Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars (+5)*
Even though the Jaguars may have ended their game against the Giants with more points on their side of the scoreboard, they were largely outplayed by their opponents from New York. At the same time, Houston – really, J.J. Watt – was putting away the Tennessee Titans with relative ease.
The only team in the National Football League with a record of 6-6, the Houston Texans actually sit behind a large majority of the AFC playoff hopefuls – of the 16 AFC teams, six are 7-5. Through nothing short of a miracle, the Texans can make the playoffs this year. But for a team that just encountered a second quarterback change – this time, back to the original Ryan Fitzpatrick after the injury to Ryan Mallett – is the Houston arrow pointing up or down?
Since the end of September, the Texans have a total of three wins, two of which came against the Titans. While the Jaguars are probably worse than the Titans, is there any reason to believe the Texans are significantly better? Apparently, that’s the perception, as Houston is receiving the same treatment as the Giants did last week, even bumping the spread up from the opening line of four. As popular as it is to simply ‘pick against the Jaguars,’ that’s how easy it is to counter conventional wisdom.
Texans win by a field goal. Jaguars beat the spread.