There has been a multitude of bad Thursday night matchups, but I think the Texans vs. the Jaguars surpass them all. The Houston Texans will take their loss of a season on the road against a team that many thought was going to finish without a win in 2013 a few weeks ago. As it is now, the Texans have a 2-10 record and are actually worse than the Jags who are 3-9 now after knocking the Browns off last week. It seemed maybe Houston was going to be able to steal one against the Patriots last week, but the Pats steamrolled the Texans in the second-half, ultimately emerging with a 34-31 win. Even though it was a close game throughout the contest, the game had a feeling to it that Houston had no chance winning the game. The wheels starting falling off for the Texans earlier in the season after Matt Schaub’s inept play led to a quarterback change. If you ask me he gives them the best chance at winning, but it has been the Case Keenum experiment then on out. His rookie season has been mixed, with his future with the franchise a question mark. He’ll look to bring the Texans to 3-10 on the season against Jacksonville.
Another good week for me, as we went 4-2 with the picks in week 13. I can’t believe we are already at week 14, but it is what it is. Before we know it the Super Bowl will be here and the season done with. By the time then rolls around I hope to have added more units to the bankroll. Let’s try and get at that tonight.
Texans vs. Jaguars Betting Odds:
Houston Texans -3(-125)
@Jacksonville Jaguars +3(-105)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Texans vs. Jaguars Pick:
It is kind of weird in a way for Houston, or at least it was for a while, they had the number 1 ranked defense in the NFL but had one of the worst records. They actually still have a top flight defense, statistically anyway, coming in at 3rd in yards allowed per game. We always hear about defense will win you championships, well in the Texans case it won’t even take you to .500, and you’ll have a high draft pick to show for it in April. It just shows how the NFL is changing, a great defense will take you far, but you need the offense to assist with things, consider the Seahawks for instance. However, even though they are holding teams to low yardage, they are giving up 27 points per game. As long as you don’t have a yardage prop bet or something going, yards allowed can be pretty meaningless if you’re still surrendering 27 a game. The offense of the Texans needs to be better with the likes of Andre Johnson in the fold. Arian Foster has been gone for the majority of the year, so he isn’t around, but still they need to find a way to let Johnson take games over. Keenum has been good given the circumstances of this season, passing for 1433 yards, 8 touchdowns, and only 3 interceptions. The offense overall is actually 10th in the NFL in yards per game, but scoring only 19 points. So again, yards per game don’t always tell the whole story.
Conversely, other than a few bright spots, like 32 points posted against the Browns last week, the Jags have been horrid. In fact, the Jaguars are averaging only 14.5 points a game and 285.6 yards, both league lows. Things really haven’t been good at quarterback for the Jaguars since David Garrard, who served as their started from 2002-2011. Chad Henne is the starter now, filling in for what looks like a bust, Blaine Gabbert. Gabbert was injured earlier in the season, and amidst bad play and the injury, he was never able to regain the starting position from Henne. Gabbert’s quarterback rating is an abysmal 36.0 in the short time he played. Henne isn’t great or even good by any measure, but he is the better quarterback here. He comes in to tonight with a 74.4 quarterback rating with 6 touchdowns and too many interceptions, 10. If it is any indication of how the offense has been, his best start of the season came last week where he passed for 195 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception.
The last time these two paired up, last season, they played to a 13-6 win for the Jags. I see a little more scoring tonight, but I still see it being an ugly Thursday night matchup. The only people that will have a vested interest in watching this game is gamblers, and I think the only people that will find it entertaining is those on the under. The Texans’ defense should be able to limit a Jacksonville offense that only averages around two touchdowns a game to under 20 points. Likewise, I don’t know if the Houston offense is going to be too motivated to play after dropping a hard fought game against the Patriots. Defense usually travels well, but not offense. I don’t foresee either team being motivated to play tonight. Expect to see a low-scoring, forgettable game tonight, but hopefully we can take advantage with a winner on the under.
PICK: UNDER 43.5(-110)