Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars
Sunday, 9/16/12, 1:00 PM EST, TV: CBS
Opening Point Spread: Houston -7.5
Current Betting Line: Houston -7
Opening Total: 41
Current Total: 41.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
Houston had little trouble in scoring a 30-10 season-opening victory over the Miami Dolphins as 13-point home favorites, but its head coach found plenty of areas for improvement when looking over the tape. “I’m disappointed in how we ran the ball,” commented Gary Kubiak this week. The Texans finished with just 83 yards on 23 carries, which is very surprising due having one of the best running backs in the league. Arian Foster did manage to score two touchdowns. Houston is 8-8 ATS on the road the last two-plus seasons.
The Texans have to be pleased with how Matt Schaub performed in his first action since fracturing his right foot in Week 10 last year, throwing for 266 yards and a touchdown. Houston possessed one of the league’s top defenses last year, which could be even better in 2012, as it created four turnovers in the opener. In last year’s 20-13 victory over the Jaguars, the defense allowed just 255 yards, but their offense managed to gain just 215.
Jacksonville is saying all the right things about last week’s disappointing 26-23 overtime loss to the Minnesota Vikings as 3.5-point road underdogs, especially second-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert who is coming off a strong performance. “I always said there’s a 24-hour rule,” stated Gabbert this week. “You learn from the games and move on.” First-year head coach Mike Mularkey spent much of the offseason preparing for division opponents, which will be put to the test here. Jacksonville is 7-4 ATS versus AFC South opponents the last two-plus campaigns.
The Jaguars are already a banged-up football team, which is why it’s important that running back Maurice Jones-Drew builds off his 77-yard performance against the Vikings. It was a pretty good effort considering he missed all of the preseason due to holding out for a better contract. With Rashad Jennings suffering a minor right knee injury, the offense figures to lean heavily on last year’s rushing champion. Many insiders believe this game will be won in the trenches, which could be a problem with Jacksonville’s offensive line going against one of the best defensive fronts in football.
Sports bettors will likely back the Texans due to their 13-6-1 ATS mark in this series, while the Jaguars are 0-5 ATS in Week 2.
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