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Browns Texans Betting – Houston Uses Ground Game To Run Over Cleveland

Posted by Stan Simmons on 11/3/2011 7:24:54 PM
browns texans betting

Online betting players are always wary of Houston, who always seem to fall short of the playoffs, but their fans are starting to get their hopes up heading to a matchup against Cleveland this week. With a stout running game, look for Houston to come away with another victory to give their fans a little more hope.

What: NFL Betting
When: Sunday, November 6th, 1:00 PM ET
Where: Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX
Pick: Houston Texans -11

Why Bet On Cleveland Browns (3-4 SU, 2-3-2 ATS)

The Browns were down 17-0 with 1:31 left in the second quarter and ended up falling 20-10 in San Francisco, and even though the 49ers’ defense is one of the best in the league, Cleveland’s offense is awful, coming in 26th in the NFL. Colt McCoy was 22-of-34 for 241 yards, a touchdown and a pick, but the Browns committed a couple of turnovers, they ran for 66 yards and never even made it to the red zone. Josh Cribbs had a 45-yard touchdown reception, and the Browns have to find more ways to get the ball in his hands because he is, by far, their most explosive player, especially with running back Peyton Hillis on the sideline. This score could have been even worse as the Browns fumbled five times (four by McCoy), but they lost just one. Defensively, the Browns allowed 174 yards on the ground, but they did stop the 49ers on three of five red-zone opportunities.

Montario Hardesy (calf) is out, which means the Browns may have to press Hillis (hamstring) back into action at less than 100%. Cornerback Dmitri Patterson (knee) will have an MRI this week, while linebacker Chris Gocong (neck) is questionable, and the last thing that the Browns need is more injuries, especially to a defense that is keeping them in games. Cleveland is ranked fifth in the league on that side of the ball (all four AFC North teams rank in the top five in total defense), but they are ranked 27th against the run and that can be exploited.

Why Bet On Houston Texans (5-3 SU, 5-3 ATS)

The Texans came away with a 24-14 win in an ugly game against Jacksonville, in which they held the Jaguars to 174 yards and they picked off rookie pivot Blaine Gabbert twice. Matt Schaub was 16-of-30 for 225 yards and a score, while Arian Foster grinded out 112 yards and a touchdown on 33 carries. The Houston offense didn’t need to be spectacular against the Jaguars, who score the fewest points in the lead, but they’re still putting up points without receiver Andre Johnson and they were efficient, scoring touchdowns on all three of their trips to the red zone. The defense did what everyone does against the Jaguars: stack eight in the box against Maurice Jones-Drew and dare Gabbert to go down the field, which is highly unlikely. However, the Jaguars did put up seven points on their two red-zone trips, so that may be slightly worrying.

More worrying is the status of Johnson (hamstring), and while the Texans are getting by without him, their NFL betting odds would improve with him in the lineup. There is no way you won’t miss arguably the best receiver in the league, and he is still day-to-day. He hopes to practice on Thursday, so check out the injury report, while linebacker Daryl Sharpton (quadriceps) is out for the season. But the big story is Johnson, and we wouldn’t expect the Texans to risk him, especially against the Browns. They can control the clock with Foster and Ben Tate, given the Browns’ problems with stopping the run, and they need Johnson healthy for after their Week 11 bye; that is the stretch that will decide if the Texans can make the postseason for the first time in their franchise history.

How It Will Play Out

NFL betting odds have the Texans as an 11-point favorite at home against the Browns, who are 1-2 SU and ATS in three trips to Houston, with all three games going under the posted total. The under seems like a good bet this week, especially if the Texans don’t get Johnson back in the lineup.

For Houston, look for this to be a similar game to the Jacksonville game, but the Browns may be in worse shape. The running game is a mess and the passing game barely breaks plays, while the defense is going to have its hands full with Houston’s running game. The Texans have two running backs that can give the Browns trouble and that should be the difference in what should be another ugly game, but you can confidently wager that Houston will cover the sports betting spread.

Browns Texans Betting Pick: Houston Texans

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