The OVER has cashed in 12 of the last 14 times the Houston Texans have been installed as home underdogs, and they'll be up against a high-powered offense on Sunday this week as they take on Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
The Texans don't cover at home, but the Broncos don't cover as double-digit favorites either, forcing trends handicappers to study this one closely.
Point spread: Broncos opened as 9.5-point favorites but had climbed to 12 by Tuesday; the total was 51.5. (Line updates and matchup report)
Odds Shark computer prediction: 36.1-17.3 Broncos
Why the Broncos can cover the spread
Once invincible, Denver has split its last four games and will be looking to bounce back after losing its home finale to the San Diego Chargers on national TV. And with the loss, the Broncos allowed the Kansas City Chiefs to pull into a first-place tie in the AFC West.
Though Denver owns the tiebreaker, it cannot afford to let teams like Houston stick around and will be looking to deliver the knockout punch early on in this game.
Why the Texans can cover the spread
This is the last chance to sell those season tickets for next season, as Houston must close its home slate with a game against the Broncos. If the Texans can challenge early and stick around, they just may frustrate the Broncos long enough and stay within the number.
The last time the Texans played at home, they put a scare into the New England Patriots, losing a close one, 34-31, but covering the 7-point spread. This spread could end up being two touchdowns by kickoff Sunday.
Forget either side in this game, as there's no telling if the Broncos have become complacent in playing down to their opponents and lost the killer instinct they boasted during the first half of the season.
To go along with the aforementioned stat on the OVER, the OVER is 6-1 when the Texans play at home this season, and it's a given what the Broncos will be trying to do. The OVER is the smart play in this game.
- The total has gone OVER in 12 of Denver's last 15 games
- Houston is 1-6 ATS in its last seven home games
- Broncos 2-8 ATS as double-digit road favorite since 1980
- OVER is 12-2 past 14 Houston games as home underdogs