San Francisco 49ers (2-10 SU, 6-6 ATS) vs. Houston Texans (4-8 SU, 7-5 ATS)
NFL Week 14
Date/Time: Sunday, December 10, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
by Scott, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: SF +2.5/HOU -2.5
Over/Under Total: 42.5
The San Francisco 49ers take on the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on Sunday. Last Sunday, the 49ers were able to beat the Bears on the road, 15-14. It was their second win in three games and they won in Jimmy Garoppolos first start at QB. There were some things to build on and they now look to notch their second straight win on the road against a struggling Texans bunch. On Sunday, the Texans fell to the Titans on the road, 24-13. These teams are only 6-18 straight-up, but 13-11 against the spread. Who can get the win and cover in Houston on Sunday?
The 49ers have been doing better lately, beating the Giants before going into their bye-week, losing to the Seahawks and then scoring a nifty road-win over the Bears last Sunday. Five Robbie Gould field goals made up all the scoring for the 49ers, the last one coming with just a few ticks left to get the one-point win. With 7 of Chicagos 14 points coming on a punt-return, the San Fran defense thrived on the road and look to do so again this week against a compromised Texans team. In the face of countless injuries, the Niners have done well to stay positive this season and put themselves in a spot to at least finish strong.
The San Francisco offense wasnt able to get in the end zone last week, but a win is a win and when you start the season 0-9, you take wins however they come. Garoppolo threw a pick, but was decent in his debut as the 49ers starter with 293 yards on 26-for-37 passing. He hit Marquise Goodwin 8 times for 99 yards, while Trent Taylor had 92 yards receiving. On the ground, Carlos Hyde ran for 54 yards, with Matt Breida adding 45 yards. A much-maligned line played well on Sunday, insulating Garoppolo, while helping spring loose some runs.
Sunday was perhaps San Franciscos best performance on defense in several seasons. They held Mitchell Trubisky to just 102 yards through the air, while RB Jordan Howard was held to just 38 yards on the ground. Up-front, Cassius Marsh got to the quarterback on Sunday, as did pass-rushing veteran Elvis Dumervil. In the middle, linebacker Rueben Foster has overcome injuries and is having a promising rookie season. S Eric Reid is still a factor in this defense, with young DE Solomon Thomas starting to come around. With how many injuries they have suffered this season, its actually a feat that they have been able to show improvement on this side of the ball.
After losing to the Titans on Sunday, the Texans have now lost 5 of their last 6 games. The two-time defending division champs are on their heels at 4-8. Injuries have stripped them of their horsepower on both sides of the ball after they experienced some moments of promise early. In their last five games, they have scored 16 or less points four times. An offense that was booming before Deshaun Watson got hurt has lost its way and the defense hasnt been of much assistance.
The Texans took a 10-0 lead on Sunday in a tough road game against the Titans early, but the offense stalled out, with a field goal their only scoring in the second half. Tom Savage actually had his best game statistically with 365 yards through the air. Lamar Miller even had some decent runs and it amounted to just 13 points on the day. DeAndre Hopkins, Stephen Anderson, and Braxton Miller all had productive moments aerially. Its just odd that with all the production, only one turnover, and going 8-for-16 on third downs that they could only muster a touchdown and two field goals. Penalties, some stall-outs in the red-zone, and a general lack of clutch-play were the main culprits.
Injuries are one thing, but the Houston defense has really slipped this season. Whatever formula enabled them to be a good defense the last few seasons just faded away in 2017. Despite being intact, the secondary has disintegrated into one of the worst in the league. This side of the ball cant make many plays and is minus-eight in turnover ratio. They still get good playmaking with Jadeveon Clowney and Benardrick McKinney, but the consistency in their pass-rush is gone with JJ Watt and Whitney Mercillus out of action. In terms of points allowed, they are 28th in the league.
Both teams have stunk this season to put it bluntly. At the same time, this is what the 49ers expected. Conversely, the Texans have landed in this spot with a resounding thud. And heading into the final-fourth of the season, it shows a little in the teams respective demeanors. With the Niners, there is some hope moving forward with Garoppolo and the overall rebuild showing signs of progress. I see a competitive game, with the 49ers hanging in there enough to cover the spread.
Scott’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Im betting on the San Francisco 49ers plus 2.5 points. Bet this game for FREE by taking advantage of a 50% bonus up to $250 at one of the web’s oldest and most trusted betting sites: BOVADA