Pro Football Picks: Houston Texans vs. New England Patriots

Houston Texans at New England Patriots
Sunday, 1/13/12, 4:30 PM EST, TV:  CBS
Opening Point Spread:  New England -9
Current Betting Line:  New England -9
Opening Total:  49
Current Total:  48.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Houston Texans are 8-0 SU this season when RB Arian Foster runs for 100 or more yards

Houston stumbled badly at the end of the regular season to land in the No. 3 spot in the AFC playoffs, but it rebounded nicely with a 19-13 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round of the postseason.  The Texans will now try to gain revenge against a team that handed them an embarrassing 42-14 loss as 5.5-point road underdogs on Dec. 10, while the last four meetings in this series have bone OVER the total.  “We know that our effort and how we performed last time wouldn’t give us a chance against anybody on the road,” stated Texans coach Gary Kubiak.  Houston is 10-2 ATS when revenging a loss against an opponent since 2010, which is important to consider when making your pro football picks Sunday.

The Texans certainly need to get the ball to running back Arian Foster, who has gained 425 combined rushing yards in three career postseason games, while the team has compiled an 8-0 record this year when he gains 100 or more yards on the ground.  He had just 46 rushing yards and a touchdown on 15 carries in the first meeting this year.  On the other side of the field, Houston must create pressure with its defensive line, with J.J. Watt leading the way.

New England will advance to the AFC Championship to face the Baltimore Ravens for a second-straight year if it can pull out a victory at Gillette Stadium in this matchup, as the team comes off a week of rest after earning the No. 2 seed.  The Patriots have advanced to the Super Bowl in three of the four seasons that they earned that particular seeding.  Quarterback Tom Brady is the key player to handicap when looking over the pro football odds page, as he’s gone 10-2 as a starter in the playoffs at home.  New England is 24-20 ATS as a favorite over the last two-plus seasons.

The Patriots have put together a dominating 82-17 record at home since 2002, outscoring opponents by an incredible 924-point margin.  New England has won both of its meetings with Houston on this field, as it has managed to score 40-plus points in each of those affairs.  Brady is capable of putting up those types of numbers again, with the franchise scoring 557 points this year due to hitting pay dirt 67 times.

Sports bettors will likely back the Texans due to their 19-7-2 ATS mark versus AFC foes, while the Patriots are 1-8 ATS in their last nine playoff games.

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