The Pats, meanwhile, have lost three straight road games and are mired in a 1-5-1 against-the-spread skid on the highway. The five all-time meetings have played OVER.
Point spread: Patriots opened as three-point favorites, but bettors quickly hammered it all the way to minus-nine; the total was 46. (Line updates and matchup report can be found here.)
Odds Shark computer prediction: 26.0-13.6, Patriots
Why the Patriots can cover the spread
New England comes in after one of the top five games of the season, and its come-from-behind win over the Broncos last Sunday night might have been the perfect immunization for the final stretch of the season. The Patriots have a ton of momentum.
They just need to avoid the letdown spot of playing a horrible team on the road one week after a stirring victory at home over Denver.
Why the Texans can cover the spread
That prime-time hangover from the Broncos rally presents a great opportunity for Houston. The game has "letdown spot" written all over it. Interestingly, New England has followed with a loss all three times it has scored at least 30 points the previous week.
Given the history of these two and the fact they tend to play high-scoring games, the OVER appears to be the safest way to go. There's no telling which New England team will show up, but the Texans will play up to their level of competition. The OVER looks best, just like the previous five meetings between these teams.
- Texans 1-4 SU and ATS lifetime against the Patriots.
- All five career meetings played OVER the total.
- Pats lost three straight road games (1-5-1 ATS past seven on road).
- Houston rides a 0-6 ATS home streak.