Falcons Texans Betting – Atlanta Takes Advantage Of Houston’s Quarterback Troubles
Houston’s sports betting chances aren’t completely down the drain, but not having their starter under center is a huge blow for the Texans as they prepare to host Atlanta, who are starting to pick up momentum and they should be able to turn Houston into a passing team, which normally would work in the Texans’ favor.
What: NFL Betting
When: Sunday, December 4th, 1:00 PM ET
Where: Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX
Pick: Atlanta Falcons -3
Why Bet On Atlanta Falcons (7-4 SU, 4-5-2 ATS)
The Falcons jumped out to a 17-0 first-half lead and rolled to a 24-14 win over Minnesota at home, and Matt Ryan is starting to heat up as he went 27-of-34 for 262 yards and three touchdowns; if Atlanta is going to make noise in the NFC, Ryan has to move to the next level from being a very good quarterback to a Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees-level. Roddy White had 10 catches for 120 yards and a score, while Tony Gonzalez added nine receptions for 69 yards for the Falcons, who eased rookie receiver Julio Jones back into the lineup and even though his hamstring looks fine, he definitely was rusty after a few games out. The defense stepped up with four sacks and they held the Vikings to 226 yards of offense; Minnesota was without Adrian Peterson and they have a rookie pivot in Christian Ponder, but the Falcons still had to execute and they did a good job against the Vikings.
As for injury worries, linebacker Stephan Nicholas (shoulder) and cornerback Brent Grimes (knee) are in danger of missing this game, and Atlanta’s NFL betting odds this week will depend on their ability to stop the run and they’re second in the league in run defense as they take on an excellent Houston ground game. Houston has had some injuries at quarterback and the Falcons can force them to be a passing team, although they still have to watch out for Andre Johnson out wide. Atlanta has won two in a row now and they need another victory to keep pace with a red-hot New Orleans team in the NFC South.
Why Bet On Houston Texans (8-3 SU, 8-3 ATS)
The post-Matt Schaub portion of 2011 ended with a 20-13 victory in Jacksonville, but the Texans are now down to their third-string quarterback after Matt Leinart went 10-of-13 for 57 yards and a score, and then he broke his collarbone. T.J. Yates was 8-of-15 for 70 yards as the Jaguars stacked the box to stop Houston’s No.3-ranked rushing attack, which picked up 88 yards. The Texans picked up just nine first downs and were 2-of-15 on third down, and Houston has to figure out how to move the chains in light of their quarterback problems. Defensively, the Texans held the Jaguars in check with 255 yards, but they gave Jacksonville three first downs because of penalties and they can’t afford to do that now. A healthy pass rush definitely sparked the Texans as they registered seven sacks, including four by Connor Barwin and the next few weeks are going to be a big test for Houston’s No.1-ranked defense, which has been overshadowed by the offense this season. They’re going to have to keep the Texans above water until they figure out what they’re going to do under center.
Schaub (foot) and Leinart (collarbone) are gone for the season, and even though Yates is the starter right now, reports say that the Texans have brought, or are bringing in, Jake Delhomme and Jeff Garcia for workouts this week. Chances are, even if they sign one of those options, Yates should be under center for this week, at least. Houston has a two-game lead over Tennessee in the AFC South, and they don’t need a Matt Ryan, or even a Matt Schaub or a Matt Leinart as their quarterback; the Texans can run the ball and their defense is playing as well as anyone in the league, but they need a pivot who will keep the opposition honest so they can get their rushing attack going.
How It Will Play Out
The Falcons are a 3-point favorite on the road in Houston, where they are 0-1 SU and ATS in their lone meeting, a 17-13 win for the Texans in 2003 when Atlanta was a 3-point underdog. You have to give the Falcons the edge in this one as the Texans have a rookie at quarterback, and while a couple of first-year players have thrived under center this season, those ones (Cam Newton, Andy Dalton) have been taking first-string reps all season and Yates probably hasn’t even taken second-string reps.
Look for Atlanta to shut down Houston’s running game and force a couple of mistakes out of the Texans, whose defense will keep them in it, but there is just too much uncertainty at quarterback to take the home team. Go with Atlanta to cover the online betting spread on the road.Falcons Texans Betting Pick: Atlanta Falcons