o Analyze results, identify trends and predict outcomes for NFL, NBA, WTA and ATP matches.

o Assign player fantasy sports value, measure player efficiency, and compare and rank teams across eras.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Texans Playing With House Money! - NFL 2015 MNF 10

The Houston Texans can do no wrong tonight. They will literally be playing with house money. The current line is Houston At Cincinnati (-10.5; 46.5).

Even with a 3-5 record, the Texans are only a half-game behind the Indianapolis Colts for the AFC South division lead. A win tonight and they will be tied with a chance at making the playoffs. The two teams have a comparable strength of schedule for their remaining games, which means their meeting in Week 15 could decide the division.

A win tonight against the undefeated (8-0) Cincinnati Bengals can be the restart Houston needs. So far, the Texans have been inconsistent, partly due to key injuries, specifically to Running Back, Arian Foster.

The Texans are near last in NFL Rushing at 87.9 yards per game and 6th in Passing at 281.5 yards per game. Much of this has to do with falling behind early in games and having to abandon the run. There has been some inconsistency at the quarterback position with the benching of Brian Hoyer. Now that the Texans have released Ryan Mallett, the position is for Hoyer to stabilize or lose for good.

The Texans should approach tonight's game with reckless abandon -- Pass first, go for it on 4th down when reasonable and speed up the game, possibly with a hurry up offense. This might be the best strategy because the Bengals defense is currently second in the league in points (17.8). This is interesting because they are not Top 10 in any other major defensive category.

The Bengals allow opponents to rack up yards while killing lots of clock and then limiting them to Field Goals. On offense, their offensive talent can score quickly- 3rd in points (28.6) while being 14th in actual Third Downs Made.

Houston's defense suffered two weeks where they gave up over 40 points (48 and 44). If the Texans defense can give up at or below the 25.6 points per game it allows, then not losing by 11 points is very likely.

The question: can the Bengals score 28 points tonight against a Texans defense that has proven to be an enigma?

The numbers break Bengals (.789) and Texans (.211), but I'm going out on a limb because I think Hoyer has a chance to be real Texas gunslinger while the defense holds up.

So, I take Texans (UNDER).  Pick wisely, and come back for Thursday's picks and tonight we find out just how desperate the Texans are for a win.

No comments: