Houston Texans(2-0SU,2-0ATS) vsDenver Broncos(1-1SU,1-1ATS)
Date/Time:September 23rd, 4:25PM E
Where:Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, CO
byJeffHochman,Pro Handicapper, JHSportsline.com
Point Spread: HOU-2/DEN +2
The Houston Texans look to remain unbeaten when they face the Denver Broncos at Mile High. The Texans defeated Jacksonville 27-7 as 6.5-point road chalk last Sunday. They out-gained the Jags 411-to-117, and had 28 First-downscomparedto just nine for Jacksonville.ArianFosterran for 110 yards witha touchdown and backup RBBen Tate added 74 yards and two scores. The Texans improved to 2-0 for the third consecutive season becauseof their defense. The Jaguars finished with a franchise-low 117 totalyards. Denver lost 27-21 as 3-point road dogs on Monday Night Football. The Broncos actually out-gained the Falcons by 61 yards, but it was costly interceptions by Peyton Manning that hurt their chances of winning.
This will be the first real test for the Texans as they have two wins against Miami and Jacksonville. Houston will also be playing its second consecutiveroad game, not to mention at a mile high. MattSchaubdoes a great job off play-action and picking his spots. When you haveplayers like ArianFoster and Ben Tate in the backfield running behind a dominant offensive line, the quarterback can choose betweenOwen Daniels over the middle or Andre Johnson on the outside. The Texans are 2-0 ITS (in the stats) this season and lead the league in red-zoneefficiency. The Broncos play and defend better at home especially against the pass. Over the last three seasons, the Broncos are giving up 75 less passing yards at home than on the road.
When these teams met in December of 2010 TimTebowthrew for over 300 yards and the Broncos won 24-23 as 2-point home dogs. If TimTebow threw for over 300 yards, than you can bank on Peyton Manningshreddingthis defense for some big plays. The Broncos are 2-0 ITS (in the stats) this season andcouldbe a sleeper team goingforward. The Broncos offense should improve a lot as the season goes on and it could be in this game. The Texans do have the top-ranked defense (196YPG) but that was against the offenses of Oakland and Miami.
The Texans were custom made to stop Peyton Manning, who used to be the biggest thorn in their side when he was under center for the division rival Colts. Manningsugly first quarter vs the Falcons onMonday night was the difference. Many believe the former MVP has lost a step following multiple neck surgeries, while Manning himself chalks up those three interceptions to poor decision making. Now, Manning stares down the one defense that knows him better than any in the league. And while Manning may not be 100% right now, he is better than most. There is a very good chance he bounces back today with atleast 250 passing yards and two touchdowns. Peyton Manning is 7-1 ATS vs. the Texans and 12-4 ATS when installed as an underdog after a straight-uploss.
The total has gone OVER in 12 of Denver’s last 16 games at home. The average O/U line in those games were 43 points. TheOver is 5-1 in theTexans last 6 games in Week 3. The average O/U line has been 40 points. TheBroncos are 0-6-1 ATS in their last 7 games when playing on Sunday following a Monday night game. TheOver is 5-0 in Broncos last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning record.
Jeff’s Pick to Cover the Spread:Texans vs. Broncos OVER 44.5
Both teams have solid offensive lines that will also use some no-huddle offense. Love the match-up of bothreceivingcorps against opposing defensivebacks. This O/U line seems a bit soft to me. I like the Over and small lean to the Broncos.
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