Patriots vs Texans Playoffs Betting 2016 – Analysis & More

patriots-texans-playoffs-bettingIt seems like forever ago when New England opened the season with Tom Brady serving a 4-game Deflate-gate suspension, and their supremacy in the AFC East being called into question.

But as a sign that nobody should ever underestimate Bill Belichick, the Patriots have attained the NFL’s best record at 14-2. This is all the more impressive when you consider that New England plays in a tough division, and Rob Gronkowski went down with a season-ending injury.

The Houston Texans (10-7) made it this far by topping the AFC South, then winning a home playoff game against the Derek Carr-less Oakland Raiders. Houston shut down rookie QB Connor Cook for most of the game in their 27-14 triumph.

Unfortunately for Houston, Tom Brady is not Connor Cook, and they’ll no longer be playing at NRG Stadium.

Not surprisingly, New England is one of the biggest playoff betting favorites ever with a +15 line at GTBets.eu.

Is there any hope for Houston to win this game? Or can they at least cover their -15 spread? Find out as we look at the line, then discuss both teams.

GTBets Line for Patriots (13-3 ATS) vs. Texans (6-9-1 ATS)
Jan 14 (Sat) @ 8:15pm EST
Houston  +15 (-106);  +950
New England  -15 (-114);  -1500

Why Houston (+15) Will Win, or at least the Cover Spread 

A former Belichick assistant, coach Bill O’Brien has helped lead the Texans back to relevancy. And they grabbed their third-ever postseason victory over Oakland last weekend. But they’ve never won a road playoff game, which begs the question of how they’re going to keep this contest close.

jadeveon-clowney-texansDefense is the answer, given that Houston led the league in yardage allowed (301.3 YPG). They did so primarily with an elite pass rush and secondary that held opposing quarterbacks to just 201.6 passing YPG. They also showed some balance by holding opponents to 99.7 rushing YPG (12th in NFL).

The Texans weren’t so impressive in the points department, allowing 20.6 per game (11th). But much of this can be attributed to an ineffective offense that gave opponents short field position.

The key will be $72-million man Brock Osweiler, who was benched towards the end of the regular season. But he reclaimed his role and played excellent against Oakland, going 14-15 for 168 yards and a touchdown. If Owseiler can play anything like this against New England, they actually have a chance to win.

lamar-miller-texansHouston also has a solid rushing attack, which totaled 116.2 rushing YPG (8th). Lamar Miller led the way with 1,073 yards and 5 touchdowns.

But again, everything related to Houston’s chances goes back to their defense. They forced Cook into three interceptions last Saturday, and held the Raiders to two third-down conversions.

Nobody’s expecting them to shut down New England like this. But players like Jadaveon Clowney (6 sacks), Bernardrick McKinney (129 tackles), and Quintin Demps (6 interceptions) and have really stepped up in the absence of All-Pro defensive end J.J. Watt. This unit has the potential to slow down the Patriots, especially if they can force a couple of turnovers.

Why New England (-15) Will Win

Aside from their 27-0 victory over Houston in Week 3, New England has the numbers working in their favor. This team is 16-1 in home playoff games when Tom Brady starts, including five wins in a row.

tom-brady-deflate-gateAnd Brady hasn’t lost a step, throwing for 3,554 yards, 28 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, and a 67.4% completion rate — all good for a 112.4 passer rating. Thanks to Brady’s prowess, New England finished fourth in yardage (386.3) and third in points per game (27.6).

The Patriots also had the seventh-best rushing attack (117.0) in the NFL. LeGarrette Blount led the team with a career-high 1,161 rushing yards and a league-leading 18 touchdowns. The 18 rushing TDs is the most by a running back since Adrian Peterson notched the same mark in 2009.

While the Patriots aren’t known for big-name stars on defense, they did rank eighth in the league in yardage allowed (326.4). This was anchored by holding opponents to just 88.6 rushing yards per game. They also led the NFL in points allowed, giving up just 15.6 PPG.

Based on what we’ve discussed, it’s no wonder why New England is expected to win so easily.

Final Prediction on Patriots vs. Texans

legarrette-blount-conspiracyThe Texans are clearly the weakest division champion in the playoffs in our eyes. Without the injury to Carr, we also don’t see them even being in this game. They have too much inconsistency at quarterback, and their run game, while serviceable, can’t carry the team to victory.

While Houston’s defense is certainly talented, they don’t force many turnovers (17 on the year). Given that Brady has only thrown two picks on the season, we don’t see the Texans forcing enough Patriots’ mistakes to win.

Houston may hang in this game for a few series, but expect New England to be coasting to victory early in the fourth quarter, or even sooner.

Final Score Prediction: New England wins 31-13

It can’t be understated how good the Patriots have been against the spread, going 13-3. This alone makes us think that they can win big enough to cover the massive spread they’re facing.

Denver vs. New England Playoffs Odds

new-england-vs-denverThe big story in the Denver Broncos’ 23-16 Divisional-round victory over Pittsburgh was Peyton Manning leading a game-winning touchdown drive. There were plenty of questions on whether Manning would even play any more this year after relinquishing his starting job due to injuries. However, Manning started the game and later led Denver to the 1-yard line late in the fourth quarter, with C.J. Anderson punching it in for a decisive TD.

The Broncos will now play in the AFC Championship against the New England Patriots, who had a little easier time winning their Divisional-round contest. New England beat the Kansas City Chiefs 27-20 in a game that wasn’t as close as it appeared. Tom Brady connected on two touchdowns with tight end Rob Gronkowski early on, leaving the Chiefs playing catch-up the entire time.

Now the stage is set for a legendary Manning-vs-Brady matchup to determine who’ll go to the Super Bowl. Denver will have home-field advantage this Sunday, but New England is slightly favored on our line at GTBets.eu. So who has the better chance of covering the spread? Let’s break down why both teams could be a good wager along with some final analysis on the game.

GTBets.eu Line (Jan 24, 3:00pm EST)
New England -3 (-118)
Denver (-102)

Game Over 44.5 (-110)
Game Under 44.5 (-110)

Why Denver will cover the spread

manning-vs-chiefsOne boost of confidence for Denver comes in the fact that they’ve already beaten New England this year. On Nov. 29, the Broncos topped the Patriots 30-24 in overtime. Denver piled up 179 rushing yards while the defense limited New England to just 39 yards on the ground.

Speaking of the running attack, this is where the Broncos have really excelled throughout much of the season. When they rush for at least 130 yards, they’re 7-0 this year. Assuming they can get their run game going against New England, this will set Manning up for some good play-action passes.

Finally, if this comes down to the wire, then Denver has a decided advantage. They’ve gone 10-3 in contests decided by a touchdown or less, and they’re 3-0 in overtime games. This is a tested team with a strong defense that knows how to win when things get close.

Why New England will cover the spread

New England has dealt with plenty of injuries this year – including recently losing linebacker Jerod Mayo – but they’ve still persevered thanks to the steady hand of Brady. The 38-year-old’s diet must really be working because he’s played as young as ever while tallying over 5,000 yards passing, 38 TD’s and just 6 INT’s this season (including playoffs).

tom-brady-deflate-gateBrady faced one of the league’s best defenses in the Chiefs last week and he was still highly efficient, completing 28-of-42 passes, racking up 302 passing yards and finding Gronk for two scores. If ever there were a reason to bet on New England, it’s the fact that Brady has been the best QB in the game this year.

It also doesn’t hurt that that his offensive line has been really good, despite early injuries to Ryan Wendell and Nate Solder. Even with rookie center David Andrews and first-year left guard Shaq Mason stepping in, this line hasn’t missed a beat and rarely gives up sacks. So it’s very possible that they could neutralize Denver’s feared front seven.

We should also add that New England’s defense hasn’t been too bad either, with their 49 sacks ranking second only to Denver. They also allow just 19.7 PPG, which is 10th in the league.

Final Analysis

Manning winning against the Chiefs was a nice story, but one that may be short-lived. At 39 years old, Manning has a lot of wear and tear, which shows in the six games that he missed. No. 18 also hasn’t thrown a touchdown since Week 9, and he threw 17 interceptions despite only playing in 10 regular-season contests. Meanwhile, Brady, as we mentioned before, is playing his best football ever at age 38.

In the end, this may come down to the quarterbacks. And if it does, then we certainly expect New England to take the win at Mile High.

Final Score Prediction: New England 24 – Denver 16

Green Bay vs. Arizona Cardinals Playoffs Odds

green-bay-vs-arizona-playoffsThe Green Bay Packers (11-6) have gone through some tough times this season, but they were still able to punch their ticket to the Divisional round after a 35-18 victory over the Washington Redskins last week. Now, they face a much tougher opponent in the Arizona Cardinals (13-3), a team that dominated them 38-8 just three weeks ago. So should we expect anything different as these teams meet in the playoffs?

Our betting line at GTBets seems to suggest so, with the Cardinals “only” favored by -7. So who’s got the advantage when it comes to the spread this time around? Let’s discuss how either team can cover the spread along with our final analysis below.

GTBets.eu Line (Jan 16, 8:05pm EST)
Green Bay (-108)
Arizona -7 (-112)

Game Over 49.5 (-110)
Game Under 49.5 (-110)

Why Arizona will cover the spread

Carson PalmerThe best evidence why Arizona will soundly cover the spread and move on to the NFC Championship game happened three weeks ago. The Cardinals sacked Aaron Rodgers eight times and held him to just 151 passing yards. They also returned two of Rodgers’ fumbles for touchdowns en route to a 30-point blowout.

Arizona is also 9-1 in their past 10 games, and they’ve beaten opponents by an average of 9.8 PPG during this span. This is especially impressive when you figure that their regular-season finale 36-6 loss to the Seattle Seahawks is included in this stat.

Obviously Arizona didn’t end the regular season how they wanted to. However, the fact that their per-game point differential is almost +10 points over the second half of the season shows they stand a good chance of covering against Green Bay in University of Phoenix Stadium.

Why Green Bay will cover the spread

aaron-rodgers-vs-patriotsMaybe Washington isn’t the cream of the NFC crop, but they were a hot team with a solid defense playing at home. And this is exactly the type of stepping stone that Green Bay needed to get their confidence back.

Following a 6-0 start that included plenty of Super Bowl talk, the Packers slumped into the postseason with a 4-6 record the rest of the way. Aaron Rodgers’ uninspired play certainly didn’t help matters either. But in the Redskins game, he played pretty decent with 210 passing yards, 2 touchdowns and, most importantly, no turnovers. The running game also got going, with Eddie Lacy (63 yards, 1 TD) and James Starks (53 yards, 1 TD) providing a nice two-headed attack.

There are too many offensive pieces missing for Rodgers to revert to his MVP self when Green Bay plays Arizona this Saturday. But he and the team might just have enough confidence – and revenge on their minds – to make this a close contest.

Final Analysis

While the Packers got crushed three weeks ago, it’s rare to see a quality NFL team take this kind of beating two times in a row by the same opponent. Maybe Green Bay won’t beat Arizona this time around either, but don’t expect them to be totally embarrassed either. The Cardinals should win thanks to reliable play by Carson Palmer and the defense, however, the victory will be by less than a touchdown.

Final Score Prediction: Arizona 26 – Green Bay 20

3 Bad Bets in 2016 NFL Playoffs

3-bad-bets-nfl-playoffsIt’s always tough picking NFL Playoff games, given that the parity is a little better than your average in-season matchup. Case in point, who do you pick between a Seattle team on the road without Marshawn Lynch this week, and the Minnesota Vikings and their one-dimensional offense? But no matter how close playoff games may seem, there are always plenty of blowouts each year. That said, take a look at the following three teams, which aren’t great bets to cover the spread in the 2016 NFL Playoffs.

1. Washington Redskins

Plenty of experts are picking the Redskins to beat Green Bay in the Wild Card round, meaning they’d cover or tie their minus-1 spread at GTBets.eu. But despite winning their last four games to close out the season at 9-7, coupled with the Packers’ subpar play down the stretch, it’s hard to give Washington much credit. They haven’t played a winning team in seven weeks, and Kirk Cousins hasn’t faced a quality defense in the same span. The only playoff teams on their schedule – Carolina and New England – beat the Redskins by a combined score of 71-26. Again, Green Bay might not be playing their best football right now and their offensive line isn’t helping Aaron Rodgers much. But don’t believe the Redskins hype that started when they locked up the league’s worst division.

tyler-eifert-bengals2. Cincinnati Bengals

While the Bengals may be playing at home against Pittsburgh, the Steelers are favored on our line at -2.5. A great reason for this is that Cincinnati just don’t seem to win in the postseason. They’re 0-6 under head coach Marvin Lewis in the playoffs, which doesn’t bode well against a tough Wild Card opponent. An even bigger reason for the Bengals being an underdog is that starting quarterback Andy Dalton is still out with a fractured thumb. A.J. McCarron hasn’t played too badly in his absence, tossing 6 TD’s against only 2 INT’s and completing 66% of his passes. However, we wouldn’t bet on McCarron breaking the playoff curse of Lewis – even if he does, the Patriots loom in the Divisional round.

peyton-manning3. Denver Broncos

Somehow Denver managed to wrangle the top seed in the AFC, despite losing two of their last four games. Brock Osweiler played well in relief of an injured Peyton Manning, throwing for 10 TD’s, 6 INT’s and completing 62% of his passes. However, Manning talked his way back into the final regular season game against San Diego and let the run game do the work for him. In years past, having No. 18 back under center would be a great thing. But this season, Manning has thrown just 9 TD’s against 17 INT’s and looked every bit his age. Even with homefield advantage, the Broncos defense will have to carry them considering how Manning will be starting again.