The 3-point underdog Oakland Raiders will look to overcome the loss of superstar quarterback Derek Carr to beat the defensive-minded Houston Texans when the two AFC Super Bowl hopefuls square off in their AFC wild card matchup on Saturday.
The Raiders and Texans will throw down at NRG Stadium in Houston at 4:35 PM ET with this matchup airing live on ESPN. Now, let’s find out where the value in this matchup lies.
Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans AFC Wild Card Betting Line & Predictions
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: Houston -3
Moneyline: Oakland +170 at Huston -200
Game Total: 37.5
Stream: Watch ESPN
Listen: Oakland vs Houston
Why Bet The Oakland Raiders To Beat The Texans
The Oakland Raiders (12-4 SU, 10-6 ATS) had the look of a potential Super Bowl 51 participant – until MVP-caliber quarterback Derek Carr suffered a broken leg in Week 15.
Oakland finished the regular season ranked sixth in total offense (373.3 ypg), 13th in passing (253.2 ypg) and sixth in rushing (120.1 ypg) while averaging a stellar 26.0 points per game to rank seventh in scoring.
Unfortunately, the Raiders have lost two of their last three road games and were absolutely mediocre across the board defensively while ranking 26th in total defense (375.1 ypg), 24th against the pass (257.5 ypg), 23rd against the run (117.6 ypg), and 20th in points allowed (24.1 ppg).
The good news is that the Raiders have gone 6-2 SU in their eight regular season road games and 4-0 ATS in their last four games following a straight up loss.
Oakland does have a trio of other legitimate stars in wide receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree and all-world linebacker Khalil Mack and have gone 9-2 ATS in their last 11 road games, 6-2 ATS in their last eight games against their AFC counterparts and a consistent 23-9 ATS in their last 32 games following an ATS loss.
Why Bet The Houston Texans To Beat The Raiders
The Texans (9-7 SU, 6-9-1 ATS) may not get a whole lot of love from the national media or NFL oddsmakers, but they have great opportunity to achieve some postseason success for a couple of reasons, most notably, Oakland loss of Derek Carr.
The Texans were phenomenal on defense this season and enter their wild card matchup against Oakland ranked first in total defense (301.3 ypg), second against the pass (201.6 ypg), 12th against the run (99.7 ypg) and a respectable 11th in points allowed (20.5 ppg).
Houston has a trio of gifted skill position stars of wide receivers DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller and running back Lamar Miller (1,073 rushing yards) and an excellent head coach in Bill O’Brien that I don’t believe will not be out-coached by many – if any – other coach this postseason.
Expert ATS Pick & Final Score Prediction
It’s a damn shame that the Oakland Raiders are going to have their fantastic 2016 season derailed by a costly injury to gifted quarterback Derek Carr, but that’s exactly what I expect to happen to the AFC West runner-ups in their wild-card clash against the Texans.
After witnessing the Raiders fall to Denver 24-6 regular season finale I believe that another similar outcome is in store for the Oakland in their wild card matchup against Houston.
The Texans may be far from a complete team, but there’s a reason why 51 percent of the betting public likes Houston to get it done in this wild card showdown.
The road team in this rivalry has gone 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings, but I’m thinking the Raiders won’t be able to win with Matt McGloin as their starter, not to mention I don’t think they’ll have an answer for Texans wide receivers DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller. The Texans win and cover as 3-point favorites!
My Final Score Prediction is Houston 24 Oakland 17