NFL Week 9 Free Picks – Philadelphia vs. Houston

NFL Week 9 Free Picks – Philadelphia vs. Houston

In their 12 and change years in the NFL, the Houston Texans (4-4, 2nd in AFC South)  have beaten every team in the league bar the Minnesota Vikings and the Philadelphia Eagles (5-2, 2nd in NFC East). Houston is 0-3 straight up and 1-2 against the spread all-time against the Eagles and in week 9 the Texans will try to cross Philadelphia off of that list this Sunday afternoon.

Philadelphia came up short last week against Arizona on the road. Unfortunately, their defense gave up a 75 yard touchdown pass with less than 2 minutes on the clock pushing the score to 24-20 in favor of the Cards.

In NFL Week 9 betting action, they face a tough Houston team on the road. Can Philadelphia bounce back with a victory on Sunday?

Philadelphia Eagles at Houston Texans
When:  Sunday, Nov.2 at 1 pm ET
Where:  NRG Stadium, Houston, TX
Betting Line: Philadelphia -2

Philadelphia Stat Leaders

  • Passing: Foles – 177-299, 2039 yds, 12 tds
  • Rushing: McCoy – 137 car, 505 yds, 1 td
  • Receiving: Maclin – 39 rec, 632 yds, 6 tds

Houston Stat Leaders

  • Passing: Fitzpatrick – 144-227, 1757 yds, 9 tds
  • Rushing: Foster – 146 car, 766 yds, 7 tds
  • Receiving: Hopkins – 36 rec, 569 yds, 3 tds

Eagles Vs. Texans NFL Week 9 Free Pick Analysis:

Road teams don’t cover spreads in the NFL as often as road teams in college, which is why it is rare to find a team as a road favorite unless it is considered much better than the home team. The question now becomes how much better is Philadelphia than Houston?

On the surface, it looks like head-coach Chip Kelly’s Eagles are the much better team based on their records. Not only that, but Philly’s offense is averaging 29 points per matchup and 398.7 yards per matchup. The Eagles have become a more balanced team on offense as well. Philadelphia rushes for 115.1 yards per game and passes for 283.6 yards per game. The only real issue with Philadelphia’s offense is that quarterback Nick Foles has thrown too many picks in recent games. Foles’ TD to interception ratio is 6 to 5 in the Eagles’ last 3 contests. 

That’s not good. Luckily, Foles and the Eagles face a Texans’ defense that can definitely pressure the quarterback, J.J. Watt is awesome, but is horrible at defending the pass. Unless Watt gets to the QB, Houston’s defensive backfield pretty much lies down and lets opposing wide receivers go crazy on the field. Houston allows 271.4 yards per game via the pass.

Ben Roethlisberger, in the infamous 3 touchdowns in less than 2 minutes fiasco Monday night game, went 23 of 33 for 265 yards and 2 touchdowns against Houston. Foles has a chance to do the same.

None of this means that Houston has no shot in this game. Houston’s rushing attack has become one of the best in the NFL. Arian Foster has already rushed for 766 yards. Versus Philadelphia’s defense, Foster could get to within 100 yards of 1,000 on the season. Philly’s D gives up 116.7 yards on the ground per game on average. The defense allowed the St. Louis Rams to rush for 125 yards and the Rams don’t have a guy that’s even close to being as talented as Arian Foster.

The NFL betting trends point to this game being as tough as the spread indicates. Philadelphia is 1 and 4 against the spread in their last 5 road games and 2-11-1 ATS in their last 14 games after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous game. Houston is 1 and 4 ATS in their last 5 home games versus a team with a winning road record. The Texans are also 2 and 10 ATS in their last 12 games following an against the spread win.

Houston has actually been unlucky in recent games. Turnovers and other dumb mistakes have caused the Texans’ losses, not the fact that they couldn’t hang with any of their opponents. How good is Philadelphia compared to Houston?  Not good enough. The Texans, because of Foster’s rushing ability and Philly’s horrible defense, is the play against the spread in this contest.

My NFL Week 9 Free Pick: Houston Texans +2

Posted in NFL