The New England Patriots will look to beat the Houston Texans for the seventh straight time on Sunday as double-digit favorites at the sportsbooks. Both teams are 1-1, but the Patriots own a six-game winning streak in the series and rebounded from a season-opening loss by crushing the New Orleans Saints 36-20 last week.
NFL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 34.0-14.2 Patriots (NFL picks on every game)
Why the Texans can cover the spread
Houston's defense is the better of the two teams heading into this matchup, and New England tends to struggle offensively against opponents who can rush the passer. The Chiefs were able to upset the Patriots in Week 1 by taking some early shots and then holding them in check in the second half.
The Texans played well defensively in a 13-9 road win over the Cincinnati Bengals last Thursday, with rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson getting some valuable experience in his first start.
Why the Patriots can cover the spread
New England got back on track at New Orleans but can still play better defensively. Fortunately for the Patriots, Houston is an offensively challenged team that has totaled just 20 points in the first two games. They would be wise to turn this into a track meet, knowing the Texans will not be able to keep up on the scoreboard with Watson under center.
Another fast start like New England had against the Saints will be the key to whether this team ends up covering a big number, but it is definitely doable.
In addition to winning the past six meetings, the Patriots have also gone an impressive 7-1 against the spread in the last eight games between the teams, according to the OddsShark NFL database. Many wrote off Tom Brady again after they lost to the Chiefs; he threw three first-quarter touchdown passes for the first time in his career.
Brady's leadership and motivation cannot be matched by any other player in the league, and those qualities will be the difference here. Look for the future Hall of Famer to deliver once again in front of his home fans no matter who he has left to throw to, as New England cruises to another lopsided victory and covers the spread.
NFL betting trends
The Texans are 1-7 ATS in their last eight games against the Patriots.
The total has gone over in seven of the Texans' last nine games against the Patriots.
The Patriots are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games as a favorite.
All NFL odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.