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Texans Face Uphill Battle Against 49ers On Sunday Night

Posted by Stan Simmons on 10/6/2013 8:49:20 PM

The Houston Texans just lost to one NFC West powerhouse at home after blowing a 17-point second-half lead. Can they possibly beat another NFC West giant on the road one week later?

Houston Texans @ San Francisco 49ers – Sunday, October 6

Betting line: 49ers -8

Why Houston Will Win

When people who frequently try their hand at online betting are confronted by the first month of an NFL season, they are able to collect a lot of information. Four games have given bettors a good look inside the San Francisco 49ers and their offense. The view isn’t pretty. This team really misses wide receiver Michael Crabtree, who opened up the field and did multiple things for coach Jim Harbaugh. First of all, Crabtree’s speed enabled the 49ers to get an easy seven or eight yards on first down whenever they wanted or needed them. Second, Crabtree’s ability to do damage on the perimeter enabled tight end Vernon Davis to roam the middle third of the field (between the numbers and fairly close to the hashmarks) in single coverage, often on a linebacker. Third, Crabtree’s presence in the passing game made it that much more difficult for defenses to defend the run with Frank Gore. Everything the 49ers’ offense lacks with Crabtree is affecting the performance of quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has manifestly struggled to this point in the season. Kaepernick lacks the crispness that was part of his breakthrough 2012 campaign. He has not been as effective on third downs as his coaching staff would like. Part of this is due to the Niners’ receivers – the ones other than Anquan Boldin – getting locked down by opposing corners. Part of this is the Niners’ ground game getting contained. Part of this, though, stems from Kaepernick being unable to make high-level throws and, all the while, failing to bust loose on big runs that left other defenses helpless last season. It’s true that other defensive coordinators have done a lot to combat both Kaepernick and Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson this season. If Kaepernick can’t play at a substantially higher level in this game, Houston can win by shutting down San Francisco’s offense.

Why San Francisco Will Win

When people in the online sports betting community try to assess this game, they’re going to look to the fact that Houston quarterback Matt Schaub is not merely struggling, but faltering in a big way. When a quarterback throws pick-sixes in three straight games, that’s not just a cause for concern; it’s a legitimate crisis. The Texans and head coach Gary Kubiak have to wonder if Schaub is going to last this season, given the way he is competing. He is fragile in the face of pressure, and his confidence is shaken. San Francisco’s defense should be able to force multiple turnovers from Schaub. The Texans’ offense is likely to get worse before it gets better.

Who Will Win

The Texans simply can’t be confident about their chances as long as Schaub fails to do his job. Houston is in big trouble, and although San Francisco has also struggled this season, it feels as though the 49ers are going to win this game in a blowout.

NFL Betting Pick: 49ers -8

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