San Francisco 49ers (3-2, 4-1 ATS) vs. Houston Texans (3-3, 3-3 ATS), Reliant Stadium, Houston, Week 7 NFL, Sunday, Oct. 25th, 1 PM Eastern, Fox
By Z-Man of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Texans -3/ 49ers +3
A couple of teams striving, in these still-early days of the NFL regular season, to stay relevant in the playoff situation meet when the San Francisco 49ers hit Houston for an interesting inter-conference match-up with the Texans Sunday afternoon.
Most online NFL betting outlets opened this game with Houston favored by three or 3 points, with a total of 44. As of Wednesday night, the line had settled at three almost everywhere, while the total had held steady.
The Texas are also listed at right around -175 on the various moneylines, with the Niners getting +150 as the underdogs.
San Francisco opened this season with NFC West Divisional wins over Arizona and Seattle, then lost that heart-breaker at Minnesota in the waning seconds. The 49ers then bounced back to snuff out St. Louis 35-0, but then laid an egg in a 45-10 home loss to Atlanta. San Fran had last week off.
At 3-2, the 49ers are tied for first place in the NFC West with the Cardinals.
Houston opened this season with a home loss to the Jets, then won at Tennessee. The Titans then lost again at home to Jacksonville, then beat Oakland. A tough road loss at Arizona followed, but last week Houston beat the Bengals 28-17 in Cincinnati.
So the Texans, at 3-3, are tied for second place in the AFC South, 2 games behind the first-place and 5-0 Indianapolis Colts.
Houston QB Matt Schaub got off to a slow start this season, but is looking better. After throwing for 392 yards and four touchdowns Sunday vs. Cincinnati, the former Virginia Cavalier has now completed 65% of his throws this season for 8.3 YPA, which is very good, a league-leading 14 TDs, five INTs and a very nice 102.7 QB rating.
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On the other side of this quarterback match-up, San Francisco’s Shaun
Hill has hit on 56% of his passes this season for 6.2 YPA, which
is low, five TDs and two INTs, and an 80.7 QB rating.
While the Niners are 15-22 over the last two-plus seasons, they’re 105 when Hill starts at QB.
San Francisco is outrushing opponents this season by a 106-89 YPG margin, but is getting outgained overall 323-267.
The Texans are getting outrushed this year by a 125-77 YPG average, but are outgaining opponents 370-352.
Houston ranks 10th in the league this season in average time-of-possession at +2:46 per game, while San Fran ranks 18th at -1:04 per game.
In playing their one common opponent so far this year, the 49ers got outgained by Arizona 299-203, but picked off Cardinals QB Kurt Warner twice on their way to a 20-16 week 1 victory. Two weeks ago, Houston outgained Arizona 416-340, but much of that came while they rallied from a 21-point deficit to tie the game. The Texans then gave up an interception return for a touchdown, and got stuffed on fourth-and-the-game from inside the Cardinals one-yard line in the final seconds in losing 28-21.
The Niners are expected to get RB Frank Gore back Sunday, after he missed the last two games with an ankle injury. And highly regarded rookie WR Michael Crabtree, who finally signed with the team a week and a half ago, is expected to make his pro debut Sunday.
The only other time these two teams have met came in the last week of the 2006 season, when the Niners, quarterbacked by Alex Smith, beat the Texans, QB’d by Tony Banks and David Carr, 20-17 in overtime in San Francisco.
The totals are 2-3 in Niners games this season, which have averaged 42 points.
The O/Us are 2-4 in Texans games, despite their averaging almost 47 points.
The Sagarin PURE POINTS ratings at USAToday.com rate the 49ers at 26.2, the Texans at 18.0. Throw in Sagarin’s updated NFL home-field advantage figure of 1.2, and San Francisco is a seven-point favorite over Houston on the Sagarin line.