AFC South Division Betting Preview: Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans
Sunday, 10/30/11, 1:00 PM EST, TV:  CBS
Opening Point Spread:  Houston -9.5
Current Betting Line:  Houston -9.5
Opening Total:  42
Current Total:  40.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Houston Texas RB Arian Foster is coming off a dominating performance against the Tennessee Titans

Jacksonville definitely got Houston’s attention by grabbing a 12-7 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football as 10-point home underdogs.  The Jaguars defense was tremendous and allowed the team to finish with a 59-yard edge in total yards.  Despite the shocking victory, the team’s offense continues to struggle outside of running back Maurice Jones-Drew, as rookie quarterback Blain Gabbert has completed less than 50 percent of his passes in six games.  Jacksonville is 14-16 ATS as an underdog the last two-plus seasons and the total is split at 15-15 Over/Under in those contests.

The Jaguars will be playing their first division game since handing the Tennessee Titans a defeat in the season opener, as optimism remains in the locker room due to the potential of sweeping all five games within the AFC South.  Jacksonville dropped a 34-17 contest to Houston in the season finale a year ago as 4.5-point road underdogs, but came away with victories in the prior three meetings.

Houston moved its record to 4-3 on the year with a resounding 41-7 win over the Tennessee Titans as three-point road underdogs.  The Texans have been a solid favorite this year, covering three of four opportunities, as the only failure came in a 25-20 loss to the Oakland Raiders, an opponent that was playing on pure emotion due to the passing of owner Al Davis the day before.  The team actually held a 195-yard advantage in that contest.  Houston is 16-21 ATS over the last two-plus seasons, while the ‘under’ is 20-18 in that span.

The Texans are hoping star wide receiver Andre Johnson will return to action this week, missing the last 3 1/2 games with a hamstring injury.  “The plan is for Andre to practice this week,” commented head coach Gary Kubiak.  Houston may not need his services if running back Arian Foster continues to dominate opponent, gaining 115 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries last week.  Quarterback Matt Schaub also comes in off a strong performance, seeing him complete 18-of-23 passes for 296 yards and two touchdowns.  His top target was Foster out of the backfield, connecting five times for 119 yards and a 78-yard touchdown.  Many around the league were interested in seeing how the franchise would respond with the potential of falling under .500, passing the test in every way imaginable.

Bettors will likely back the Jaguars due to their 6-2 ATS mark following a spread victory, while the Texans are 4-11-2 ATS in the same situation.

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