The improving Houston Texans host the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football this week, with Tom Brady and company installed as 3.5-point betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The moneyline for the matchup has the Patriots between -170 and -190, and the Texans between +150 and +164.
The Patriots are 10–2 straight up and 5–4–3 against the spread heading into this game. They have lost back-to-back games straight up, and have not had a three-game losing streak since 2002. They are 0–3–1 against the spread in their last four games, and 2–3 against the spread in five road games this season.
The big news for the Patriots is that Rob Gronkowski was back on the practice field on Thursday. He was listed as limited due to his knee injury, but it is a big step forward. His status for Sunday remains up in the air. Wide receiver Julian Edelman however will not play, as he remains out with a broken foot.
The Texans enter this game 6–6 both straight up and against the spread. They are coming off a 30–21 loss to the Buffalo Bills in which they were a three-point underdog. Prior to that, the Texans had won and covered in four straight games. The Texans are 2–1 straight up and against the spread as home underdogs in 2015. In the prior seven such games they were 0–7 straight up and 2–5 against the spread according to the OddsShark NFL Database.
The Texans announced on Thursday that defensive lineman J.J. Watt suffered a broken hand in practice. Watt said he will be play, but his hand will likely be heavily bandaged for the game.
The point total for the game opened at 44.5, but has settled at 45. The total has gone OVER in the last six games between these two teams. The total has gone OVER in five of the Patriots' last six road games, and in six of their last seven games against AFC South teams. The total has split evenly in the Texans' six home games this season, but has gone OVER in five of the Texans' last six games as an underdog.
The OddsShark Computer predicts a primetime upset with the Houston Texans winning by a final score of 23.3-20.3. This would also hit the UNDER.