Houston Texans (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1 SU, 1-0 ATS)
NFL Week 2
Date/Time: 1:00 PM ET, September 16, 2012
Where: EverBank Field, Jacksonville, FL
by Jason Green, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Hou -7/Jags +7
Over/Under Total: 41.5
Houston won their opening game and while their offense was one of the best in the league last season they won their first game because of their defense, which only gave up 10 points. The Jags lost in their season opener, but after having the worst passing offense last season Blaine Gabbert showed signs he is a legit QB.
In their season openers the Texans beat the Miami Dolphins won 30-10 while the Jags lost to the Minnesota Vikings 26-23 in OT.
Matt Schaub is now paid like an elite QB and he had a solid game in Week 1 passing for 266 yards with 1 TD. He has a solid pass catching TE in Owen Daniels (4 catches 87 yards last week) and one of the best WR’s in the league in Andre Johnson (8 rec 119 yards 1 TD last week). I look for Schaub to have another big game against a Jacksonville pass defense that gave up 270 yards last week and that was to 2nd year QB Christian Ponder.
Adrian Foster rushed for 79 yards last week, but only averaged 3 yards per carry. I look for him to have a good game this Sunday even though the Jags held Adrian Peterson to less than 100 yards.
Gabbert had a solid game against Minnesota passing for over 260 yards with 2 TD and 0 INT. The WR corps played well and high draft pick Justin Blackmon only had 3 catches for 24 yards. The Texans’ pass defense played well again Miami holding the Fish to less than 200 passing yards and they had 3 picks. It is key that Gabbert and the Jags do not turn the ball over, as all the points the Texans scored last week came off turnovers.
When Rashad Jennings went down with a knee injury in the Vikings game Maurice Jones-Drew came in and rushed for 77 yards. He was not in camp long after his holdout and after another week with the team I think he will have a good game. The Texans gave up 79 yards against the Dolphins, but they will not keep Jones-Drew from rushing for over 100 yards. Jones-Drew may be the key in this game, as if the Jags can lean on him on offense it will help keep Schaub and the solid offense of Houston on the sidelines.
The Texans have a solid pass rush and J.J. Watt had 1.5 sacks in the season opener. The Jags’ offensive line must step up in this game, as the Texans will come after Gabbert all game. He was only sacked twice in the Minnesota game, but he lost 18 yards and those were drive killers.
Houston really struggled on special teams play and I think they will struggle in that area of the game as well. That will really help the Jags, as they will take advantage of their good field position.
While the favorite is 3-0-1 ATS in the last 4 games between these 2 teams the home team is 3-1-1 ATS in the last 5 games between the 2 AFC South rivals. Houston has covered the spread in 5 of their last 6 road games and in an interesting betting trend the Jags are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games in Week 2.
Jason ‘s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I know it’s tough to go for the Jags, but they are a much better team than last year and the main reasons will be the play of Gabbert and an improved defense. Gabbert was horrible in the 2 games the Jags lost to the Texans last season, but he is a different QB and by that I mean a much more confident one. While the Jags may not win they will cover the 7-point spread and bookies everywhere will be rejoicing because the world is betting Houston.
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