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Sunday, December 1, 2013

NFL Week 13 Cash-In: New England vs. Houston

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NFL Week 13 Cash-In
New England Patriots vs. Houston Texans
Line: New England -7, O/U: 48.5

Match-Up:

The 8-3 New England Patroits head to Houston to take on the 2-9 Texans. This time last year the match-up between these two was being hyped as the game of the year and a likely preview of the AFC Championship game. Well, New England lit them up not only in the regular season but again in the playoffs. This year the two teams come into the game at complete opposite ends of the spectrum. The Patriots are coming off the biggest win of their season in grand fashion against Peyton Manning and the Broncos. The Pats have won 3 of their last 4, covering in each of those wins. 

Houston has lost 9 straight after opening up the season with a pair of wins. Those wins are a distant memory now as the team is without star RB Aarian Foster and now have a mess of a QB controversy. That said, they still have one of the better pass rushes in football. JJ Watt isn't putting up the gaudy numbers he did last season but is still widely regarded as one of the truly elite defensive players in the game. He will need to be on Tom Brady early and often if they want to have a chance to win.

Trends:

New England covered spreads of -5.5 and -9.5 in their two meeting last season.
The OVER is 5-0 in the five all-time meetings between the teams.
Houston is 0-6 ATS at home this year.
The OVER is 5-1 in Houston's home games, going UNDER last game.

The Verdict:

New England is just too good right now to have a let down game. The Pats do have some ball security concerns after 3-fumbles in the first half against Denver last week. Steven Ridley has fumbles in three straight games and has a personal seat in the Bill Belichick doghouse. It will be interesting to see if they let him work through the problems or go with Shane Vereen and Branden Boldin inthe backfield. As long as they hold onto the ball it shouldn't matter who is back here. Expect the Pats to roll by double digits.

Pick: NEW ENGLAND -7

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