Texans vs. Jaguars Total Pick – Week 9 Analysis
Houston Texans (5-3 SU, 4-4 ATS) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-4 SU, 5-3 ATS)
NFL Week 9
Date/Time: Sunday November 3rd, 2019. 9:30AM (EST)
Where: Wembley Stadium London, England
TV: NFL Network
Point Spread:HOU -2.5/JAX +2.5 (GTBets)
Over/Under Total: 47.5
Minshew mania moves across the pond this Sunday when the Jacksonville Jaguars meet the Houston Texans at Wembley Stadium. The Jaguars put away the New York Jets 29-15 last week behind Gardner Minshew’s brilliant performance that featured 22 of 34 passing for 279 yards with three touchdowns. After pulling out wins in 4 of the previous 6 games, the Jaguars have a legitimate chance to climb back into the hunt to take down the AFC South with a victory over the 5-3 SU Texans that currently sit 2nd in the division and one game behind Indianapolis.
This Sunday’s Week 9 showdown is the 2nd meeting between the Jaguars and Texans this year. Back in week 2, the Texans narrowly pulled out a 13-12 victory over the Jaguars in Houston. In that meeting, both defenses got the best of the offenses. The Jaguars made things difficult for Texans DeShaun Watson holding the star quarterback to just 16 of 29 passing for 159 yards. That match-up was also Gardner Minshew’s 1st official start this season, and while Minshew’s final passing line of 22 of 33 passing for 213 yards with a touchdown was not awful, he didn’t have a great performance. The circumstances this week are much different, and I am expecting significantly improved output from both offenses.
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Texans defense struggles continue
In the last four weeks, Houston’s defense has given up point totals of 32, 24, 30, and 24, which averages out to 27.5 points per game. Consider these totals have come against the likes of Atlanta, Kansas City, Indianapolis, and most recently, Oakland; there is some legitimate cause for concern. The Texans pass defense has been eaten alive by opposing quarterbacks by the tune of 276 yards per game through the air ranking 28th in the NFL. In the last two weeks, the likes of Jacoby Brissett and Derek Carr have combined for seven passing touchdowns against this Texans defense which should be all you need to know.
To make matters worse, the Texans 27-24 victory over the Raiders last week came at a hefty price. The defense lost star defensive end J.J Watt for the season with a torn pectoral muscle. Not to mention, both Jonathan Joseph and Lonnie Johnson both exited the game on Sunday with injuries. Johnson suffered a concussion and is officially in the protocol. Meanwhile, Joseph suffered a hamstring injury and is officially listed as questionable. If either of those two corners are unable to go, it could be another fearful outing for this defense that has been unable to stop opposing passing threats.
Shootout in London?
As I alluded to above, this is a smash spot for Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew who is really becoming a solid NFL quarterback. Minshew has tossed 13 touchdowns with just two interceptions on the season and has all the weapons to attack this weak Houston secondary, including the likes of WR DJ Chalk and Chris Conley. If you mix in the running threat of Leonard Fournette who ranks 2nd in the NFL in rushing, this is going to be a tough match-up for Houston’s defense.
Despite the difficult match-up, I would not be surprised if the Texans find a way to pull out the victory, and that is mainly because of quarterback DeShaun Watson. Watson had one of the highlight plays of the year last week against Oakland spinning out of a sack, tacking a cleat to the face, and then delivering a touchdown pass to TE Darren Fells. It was one of many spectacular plays by Watson, who put the offense on his back in a come from behind victory. With Watson’s playmaking potential and the elite threat of DeAndre Hopkins on the outside, expect the Texans offense to find scoring opportunities just as they do every week. The “over” has hit in six of the last seven games for Houston away from NRG Stadium and I expect that trend to continue this week.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Over 47.5
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