Sunday AFC Matchup: Houston Texans at Miami Dolphins NFL Handicapping Preview

Houston Texans at Miami Dolphins
Sunday, 9/18/11, 4:15 PM EST, TV:  CBS
Opening Point Spread:  Houston -3
Current Betting Line:  Houston -3
Opening Total:  46
Current Total:  48
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster is expected to play Sunday versus the Miami Dolphins

Houston opened the 2011 campaign with a dominating 34-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts as nine-point home favorites, as the team didn’t have to defend quarterback Peyton Manning.  The Texans didn’t suffer a letdown to the opposing team’s injury, racking up 259 yards and going into halftime with a 34-0 lead.  “That’s the best half of football we have probably played as a team,” commented Texans coach Gary Kubiak.  “It was explosive in every area, offense, defense, special teams.”  Houston has had no difficulties in this matchup, winning all five previous meetings.  The squad must be cautious Sunday due to the underdog being 5-0 ATS in those contests.

The Texans are expected to have running back Arian Foster back in the lineup, as he missed the opener with a hamstring injury.  Houston will likely limit his touches, as the third-year player led the league with 1,616 rushing yards a year ago, while also scoring 16 times.  The team has some depth at the position, with Ben Tate and Derrick Ward filling in behind the All-Pro selection.  On the outside, wide receiver Andrew Johnson is always excited to return to South Beach, as he played collegiately at Miami, FL.  He caught seven passes for 95 yards and a touchdown last week.

Miami suffered a 38-24 loss to the New England Patriots as seven-point home underdogs on Monday Night Field, surrendering an embarrassing and franchise-high 622 yards.  “As I said to them in the locker room, the clock runs and Houston has a jump on us right now,” commented Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano.  The Dolphins have dropped five straight and 10 of their last 11 games inside Sun Life Stadium.  Over the last two-plus seasons, the team is 5-12 ATS in South Beach.

The Dolphins didn’t fail to rack of the yards on the offensive end in the loss, as quarterback Chad Henne completed 30 of 49 passes for a career-high 416 yards with two touchdowns.  Miami also got some contributions from new running back Reggie Bush, as the team will be facing a defense that allowed just 236 yards to the Indianapolis Colts last week.  The key matchup on the other side of the ball will be cornerbacks Vontae Davis and Sean Smith matching up with Johnson.

Bettors will likely back the Dolphins due to their 9-4 ATS mark following an against-the-spread loss, while the Texans are 1-5 in their last six road games.

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