December 07 2014, Sunday 2:00
2/1 Jacksonville Odds to Win
The Houston Texans travel to Jacksonville to take on the division rival Jaguars this Sunday at EverBank Field. Houston is coming off a blowout win over the Tennessee Titans, while Jacksonville pulled off an incredible comeback last week against the New York Giants. When the Houston Texans click on both sides of the ball, they’re very hard to stop, as evidenced by their 45-21 win over Tennessee. The Texans will hope to recreate that offensive explosion against another division rival up next as they travel to EverBank Field to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had a monster day in Week 13, throwing for 358 yards and a franchise-record six touchdowns, while wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins grabbed the opportunity to shine as he posted a career-high 238 yards receiving and two scores. With Fitzpatrick and Hopkins clicking, the Texans set a team-record for points in a 45-21 win over Tennessee on Sunday. The game also featured the return of running back Arian Foster from a groin injury. While Foster only managed 79 yards on 19 carries, he did score on a touchdown reception. The Texans running back has caught a scoring pass in each of his last four games. Nevertheless, expect Foster to be at his best on the ground against a Jacksonville front seven which has allowed 129.4 yards rushing per game. While the Texans offense lit it up, star defensive player J.J. Watt continued to make a case for this season’s MVP award. Watt had two sacks, forced and recovered a fumble and recorded his third touchdown reception of the season. Watt will line up against a porous Jacksonville offensive line that has allowed 11 sacks on their quarterback Blake Bortles in the past two games since returning from their bye week. The pressure the defensive end brings may also reignite Bortles’ interception troubles. The Texans have 11 players with an interception this season led by defensive back Jumal Rolle’s three. Meanwhile, cornerbacks Johnathan Joseph and A.J. Bouye have returned interceptions for touchdowns which could give Jacksonville headaches. The Texans are 2-0 ATS as road favorites this season. The Jags’ rookie quarterback Blake Bortles finally notched his first game-winning drive last week. He completed four passes and ran for 31 yards on two keepers to set up Jacksonville for the game-winning field goal in a 25-24 win over the New York Giants on Sunday. Bortles also threw for a touchdown, a 30-yard pass to wide receiver Marqise Lee late in the third quarter and avoided being picked off for the first time in his short NFL career. The rookie faces a favorable matchup against a vulnerable Houston pass defense. The Texans have allowed an average of 270.3 yards through the air (the fourth-most passing yards allowed in the league). However, Bortles may have to use his legs whenever the Texans’ defense led by Watt ends up breaking the pocket. The rookie has shown that he can scramble well when needed to, running for 6.7 yards per carry. On the other side of the ball, the defense scored twice for the first time this season as linebacker J.T. Thomas and cornerback Aaron Colvin each returned fumbles for scores against the Giants. The same feat may be difficult to pull off against the Texans, who own a +11 turnover differential (tied for second with the AFC-leading New England Patriots). The pass rush may be where the Jags find success against Houston’s Fitzpatrick. The Texans quarterback was sacked nine times in his last two starts before his big day in Week 13. Defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks should be a big threat in Jacksonville’s rush with five sacks in his last five games. The Jaguars are 3-0 ATS in their last three meetings against the Texans. After their record-setting game against Tennessee, the Texans have nowhere to go but down. Houston still wins outright, but falls short of covering the spread. Take the Jags to cover +4.5.