Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars Week 15 Total Pick
Houston Texans (2-11 SU, 5-8-0 ATS) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-0 SU, 4-9-0 ATS)
When: Sunday, Dec. 19th, 2021, 1:00 pm (ET)
Where: TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, FL
Point Spread: HOU +3.5/JAX -3.5 (Opened at 3 at Intertops)
Total: 39.5 (Opened at 41)
Money Line: HOU +150/JAX -180
Power Rating: HOU -2
Houston Texans: SS A.J. Moore Jr. *Out* (Covid), LB Christian Kirksey *Out* (Covid), OL Justin Britt *Questionable* (Knee), CB Terrance Mitchell *Questionable* (Knee/Ankle), TE Brevin Jordan *Questionable* (Hand), LB Kamu Grugier-Hill *Out* (Covid), RB Rex Burkhead *Out* (Groin), SS Justin Reid *Questionable* (Concussion)
Jacksonville Jaguars: G Andrew Norwell *Questionable* (Back), RB James Robinson *Questionable* (Heel/Ankle), RB Carlos Hyde *Questionable* (Concussion), WR Jamal Agnew *Out* (Hip), DT Malcom Brown *Questionable* (Toe), LB Myles Jack *Questionable* (Knee), DE Josh Allen *Questionable* (Shoulder)
The Houston Texans enter Week 15 with a 2-11 record and have been eliminated from the playoff race this season. Under first-year head coach David Culley, the Texans have shown they are far from getting back to their 2019 success when they last had both a winning season and a playoff berth. With QB Deshaun Watson still, a question mark on his future in the NFL, a large part of Houston’s downfall has been his unavailability. The Texans highest point of the season so far came in Week 11 in their upset over the Titans 22-13. The Houston offense ranks worst in the league, averaging 264.2 YPG and 13.6 points per game. Their defense is 3rd worst in the league, only ahead of the Seahawks and Jets, giving up 384.7 YPG and 27.4 points per game.
The Jacksonville Jaguars sit equal with the Texans with a 2-11 record and have also been eliminated from playoff contention. On top of their laughable season, the team parted ways late Tuesday night with head coach Urban Meyer after just 13 games in his first year with the team. After reports of Meyers not getting along with players and the coaching staff, news broke Tuesday of an altercation with former Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo, who claimed Meyer kicked him and exchanged words with him in a preseason game. After committing to Urban Meyer for a five-year deal, the Jaguars owner decided it was best for the team that they part ways. The lone high point of the team’s season came in their Week 9 upset over the Bills in a low-scoring 9-6 final. The Jacksonville offense ranks 30th, with 303.1 YPG and 13.8 points per game. The Jaguars defense finds themselves in the middle of the pack at 21st, allowing 357.2 YPG and 26.2 points per game.
Moving on From Meyer
With the Jaguars moving on from head coach Urban Meyer, the team announced Tuesday that offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will take over as interim head coach. This means that the team is expected to be a wild card for the game on Sunday. When moving on from a head coach, most teams respond in two ways. On one front, the team may get a spark as a weight is lifted from the organization, and with a new face at the helm, sometimes we see different play-calling, trick plays, and higher energy. On the other side of the coin, a change like this can lead to more question marks as the team is adjusting mid-week to a new schedule set by the new coach. If the Jaguars were playing any of the top handful of teams in the league, this change would have me heavily leaning on whoever they play. Given that their opponent is the Texans, I’m very reluctant to jump on the Houston train as they haven’t shown any reason to believe in them getting a win.
Battle of Two Bad Offenses
If you’re looking for a high-scoring game with two stud quarterbacks leading their team onto the field, you’ve come to the wrong game. This matchup features two of the NFL’s worst offenses, led by two rookie quarterbacks in Davis Mills and Trevor Lawrence. The lack of inexperience, along with minimal weapons on the offensive side of the ball, has led to a season of frustration for both teams when trying to put points on the board. Given their lack of scoring, these teams have been a part of some impressive stretches of hitting the under on their game totals. Under is 4-1 in the Texans’ last five games, and for the Jaguars, the under is 4-0 in their last four home games. With the “wild card” effect of the Jaguars, I’m leaning towards them staying with their offensive production or putting up worse numbers as they try to establish a new identity in the last few weeks of the season.
Along with the offensive woes of these teams has come to a smorgasbord of turnovers. The Texans are 21st worst in the league with 1.5 turnovers per game, and Jacksonville is tied for worst in the NFL with 1.9 turnovers per game. When looking at how turnovers affect the game, usually, a team who can create turnovers has an opportunity to put more points on the board. In this case, I see another turnover filled game that will lead to empty drives, thus putting fewer points on the board. Usually, I’d say if a team is able to win a turnover margin, it gives them a better chance to win the game, but again I don’t see either of these offenses maximizing their extra opportunities.
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Week 15 will mark the second meeting of these teams this season. That meeting was back in Week 1, where the Texans won 37-21. Dating back to 2018, the Texans have won seven straight against the Jaguars and 13 of the last 15.
How the Public is Betting the Texans vs. Jaguars
62% are betting the Texans against the spread.
51% are wagering on the game to go over the posted total of 39.5.
Betting Trends Worth Noting
- The Houston Texans are 1-4 ATS in their last five games.
- The Houston Texans are 0-4 ATS in their last four games vs. teams with a losing record.
- The Jacksonville Jaguars are 0-4 ATS in their last four games.
- The Jacksonville Jaguars are 1-5 ATS in their last six games as a home favorite.
- Under is 5-0 in the Texans’ last five road games.
- Under is 4-0 in the Jaguars’ last four home games.
- The Houston Texans are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games vs. the Jaguars.
- Under is 5-2 in the last seven games between these teams.
Collin’s Pick for Texans/Jaguars
The winner of this matchup will inherit a third place in the AFC South, though the loser sets themselves up for a better draft pick in next year’s draft. With the uncertainty of both offenses, especially with the departure of Urban Meyer for the Jaguars, I am reluctant to bet on the spread for this one. I see more value in the total, which has come down to 39.5 points, though I think it will be hard for either team to hold up their end of the bargain to hit the over. Take the under on this matchup for the 39.5-point total.
NFC WEST GAME OF THE YEAR! (1/30)
Ben Burns had some HUGE WINS from within the NFC West this season. Perhaps the biggest was his MNF TOTAL OF THE YEAR WINNER between the 49'ers and Rams on 11/15. Those NFC West rivals meet on an even bigger stage this weekend and Burns is GOING ALL IN. Don't wait!