- The New England Patriots clash with the Houston Texans on Sunday Night Football (8:20 PM ET, Dec. 1)
- The Pats are 3-point road favorites and are drawing 74% of the ATS bets
- New England leads the NFL in points allowed and turnovers – read below for our betting prediction
The New England Patriots (10-1) and Houston Texans (7-4) square off on Sunday Night Football (8:20 PM ET, Dec. 1) in a battle of division leaders. The defending champs are a field goal favorite on the road and to no one’s surprise are drawing the majority of the betting action.
Patriots vs Texans Odds & ATS Bets
|New England Patriots||-3.0 (-120)||74.0%|
|Houston Texans||+3.0 (+100)||26.0%|
All odds taken Dec. 1
Oddsmakers are reporting that 74% of the tickets so far are on the Pats -3, but only 51% of the money is backing New England. The line for this game actually opened Patriots -3.5 and could get back that point before kickoff given the heavy juice on the New England side.
The Pats have failed to cover in two of their past three outings, while the Texans are a 1-4 ATS in their last five games.
No Pressure No Problem
Everybody knows the key to beating the Patriots is to pressure Tom Brady. The Ravens were in his face all game in their Week 9 win over New England, recording two sacks and nine QB hits.
Brady has been absolutely lethal this season in a clean pocket, registering a pristine 91.3 grade from Pro Football Focus. When he’s not facing heat, he’s completed 72.5% of passes, and has an 11-2 TD-to-INT ratio.
Through 11 games, per @PFF…
* Tom Brady under pressure: 59.1 accuracy percentage, 48.3 rating
* Tom Brady kept clean: 78.8 accuracy percentage, 103.4 rating
Re-watching his deeper throws (including drops) from Sunday, and he’s still extremely accurate when he has time. pic.twitter.com/AwYVg0QP6t
— Phil Perry (@PhilAPerry) November 27, 2019
However, when he’s under pressure his numbers plummet. He has a 34.5% completion rate when facing heat and a 4-3 TD-to-INT ratio. The problem for Houston though, is that its pass rush has disappeared. Since losing JJ Watt in Week 8, the Texans have a dismal 54.9 PFF pass rush grade. They rank 29th on the season in sacks and 22nd in QB hits. If they can’t get to Brady, he’ll have plenty of time to pick apart their 26th ranked coverage unit.
The New England defense is built to stop the pass and designed to force teams to run the ball. That strategy worked for the Ravens, who racked up 210 rushing yards, but most teams are forced to abandon the run early to try and keep pace with the Pats.
New England’s defense ranks first in points allowed (10.6 per game) and second in total yards allowed (256.4 per game). They’ve surrendered 250+ passing yards in one game this season and have held eight of 11 opposing quarterbacks under 200 yards. They lead the league in turnovers forced (29) and feature arguably the best cover corner in football.
Wide receivers versus Stephon Gilmore this season pic.twitter.com/AAtcCnRWFj
— The Ringer (@ringer) November 25, 2019
Stephon Gilmore will matchup exclusively versus Houston’s top offensive weapon DeAndre Hopkins, after erasing Amari Cooper in Week 12. Gilmore held Cooper without a catch and Hopkins has never cleared 78 receiving yards in five career games versus New England. Deshaun Watson is going to have to shoulder the majority of the offense load, and while he’s capable of doing so, it’s hard to bet against the Pats defense. New England has allowed only one opponent all season to exceed 14 points.
Bet the Pats in Primetime
As if you needed another reason to bet the Pats on Sunday’s biggest stage, consider the following: The Texans are 13-23-1 under Bill O’Brien versus teams with a winning record. They’ve failed to cover in four straight games this season versus opponents with an above .500 record, while New England’s average margin of victory is 20 points. If you like the Pats bet them now, because this line will likely hit -3.5 by kickoff.
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