The final match of the 13th Sunday in the NFL season sees two teams who were leading their division heading into the latest week of fixtures when the Houston Texans host the New England Patriots in a battle of two of the best in the AFC.
The Texans have not yet secured their division and might actually be in second place in the AFC South if they are unable to win here. Buffalo ensured the Patriots need a couple more wins earlier in the round of matches so both will be eager for the W in this one.
When you consider everything they have been up against over the duration of the campaign it is quite something that they head into this match with a 7-4 record which includes three wins in their last four matches. The defeat in that time came against the Baltimore Ravens and that probably isn’t a bad loss so even with a number of injured players being out the Texans are in decent enough form heading into this contest.
One of the reasons for their excellent form has been the quality of their quarterback DeShaun Watson and you would think he will need to be at his best as he goes up against the best ranked defence in the league. His own defence have been pretty good in the main this term, which is impressive given that they have been without their leader JJ Watt for the last few weeks and continue to miss him.
New England Patriots
The Patriots continue to go on their merry way and having bounced back from their only loss to the Baltimore Ravens they will be confident of pushing on and securing the number one seed from this position. Their defence is ranked the best in football and there is no doubt they are getting them over the line in a lot of their matches but that is what they are there for. It would be interesting to see how the team go if they are torched on defence.
Usually we are accustomed to the Patriots dominating and controlling matches with their offense, and while that part of their unit are efficient, it is hard to argue that they are firing on all cylinders. If they ever do we know the danger that they possess but there aren’t too many signs that we are going to see that sort of performance from them anytime soon. Given the difficulty of the contest a win for the Patriots here would be a statement one.
With that alternative total points line, William Hill are offering a line of 48pts in this match and that looks a little on the high side to me. The New England defence hasn’t given up many points all season but the Texans are capable of keeping things tight when the need arises and this isn’t an all guns blazing Patriots offense so I certainly think points will be at a premium here.
I’m happy to be on the under. I think this is the sort of match where Watson might find it harder to find his key weapons, while I expect the Patriots to do a lot of running of the ball which will chew up the clock. I was tempted by the field goals in this one but rather than relying on kickers to convert I’ll take the under because any lengthy drives ending in field goals does the under no harm so it is that for me.
Back Under 48pts for a 4/10 stake at 1.80 with William Hill
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