Monday Night Football Week 7: Houston Texans at Denver Broncos – Free Betting Preview and Prediction
The Texans will face a tough test on Monday Night Football to end Week 7 as they head to Mile High in Denver to take on the Broncos. Denver finds themselves in a tougher spot than they were a few weeks ago in the hotly contested AFC West after losing their last two games.
The Broncos opened as -6 favorites in this one. That has moved to -7.5 and -5 at most sportsbooks after they received over 60 percent of wagers throughout the week. The odds for both sides at BetOnline.ag are Texans +7.5 (-115) and Broncos -7.5 (-105).
The total hasn’t seen quite as much lopsided action. Bets are split down the middle for the most part on a number of points that will be scored. The total opened at 41.5 points but has moved down to 40.5 at most sites. At BetOnline, the total is currently at Over 40.5 (-115) and Under 40.5 (-105).
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The Texans – Houston, Do We Have a Problem?
Houston is coming off a 26-23 come from behind victory against the Colts in overtime on Sunday Night Football last week. Brock Osweiler and the Texans’ offense couldn’t get much going for three-quarters but caught fire the final period to force overtime. The defense stopped Andrew Luck on the first position in overtime and Osweiler drove them down the field to kick the game-winning field goal.
Until the game’s final quarter, however, Osweiler looked like one of the worst quarterbacks in the league against a Swiss cheese defense. It’s tough to imagine him having much success at Denver tonight.
The victory improved the Texans’ record to 4-2. With losses by the Colts and Jaguars this week, and with the Titans at 3-4 (tied with Indianapolis) they are in the driver’s seat in the AFC South.
The revenge narrative in firmly in play for Brock, but I’m not sure it’s going to be worth much against the best defense in the league. Osweiler spurned the Broncos in free agency to bolt to Houston in a surprising four-year, 72-million-dollar contract.
The Texans have several injuries in their secondary. Cornerback Kevin Johnson was placed on injured reserve last week with a broken foot and safety Quintin Demps will miss another week calf injury. On the bright side, wide receiver Will Fuller will be back after not playing in last week’s contest, despite being active.
The Broncos – Break the Losing Streak
Denver is coming off an extended break after losing at San Diego last Thursday 21-13. The Broncos got little going all night offensively. The loss was their second in the past two weeks, dropping their overall record to 4-2 this season.
With a win, they can tie the Raiders at 5-2 in the AFC West. The division has gotten a lot more competitive lately after the Chiefs and Raiders rebounded from slow starts. Even San Diego has won back-to-back games and is still in the fight at 3-4.
For the most part, the Broncos are healthy as they try to end their two-game skid. Offensive tackle Russell Okung looks on track to play this week after being limited all week at practice. He will solidify the offensive line for Broncos’ quarterback Trevor Siemian. He still needs to pass the concussion protocol but is expected to play this week.
It’s hard to dream up a better spot for the Broncos than this one. The point spread, correctly, moved towards Denver. I’m curious to think what the point spread in this contest would be if the Texans lost to the Colts last week. They probably should have lost that game, but were fortunate to stay in it long enough for Indy’s defense to finally break.
That’s not going to happen with Denver. Osweiler hasn’t looked comfortable in the pocket all season long, even in easier matchups, like last week against Indianapolis. There’s little reason to think he will have any success here.
On the other side of the ball, the Texans defense has progressively gotten worse throughout the year due to injury issues. Not having All-Pro J.J. Watt is one thing, but they have injuries all over the secondary now.
Trevor Siemian is on the low end of NFL starters, but he still has excellent receivers in Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuelle Sanders. I don’t see the Broncos having any trouble moving the ball on a Texans defense that has faced a low level of competition this season and is in decline.
This isn’t one of my favorite games of the week, but if you can get -7 on Denver or an excellent price on -7.5, then jump on it. Beating the market on games like this are important. Even with the public on the home favorites, they seem to be the sharp side.
Pick: Broncos -7.5