Houston Texans vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Houston Texans meet at Raymond James Field on Sunday in a game which doesn’t mean much from a head to head perspective but for each team is a big game as far as where they are in the standings in their divisions. The Texans are -3.5 point favorites over the Texans with n over/under point total set at 45.5.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers just missed the playoffs last season and with the teams ahead of them in the NFC rising, they are desperate to stay above .500 with a win this week. Tampa Bay has lost two in a row and three of their last four games and with the season slipping away it is already becoming crunch time. Josh Freeman is still developing as a NFL QB and he has completed 62.9 percent of his passes and he has eight touchdowns with 10 interceptions. For the Bucs offense to be successful LeGarrette Blount must be effective rushing the football as he’s averaging 4.4 yards per carry but he has been dinged up. Mike Williams has 37 catches, Kellen Winslow has 35, and Preston Parker is emerging on the scene with 26. The Buccaneers defense has 12 sacks, seven fumble recoveries, and eight interceptions and as a team they are plus two in turnovers. Sean Jones has 48 tackles and Geno Hayes and mason Foster each have 41. With the playoff races already heating up the importance of each game come more into focus.
For the past few years the Houston Texans have been seen as a team on the verge of making the playoffs and with a game and a half lead going into their 10th game of the year this may be the year they break through. Arian Foster continues to show the NFL that last season wasn’t a fluke as he’s averaging 4.3 yards per carry and he has five touchdowns and Ben Tate has been effective in spots with a 5.7 yards per carry average. Andre Johnson is one of the top receivers in the NFL but he has been sidelined since week four and he is questionable to return in this one. Owen Daniels leads the Texans with 34 catches and Kevin Walter has 24. The Texans defense has 24 sacks, seven fumble recoveries, and 11 interceptions as their plus seven turnover differential has been a big part of their success. Brian Cushing has 61 tackles, Antonio Smith has 4.5 sacks, and Jonathan Joseph and Jason Allen have three interceptions each. Houston has been unfortunate to not have had their bye week of yet but they will get it after this game.
Tampa Bay is 3-7 against the spread in their last 10 home games against a team with a winning record, 1-4 against the spread in their last five games overall, and 3-14 against the spread in their last 17 games as a home underdog. Houston is 5-1-1 against the spread in their last seven games as a favorite, 2-6-1 against the spread following a win, and 2-5 against the spread in their last seven road games.
The Texans have become a lot more physical team and that is a good reason for some of the success they have had this year but there is a lot of value with the home dog in what looks to be a physical game.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +3.5 Houston Texans