Monday Night Football Week 11: Houston Texans and Oakland Raiders – Free Betting Preview and Prediction
The Texans and Raiders won’t be playing in either of their home stadiums this week. The NFL’s international series isn’t headed across the pond, to foggy London, but down south, to Mexico City. The game will be broadcasted live on ESPN as usual but will be played at the Estadio Azteca, in Mexico City.
Action began with the Raiders -5.5 at home. The public has been all over Oakland since the start. Over 75 percent of bets have come in on the Raiders since the odds opened. This has pushed the line to Raiders -6 at most sportsbooks.
The total has also seen lopsided action. After opening at 46.5 points, it has dropped to 45 at just about every bookmaker online. However, this is despite over 70 percent of bets being placed on the over.
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The Texans – 1st in AFC South
Houston is first the AFC South, but there are real questions about this team competing for a Super Bowl, most importantly, at the quarterback position. Brock Osweiler has not played well this season, and the Texans continue to rely on him less and less as the year continues.
The Texans are coming off a 24-21 victory at Jacksonville last week. Osweiler threw for two touchdowns in the game but connected just 14 times on 27 throws for 99 yards. Houston got a defensive touchdown to add to their scoreline.
The victory put them in a commanding position in the AFC South, moving their overall record to 6-3. They are currently two games ahead or more from the second-place Colts (5-5) and the third-place, Titans (5-6).
The Raiders – They’re for Real
For me, Oakland has draws parallels to another team that seems to be on the cusp every season, the Jacksonville Jaguars. Unlike the Jags, the Raiders have taken that step this year, and they’re one of the best teams in football.
They’re coming off a bye week, last playing against visiting Denver and winning the game 30-20 on November 6th. The victory put them a 7-2 on the season, a mark they need to keep to hold first place in the AFC West. The Chiefs and Broncos are nipping at their heels, both with 7-2 records on the season.
It’s easy to look Houston’s record and consider these teams closely matched, but that’s likely far from reality. The Texans have played in a much easier division than the Raiders and have struggled to move the ball against some extremely poor defenses.
Oakland defense has been their weak link this year, but one can easily make an argument that Brock Osweiler is the worst quarterback in football. The Raiders defense has also improved in recent weeks, although, some of that may be the caliber of their opponents. However, Osweiler in the Texans’ offense certainly fits into that lower tier as well.
Oakland could easily win this one by double-digits. I don’t anticipate their offense having any trouble scoring against the Texans defense and Osweiler playing from behind is a recipe for disaster for Houston. Take the home team and lay the points.
Pick: Raiders -6