Broncos vs. Texans: NFL Week 13 Betting Insights & Pick
Denver Broncos (6-5 SU, 4-6-1 ATS) vs. Houston Texans (6-5 SU, 5-6 ATS)
Date/Time: Sunday, December 3, 2023 at 1PM EST
Where: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
Point Spread: DEN +3.5/HOU -3.5 (Bovada – The best bookie on the web, bar none! Fat real cash bonuses, HUGE wagering menu, fast payouts, rebates on every bet – win or lose and more!)
Money Line: Broncos +165, Texans -195
Over/Under Total: 46
The Denver Broncos come to NRG Stadium on Sunday for a week 13 AFC showdown with the Houston Texans. Denver is coming off a 29-12 win over Cleveland last week, winning their fifth straight game and getting over .500, a herculean task considering the form they showed with a 1-5 start to the season. The Texans had a tough one on their hands on Sunday, dropping a 24-21 affair to the Jaguars, ending a 3-game win streak. But with CJ Stroud continuing to play well, they’ve turned things around this season. Between these two teams on the move, who can get the upper hand in Houston on Sunday?
Reality Sandwich Time for Denver?
I wouldn’t be so sure. Denver has benefited from catching certain opponents at the right time, as they did with the Browns last week. The same goes for wins over the Vikes and the Packers but wins over Buffalo and Kansas City showed it’s not just against softies where they can shine. Vance Joseph has really gotten that defense into shape. Earlier this season, we were seeing some monstrous point-totals from opponents, with Denver having now allowed an average of just 16 points in their last five games.
At the same time, a road spot against a rising team in the Texans and one that is probably irritated from last week and looking to atone might be a different kind of opponent. Taking on a vital aerial offense with multiple weapons could give this Denver defense a different look. If so, we’re now going to need to see something extra from this Denver offense. It’s nice to see them differentiate their run-game, with doses of Javonte Williams, with Samaje Perine and Russell Wilson chiming in, as well. It’s just hard to look at the Broncos air game with much favor. Courtland Sutton has been better, but getting production from Jerry Jeudy and the rest of an unimpactful Denver receiving crew can start to cost them in spots like this.
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Tough Spot for the Denver Defense?
This road spot will go a long way toward determining the true viability of this Denver defense in the upper reaches of conference difficulty. CJ Stroud is playing at an almost MVP clip as a rookie, having seen some nice talent form around him, including a gaggle of playmaking receivers, a good tight end in Dalton Schultz, and a run game that could come around with Dameon Pierce and Devin Singletary. Will we see a Denver defense that has been made to look better than it is starting to crumble against a young and up-and-coming offense? Or with Stroud having started throwing more picks lately and playing some easier defenses, will they hit a bit of a wall with a Denver defense that has played a large role in orchestrating a pretty remarkable midseason turnaround?
Denver’s defense is in for a tougher matchup. With Tank Dell, Nico Collins, and a collection of other dangerous guys, Stroud can really get rolling on a given day. Still, the offense did languish for stretches of the game last week against a Jacksonville defense that is not invulnerable, going on a spurt late to score 21 points. Their last loss before that was to a Carolina team, the Panthers’ only win of the season. For how they’re a team on the rise who has exceeded expectations this season, it hasn’t really resulted in anything special at the betting windows, where they’re under .500 against the spread.
Can the Denver Offense Keep Pace?
It’s nice that the Denver defense has undergone this midseason metamorphosis, saving their season in the process. It’s still hard not to have the mind go to the disparity in offensive firepower and overall functionality. With the Texans, you have a high draft choice, a young guy really taking to this new offense and putting up numbers basically every week. Then, with Denver, you have an aging Russell Wilson, still looking to get on an offensive role in his second season with a new team where good results haven’t been easy to get.
On Houston, you have receivers either becoming stars or guys finding a new lease on their careers. With Denver, we see big-name receivers not putting up numbers more often than not. But maybe we’re overlooking Wilson’s play and the guts he has shown in the last handful of weeks. With almost 70% completions, along with a 20/4 split on touchdowns and interceptions, he is maybe not creating any new stars in this offense, but you can’t say he hasn’t been effective in spots. But you can’t help but think how much better it would be if they could do some different things, like get the talented Jeudy more involved, tap into some deep-threat appeal with Marvin Mims, Jr., or something different.
Take the Points
It’s easy to look at this game and just defer to the more consistent results, a better offense, and this being at home for the Texans. I can see taking the stance that what Denver has done is nice, but that reality will start crashing home here imminently. I wouldn’t be so sure and there’s something about a team that was in the abyss able to summon the inner resource to climb out of that the way Sean Payton and this Denver bunch has done. I think they might be at least slightly tougher to deal with in this context than what appears on the surface. I like Denver to cover the spread this week. I’ll take the Broncos.
Loot’s’ Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Denver Broncos plus 3.5 points.