Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans Wild Card Spread & PickNoah Williams
Two teams with serious QB issues faceoff in the first Wild Card game of the NFL postseason this year. It will be the 9-7 Houston Texans hosting the 12-4 Oakland Raiders as small home favorites in the first AFC Wild Card Game. Kick-off is this Saturday, January 7th at 4:35 PM ET on ESPN from the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.
Texans coach Bill O’Brien has decided to go back to former starter and $72 million dollar mistake Brock Osweiler under center, while the Raiders are going rookie Connor Cook with their franchise QB out with a broken leg.
Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans AFC Wild Card Betting Spread & ATS Pick
The Texans opened as 1.5-point favorites; the total was 36.5 early in the week. But with all of the QB shuffling the spread has shifted heavily and finally settled. The NFL Wild Card Oakland Vs Houston betting spread favors the Texans by 3.5-points.
What: Oakland Raiders (12-4) at Houston Texans (9-7)
When: Saturday, January 7, 2016
Start Time: 4:35 PM ET
Where: Houston, TX
Stadium: NRG Stadium
Spread: Texans -3.5
Moneyline: Oakland +155 vs Houston -185
Game Total: 42.5
Stream: Watch ESPN
Listen: Oakland vs Houston
Why Bet The Oakland Raiders To Beat The Texans
The Oakland Raiders finished the regular season with a 12-4 SU record and 10-6 ATS record. While they were the second seed out of the AFC for a large portion of November and December, they ended the season as a wild card team after losing a 24-6 loss to the Denver Broncos last Sunday. They average 26.0 points per game (7th) and allow 24.1 points per game (20th).
The Raiders average 253.1 passing yards per game (13th), but those stats are propped up due to QB Derek Carr’s (3937 yards, 28 TDs & 6 INTs) play. With Carr out due to a broken leg, Raider Nation’s Super Bowl dreams are in the hands of career backup and a rookie. Backup QB Matt McGloin (50 yards, 0 TDs & 0 INTs) suffered shoulder injury against the Broncos pushing rookie QB Connor Cook (150 yards, 1 TDs & 1 INTs) into the starting job.
The NFL’s hottest WR duo of Amari Cooper (83 rec, 1153 yards, 5 TDs) and Michael Crabtree (89 rec, 1003 yards, 8 TDs) will need an extra edge against the Texans fearful D to give Cook an extra second or two to find the open receiver. Oakland averages 120.1 rushing yards per game (6th). RB Latavius Murray (195 car, 788 yards, 12 TDs) will get the ball early and often playing behind a rookie QB. He had only two games of over 100+ yards this season.
“I mean, Latavius ends up with five carries. How’s that happen?” Del Rio said after the loss to Denver. “It wasn’t a great job of executing by the Oakland Raiders. So, you know, that’s what it is. We own up to it and we’re going to put it behind us as quick as possible and move forward.”
Oakland has the 26th-ranked total defense in the NFL. The Raiders allow 258.0 passing yards (28th) and 117.6 rushing yards per game (23rd). They have recorded 25 sacks this season (32nd). LB Malcolm Smith leads the team with 103 tackles, and OLB Khalil Mack had 11.0 sacks.
Why Bet The Houston Texans To Beat The Raiders
The Houston Texans are 9-7 SU and 6-9-1 ATS this season after losing 24-17 to the Tennessee Titans in week 17. They average 17.3 points per game (29th) and give up 20.5 points per game (11th).
The Texans average 198.5 passing yards per game (29th). Their struggling offense will likely have QB Brock Osweiler (2957 yards, 15 TDs & 16 INTs) as the starter against Oakland. QB Tom Savage started the previous two games but was knocked out of their week 17 tilt due to a concussion.
“It allows me to get to the line of scrimmage, run through cadence, see what the secondary is doing, see what the linebackers are doing, get us into the proper protection and really at the end of the day just go play backyard football,” Osweiler said about the Texans no-huddle offense. “Say, OK, it’s going to be this coverage [and] who’s going to be open."
WRs DeAndre Hopkins (78 rec, 954 yards, 4 TDs) and rookie Will Fuller (47 rec, 635 yards, 2 TDs) are the main targets in this offense. Both are speedy and have good hands. Houston averages 116.2 rushing yards per game (8th). RB Lamar Miller (268 car, 1073 yards, 5 TDs) didn’t play last week due to an ankle injury. Miller is expected to start against Oakland.
Houston has the best total defense in the NFL. The Texans allow 202.0 passing yards per game (2nd) and 99.7 rushing yards (12th). They have recorded 31 sacks this season (24th). LB Benardrick McKinney has 129 tackles, and LB Whitney Mercilus has 7.5 sacks.
If You Still Can’t Decide Who To Bet On:
- Oakland is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games
- Oakland is 8-2 SU in its last 10 games
- Oakland is 9-2 ATS in its last 11 games on the road
- Oakland is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games on the road
- Houston is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games
- Houston is 1-3-1 ATS in its last 5 games at home
- Houston is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games at home
- The total has gone over in the Raiders’ last three games against the Texans.
- The total has gone under in nine of the Texans’ last 12 games at home.
- The Raiders are 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 games in the playoffs.
Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans Wild Card ATS Pick
Houston did not use its home field well a year ago in a 30-0 Wild Card Game loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, but the team went 7-1 straight up at NRG Stadium during the regular season with a 4-3-1 mark against the spread.
In their last meeting in November in Mexico City, Oakland won 27-20. But the Raiders had Carr under center. Throw in the fact that the Texans actually had six more first downs than the Raiders and allowed just 30 rushing yards. There were also a couple of blown calls that went the Raiders way.
When you take everything that happened in that game and add the fact the Raiders are playing a rookie third string quarterback, you have to like the Texans in this game. Look for Houston’s defense to dominate this contest and for the Texans offense to do just enough to get the win and cover.