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NFL Week 3 Thursday Night Football: Pair Bet on Texans @ Patriots

Updated: Sep 9, 2020


Houston Texans @ New England Patriots +1.5 (-115) u40.5 (-110)

Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

September 22, 2016, 5:25PM PDT

Our primary ATS handicapping factors give the Patriots about a two-in-three chance of beating the visiting Texans outright in the week 3 edition of Thursday Night Football. This level of conviction probably strikes many readers as curious, given that the Patriots' starting QB, who seeded 2nd last year on FootballOutsiders.com's QB rankings by DYAR, is serving a suspension that will sideline the star through week 6, and just last week backup QB, Jimmy Garappolo, left the matchup versus the Dolphins in the second quarter with an acromioclavicular joint separation (however, as of the time of this writing, the Pats have yet to definitively rule Garappolo out for Thursday's action).

We remind our audience though that one of our two main power ranking factors does not consider injury whatsoever. Thus, this measure will not downgrade the outlook for the Pats' until performance (as measured by margin of victory relative to pre-game expectations) diminishes. This approach favors New England by a substantial (six point) margin.

Conversely, the other linchpin power rankings approach in our stable of indicators does take into account personnel available at the QB spot. This factor adjusts game forecasts for the disparity between specific starting and replacement quarterbacks, and favors the Patriots by (roughly) an equal margin.

Similarly, two of the three computer simulations we employ also call for a straight up New England victory (the outlier system likes the Texans by four). In aggregate, our sim work calls for New England Running Back, LeGarrette Blount, who has not played to his potential so far, to have an especially strong game Thursday. This expectation is no stretch, in our thinking, given the vulnerability the Texans exhibited last week to the run game (Houston ceded 118 yards on 16 carries to Kansas City's backs).

Betting trends likewise favor the Pats. New England has not fallen to the Texans, either outright or versus the number, in any of the three games played at Gillette Stadium. Further, the Patriots finished last season 5-2-2 at home, and are 1-0 so far in 2016. The Texans were a meager 4-4 as the away team last year, and Houston is 1-3 in their four all-time Thursday Night Football appearances (New England is 4-1 when featured in the first game of the week).

We are pairing our bet on the Pats to cover with a play on UNDER 40.5. Each of the three sim programs we employ anticipate a low scoring affair Thursday. This outlook makes intuitive sense, as we expect greenhorn Jacoby Brissett's permissions to be limited. To this point, Garappolo attempted 29 passes in the 25ish minutes during which he led the Pats offensive charge in game 2; Brissett spearheaded the New England effort for 35 (or so) minutes of action, but tried only nine passes.

That the Texans offense is ranked 30th also supports the UNDER.

Happy betting!!

#nfl2016 #nfl2016wk3 #tnf #tnf2016 #patriots #texans

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