the AFC South with the Tennessee Titans, who they face in the season finale. The win snapped their 3-game losing streak. Their last win before their 3-game skid was a 24-21 road win over the Jaguars.
The Jaguars are now mired in their longest ever losing streak dropping 8 in a row and they lost their last game to the Minnesota Vikings 25-16. They have failed to score over 19 points in 3 of their last 4 games and in their last 2 games they have only combined for 26 points. Their defense has not been that bad, but it helps to score to win in the NFL. I guess you could say at least the Jags are a balanced squad ranking tied for 21st in both passing and rushing yards per game and 27th in ppg as well as opponents’ ppg.
Houston has been fortunate this season to have a solid rushing offense, which ranks 5th in the league in rushing yards per game, as QB Brock Osweiler has not had a good first season under center for Houston. The Texans rank 3rd to last in the league in passing yards per game and 28th in points per game. This season he has only 14 TD and he has been picked off 14 times.
The big gun of the Houston offense this season has been RB Lamar Miller, who ranks 6th in the NFL in rushing yards per game. He went for 107 yards on the ground in the win over the Colts and overall the Texans galloped for 185 yards in the game. He went for 83 yards in the win over the Jags earlier this season and Osweiler also had a decent game with 2 TD and 0 INT.
This game does not set up well for the Jax defense, but last week’s did and they still got beaten badly. They faced a Vikings team with no run game and a weak passing game and gave up a ton of yards in the air. That has been their strength this season, as they rank 4th in pass defense, but only 23rd in run defense, which is not good in Miller’s house. Oh yeah, speaking of Houston’s house they are 5-1 this season at home.
Is Blake Bortles time in Jax numbered? After being pretty good last season he has been far from this season with 21 TD and 15 INT. However, in 2 of the last 3 games he has not been picked off and he really has to avoid the turnovers in this game. He does not have much of a run game to work with and lead back T.J. Yeldon only rushed for 59 yards only averaging 3.5 yards per carry in the loss to the Vikings.
Like their D this game does not set up well for the offense, as the Jags will be facing a Houston team that on defense is stronger facing the pass than the run. On the season the Texans rank 5th in the league against the pass and 18th against the run.
The Jags are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games facing the Texans in Houston and the road team is 8-2-1 ATS in the last 11 games between these AFC South rivals.
Only giving 6 points at home against a 2-win Jags team means you have to jump on the Texans in this one. Miller will have a big game and the Houston D will keep Jax from scoring a lot of points and force Bortles to make mistakes. Houston will win their 2nd in a row, cover the spread, and stay in first place in the division.
Jason’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Texans -6
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