Texans-Patriots Showdown Could Win Regular Season In Betting Action
The Monday Night Football telecasts have had some duds this season - no late-season flex scheduling option there - but this Monday's game between the Houston Texans and New England Patriots is one of the most anticipated MNF games in years. The book is expecting monster action in the matchup between the two Super Bowl favorites. There will be live play-by-play betting.
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How unusual is the game between 11-1 Houston and 9-3 New England? The combined 20-4 record of both teams ties for the best in MNF history when each team has played at least 12 games.
Both already have clinched playoff spots. Despite being tied with the Atlanta Falcons for the NFL's best record, the Texans haven't yet clinched the AFC South but will with a victory and a Colts loss Sunday against Tennessee. It would be next to impossible for New England, Baltimore and Denver, each also 9-3, to take the AFC's top seed from Houston should it beat the Patriots. Clearly in that case the Texans would have the head-to-head tiebreaker versus New England and they already beat the Ravens and Broncos. Houston would clinch home-field throughout with a win and losses by Indianapolis, Baltimore and Denver in Week 14.
The Texans are also the NFL's only unbeaten road team at 6-0 (4-2 ATS) and the AFC favorite at 9/4. QB Matt Schaub has won 18 of his past 22 starts. However, the Patriots are 3.5-point favorites. They won the AFC East for the ninth time since 2003 last week and are assured of finishing with a winning record for the 12th straight year. That's the longest streak in the NFL since the Joe Montana/Steve Young 49ers had 16 straight starting in 1983. Those Niners also hold the mark with 16-straight 10-win seasons, but New England can become the second with 10 in a row by beating Houston.
Like Houston, the Patriots have won six straight (3-3 ATS). New England has the NFL's largest point differential at +170. New England is 4-1 at home this season and 71-14 in Foxborough during the regular season in the past 10 years. That's tops in the NFL. In addition, the Patriots are 19-1 in the past five seasons in their final four games of a regular season, which is also the best. The Pats are 12/5 second-favorites to win the AFC but equal with Houston on Super Bowl odds at 19/4. New England would win a head-to-head tiebreaker with Denver for the AFC's No. 2 seed but lose it to Baltimore.
Led by likely NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt, the Texans have the No. 4 scoring and No. 5 total defense in the NFL. With that being said, it has shown some to be vulnerable against the pass. In Houston's 42-24 loss to Green Bay, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers threw for 338 yards and six scores. In a Week 11 43-37 overtime win against Jacksonville, Jaguars backup QB Chad Henne threw for 354 yards and four scores against the Texans. In Houston's 34-31 overtime victory at Detroit on Thanksgiving, Lions QB Matthew Stafford threw for 441 yards and two scores.
Patriots QB Tom Brady had been the hottest quarterback in the NFL. In the first five games of New England's current six-game win streak, Brady had 17 touchdowns and no interceptions. However in last week's 23-16 win at Miami, Brady was a bit off, going 24 of 40 for 238 yards with one touchdown and one pick. New England leads the NFL by a wide margin in scoring at 35.8 points per game (only club over 30.0) and also in averaging 426.3 yards per game.
On Sunday, the book is scheduled to have Live Betting on Cowboys at Bengals, crucial for both teams' playoff life, Saints at Giants and Lions at Packers. Can Detroit break one of the NFL's most unusual losing streaks in the Sunday night game? The Packers have won 20-straight regular-season home games versus the Lions, the longest streak by one team over another in NFL history.
The playoff-bound Lions couldn't even win in Green Bay in Week 17 last year when the Pack were resting some starters, including Aaron Rodgers. That game was memorable because Packers backup QB Matt Flynn, now No. 2 in Seattle despite getting a big free-agent deal, threw for 480 yards and six touchdowns in a 45-41 victory. Detroit's Matthew Stafford had 520 and five TDs.
Lions receiver Calvin Johnson had 244 yards receiving in that game and he's currently the hottest player in the NFL. "Megatron" has become the first player in NFL history with four consecutive games with at least 140 receiving yards in a single season.
The Lions are 6.5-point dogs this time. Green Bay and Chicago are tied atop the NFC North at 8-4. The Packers are -200 favorites as they own the head-to-head tiebreaker over Chicago (+150). The two play again next week in the Windy City, which likely will decide the North.
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