Texans vs. Raiders, 01/07/17 – Preview & Prediction

Game Snapshot

Oakland Raiders
vs.
Houston Texans

Saturday, January 7, 2017 at 4:35pm

Written by on

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Oakland Raiders (12-4; 10-6 ATS; 11-5 O/U) vs.  Houston Texans (9-7; 6-9-1 ATS; 6-10 O/U)

NFL AFC Wildcard: Saturday, January 7, 2017 at 4:35pm EST

Line: Houston -3.5

Total: 36.5

The Houston Texans will face the Oakland Raiders in the AFC Wild Card game Saturday afternoon from NRG Stadium in Houston. The Raiders had a great season, finishing with a 12-4 record, and the Texans won three out of their last four games to win the AFC South division with a 9-7 record. Oakland notched a 27-20 home win over Houston in week 11.

Raiders Relying on Latavius Murray in Carr’s Absence

The Oakland Raiders head into the Wild Card game facing adversity after the devastating season-ending injury to Derek Carr in week 16. The Raiders will no doubt need several players to step in in Carr’s absence on both sides of the ball. To make things worse Carr’s replacement Matt McGloin was injured himself last Sunday and is questionable for this contest. If he is unable to go then Oakland would have to go with third string QB Connor Cook who threw for 150 yards with one TD and one INT against Denver last week. The Raiders will be needing a huge game from running back Latavius Murray if they want a chance to win this game. Murray had a solid season, rushing for 788 yards and 12 touchdowns. The Raiders also feature Jalen Richard who can do damage on the ground as well. Richard averaged a dazzling 6.1 yards per carry, and the Raiders do own the sixth-ranked running game. Oakland’s high-powered offense averaged 26 points per game, good for third in the NFL, but without Carr they will have a tough time scoring points.

The Raiders defense will be going against a low scoring offense but they will have to be on their toes when defending Lamar Miller. They will also have to keep a close eye on DeAndre Hopkins no matter who is at quarterback. Oakland had success at times stopping the run, and they will need Khalil Mack (11 sacks) and Bruce Irvin (7 sacks) to both come in big. The Raiders allowed an average of 24.1 points per game this season, ranking them 20th in the NFL.

Texans Aims for First Playoff Victory Since 2012

The Houston Texans come into the Wild Card game feeling they have a great shot at winning this game against a Raiders team playing without Derek Carr. The Raiders beat the Texans back in week 11 in Mexico City, but it was Carr that threw for 295 yards and three touchdowns that torched the Texans. Tom Savage, who was supposed to play in place of the benched Brock Osweiler, is in concussion protocol after taking a hit in the Texans loss to the Titans last weekend, and he will not play in this one. Brock Osweiler has been named as the starter for the Texans and he has a chance to atone for some subpar play this season. Osweiler did not have a good season, throwing for only 2957 yards with a weak 15:16 TD to INT ratio. The Texans will look to run the ball frequently against a Raiders defense that will give up yards on the ground. Lamar Miller sat out the last two games with an ankle injury but will be ready to go. Miller had a great season on the ground, collecting 1073 rushing yards with five touchdowns, and he will be relied upon heavily in this contest. Houston is not a high scoring team, averaging only 17.4 points per game, ranking them down at 29th in the NFL.

The Texans defense will be the key to victory in this contest. If the Texans defense plays like it can then they should have a very good chance at winning this game with no Carr playing for the Raiders. The Texans have a done a great job at defending the pass all season and are allowing an average of 20.5 points per game, good for 11th in the NFL.

Trends:

The Oakland Raiders are:

  • No Key Trends

The Houston Texans are:

  • 10-2-1 ATS in their last 13 games after accumulating less than 90 rushing yards in their previous game.

I am siding with the Texans with this smaller spread. The Raiders are a deflated team with the injury to MVP candidate Derek Carr and I cannot see them winning this game. The Texans own the number two ranked pass defense in the NFL, so I cannot see McGloin or Cook doing much in the air, and Houston has also had success stopping the run, so it will not be easy for Murray. The Texans will run the ball frequently and Oakland owns the 23rd ranked rush defense in the NFL, so I expect Miller to have success on the ground. The Texans defense will allow them to win this game and cover the points.

Pick: Houston Texans -3.5

This should be a quality game between two strong running teams led by Miller and Carr. The Raiders are going to have a very difficult time scoring points with no Derek Carr, and Houston defense is allowing the fewest yards per game in the NFL, so I can’t see Oakland doing much of anything. They were only able to score six points against Denver last week and I think we will see a similar result in this one, plus the under is 4-1 in their last five road games against a team with a winning home record. Houston is not a high scoring team and the under is  5-1 in their last six games.

Pick: Under 36.5

5

NBA on Wednesday, 1-18-2017

Charlotte Hornets vs. Portland Trailblazers, 01/18/17 - Prediction

It’s an inter-conference clash between a pair of skidding teams looking to get back on track in Buzz City. The Portland Trail Blazers are on the road as they continue a trip with... Read More

Washington Wizards vs. Memphis Grizzlies, 01/18/17 - Prediction

It’s an inter-conference clash between a pair of teams in their respective playoff races in the nation’s capital. The Memphis Grizzlies are on the road as they battle the Washi... Read More

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Toronto Raptors, 01/18/17 - Prediction

DeMar DeRozan and the Toronto Raptors will take on the surging Philadelphia 76ers in a divisional battle Wednesday night from the Wells Fargo Center.... Read More

Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks, 01/18/17 - Prediction

It’s a matchup of Atlantic Division foes up in the Northeast. The New York Knicks continue a road trip as they battle the Boston Celtics Wednesday night. New York lost for the 11... Read More

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Orlando Magic, 01/18/17 - Expert Prediction

An inter-conference clash of teams trying to pick up a victory takes place down in the Big Easy. The Orlando Magic closes their six game road trip as they take on the New Orleans P... Read More

Atlanta Hawks vs. Detroit Pistons, 01/18/17 - Expert Prediction

It’s a matchup of Eastern Conference foes in the Motor City. The Atlanta Hawks are on the road as they battle the Detroit Pistons Wednesday night. Atlanta won for the ninth time ... Read More

Houston Rockets vs. Milwaukee Bucks, 01/18/17 - Prediction

The Houston Rockets will be playing the second game of a back-to-back situation when they host the Milwaukee Bucks at the Toyota Center on Wednesday night.... Read More

Golden State Warriors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 01/18/17 - Prediction

Golden State got some revenge on "rival" Cleveland on Monday night, winning with ease, 126-91 at home. Oklahoma City is coming off a 120-98 road loss at the Los Angeles Clippers on... Read More

Sacramento Kings vs. Indiana Pacers, 01/18/17 - Preview & Prediction

The Pacers head to Sacramento to take on the Kings on Wednesday night. Both of these teams have aspirations of making the playoffs. The Pacers have won six of ten and are curren... Read More

NCAAB on Wednesday, 1-18-2017

Florida vs. South Carolina, 01/18/17 - Prediction & Preview

The red-hot South Carolina Gamecocks face the even hotter Florida Gators on Wednesday in a matchup of undefeated SEC teams. SC is now 4-0 in the SEC after beating Ole Miss, 67-56 o... Read More

Missouri St vs. Indiana St, 01/18/17 - Expert Prediction

The Missouri State Bears will battle the Indiana State Sycamores in a conference matchup Wednesday night from the Hulman Center.... Read More

Fordham vs. VCU, 01/18/17 - Expert Prediction

The VCU Rams will be trying to bounce back from a rare loss when they visit the Fordham Rams at Rose Hill Gym on Wednesday night.... Read More

Temple vs. Cincinnati, 01/18/17 - Expert Prediction

Temple has now lost five of six games after falling at home to Tulsa, 70-68. The Owls are just 1-5 in the AAC, while Cincinnati is 5-0 and has won eight straight games overall. The... Read More

See all upcoming picks!

Last Updated: January 6, 2017

Adam Rauzino

Adam has been a sports fanatic his entire life, closely following hockey, baseball, basketball and football. Adam enjoys analyzing various stats, as well as studying Sabermetrics and analytics to take his picks to a whole new level. Adam has a passion for writing about about various sports as well as personal finance. He graduated with a diploma in business marketing and business finance.