The Jacksonville Jaguars will attempt to snap a two game skid when they host the Houston Texans in a divisional clash Sunday afternoon from TIAA Stadium. The Texans recorded a 20-13 home win over the Bills in their previous action, and the Jaguars dropped a rough 40-7 decision in Dallas last week. The Jaguars defeated the Texans 29-7 in the first meeting last season, followed by a 45-7 win in the second meeting.
Texans Defeat Bills in Third Straight Victory
The Houston Texans have countered a three-game losing streak to start the season by winning three consecutive games to even their record at 3-3. They played tremendous defense in their 20-13 home win over the Bills last week. Deshaun Watson was playing with a chest injury and as a result, he only managed 177 passing yards with one TD against two INT’s. The 23-year old QB has tossed at least one INT in all six games, and he has tallied 1798 passing yards with a 9:7 TD to INT ratio on the year. Texans’ leading rusher Lamar Miller added 46 rushing yards last week, and he is up to 271 rushing yards on the year. DeAndre Hopkins collected 63 receiving yards against the Bills, and the talented receiver has accumulated 657 yards on the year. Hopkins tallied 135 receiving yards in two games against the Jaguars last season. The Houston offense has been mediocre this season, and their greatest strength lies in their passing game with the duo of Watson and Hopkins.
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) October 14, 2018
The Texans defense is their greatest strength as a team, and they came through with a clutch interception against Buffalo last week. J.J. Watt is in fine form, making seven sacks over his last four games, and the Texans rush defense ranks 11th in the NFL. Houston stands in a three-way tie for first in the AFC South with the Titans and Jaguars, and they are currently averaging 22.5 points, ranking them 21st overall. The Texans are holding opponents to 22.8 points, pegging them 12th in the NFL.
Jaguars Crushed by Cowboys in Second Straight Defeat
The Jacksonville Jaguars head into this divisional battle riding a two-game losing streak. They fell 30-14 in KC two weeks ago, followed by another rough 40-7 road loss to the Cowboys last week. Blake Bortles wasn’t sharp, completing 15 of 26 passes for only 149 yards with one TD against one INT. The 26-year old quarterback is having an inconsistent season, and it doesn’t get any easier against a strong Texans secondary in this one. Bortles has tallied 1674 passing yards with a 9:8 TD to INT ratio on the season. T.J. Yeldon led the Jaguars with 41 rushing yards last week, and he is up to 299 rushing yards on the year. Jags #1 RB Leonard Fournette is out until week 10, and the Jags are starting to feel his absence. Jacksonville’s leading receiver Dede Westbrook only managed 38 receiving yards against Dallas, and he has collected 387 yards on the season. The Jaguars have only scored a combined 21 points in their two games.
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) October 15, 2018
The Jacksonville defense hasn’t played to their potential in two straight games. They conceded 378 total yards and four touchdowns in Dallas last week after allowing 30 points to the Chiefs in week five. The Jaguars still feature the number one pass defense despite their recent troubles. They have now lost three out of their last four games, and they are currently averaging 18.2 points, ranking them 29th overall. Jacksonville is holding opponents to 21 points, good for ninth in the NFL.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are:
- 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games in October.
- under is 4-1 in their last 5 games against divisional opponents.
The Houston Texans are:
- the road team is 10-3-1 ATS in the last 14 meetings between the Texans and Jaguars.
- the underdog is 8-3 ATS in the last 11 meetings between the Texans and Jaguars.
- under is 9-3 in their last 12 games overall.
Updated on Oct 21 at 7:05am EDT
Update prepared by our editoral staff
Public Money / Line Movements
Nothing to read into the line move in this one. The Jags have gone for -3.5 to -4 which is consistent with the fact that 58% of the tickets are on the Jags.
Injury / Weather Report
71 and sunny at Kickoff. Wind could be a factor as it will be around 15 miles per hour.
Houston’s Injury Report:
Center Zach Fulton, DB Johnathan Joseph (21 tackles, 1 INT) and Shareece Wright (11 tackles) are all questionable. no other impact players on the injury list.
Jacksonville’s Injury Report:
TE Niles Paul (10 catches, 98 yards), RB Leonard Fournette (90 yards), and TE James O’Shaughnessy (9 catches, 101 yards) are all out. DE Calais Campbell (four sacks), OL Brandon Linder, and OL Andrew Norwell are all questionable.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I am taking the points with Houston in this one. Houston is red-hot, winning three straight games while the Jaguars are coming off two lopsided defeats. The Texans defense has been outstanding, and their pass defense is limiting opponents to only 245 passing yards per game. I expect them to neutralize Blake Bortles who has tossed five interceptions over his last two games. The Jaguars offense is also missing Leonard Fournette, and their rushing offense is below average in his absence.
Furthermore, the Jacksonville defense has looked surprisingly vulnerable in two straight games. They surrendered 424 total yards against the Chiefs in week five, followed by 378 total yards against Dallas last week. The Texans passing game ranks 12th in the NFL with an average of 279 passing yards, and I expect Deshaun Watson to do some damage. The Jaguars rush defense ranks down at 21st in the NFL, and the Texans own a decent running game.
Prediction: Houston Texans +5
Full-Game Total Pick
I am taking the under in this matchup. I expect a hard fought, low scoring divisional clash in this one. The Texans have only allowed an average of 14.5 points in their last two games, and right now the Jaguars are struggling to score points in a big way, plus the under is 11-4 in the Jags’ last 15 games against the AFC. The Jaguars have scored 14 or fewer points in three out of their last four games, and the Texans feature an outstanding pass rush that should hamper Blake Bortles performance, plus the under is 4-0 in the Texans’ last four games following a straight up win.
Prediction: Under 41.5
Full-Game Prop Bet
The under on the Jaguars team total is a solid play. The Jaguars are only averaging 14.5 points in their last four games, and Houston’s defense is locked in right now, plus J.J. Watt has collected seven sacks in his last four games. In addition, Blake Bortles has only completed 55% of his passes in his last two games, and the Jaguars are missing running back Leonard Fournette.
Prediction: Jaguars Team Total: Under 23.5
Half-Time Side Pick
I am taking the Texans on the first half line as well. The Jaguars are struggling to generate offense in the first half recently, averaging only 5.3 points over their last three games. Also, the Texans have been productive in the first half as of late, posting an average of 13.7 points in their last three games.
Prediction: Houston Texans +3.5
Half-Time Total Bet
The under on the halftime total is also a solid option. The Texans have limited their opponents to only 5.3 points in the first half over their last three games. Furthermore, the Jaguars have also played strong defense in the first half, allowing an average of only 9.3 points. I expect a low-scoring battle from start to finish.
Prediction: Under 21.5
Half-Time Prop Prediction
I am taking the Texans to score first. The Jaguars have done nothing in the first quarter recently, averaging a measly one point in the opening quarter over their last three games. Furthermore, the Texans are averaging solid 6.5 points in the first quarter in their last three games.
Prediction: Texans to Score First +110