Originally posted on The Football Fan Spot  |  Last updated 11/16/12
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8) at Houston Texans (8-1) This week, when the Jacksonville Jaguars go to Houston to play the Texans it will be the latest a 1-win team has played a 1-loss team since 1990, when the Patriots played the Bills, also during week 11, How long ago was that? Well, here’s a clue. The Patriots were the 1-win team and the Bills were the 1-loss team. The Bills won 14-0, finished the season 13-3 and went on to lose their 1st of 4 straight Super Bowls. The Patriots did not win another game, finishing 1-15. The Texans are 15.5 point favorites here at home. I hate laying this many points in general and it seems that the public agrees with me because, even as miserable as Jacksonville is, there is pretty even action on this one. However, the Jaguars deserve to be dogs of this many. In fact, this line might not even be high enough. The Jaguars are absolutely horrible, especially without Maurice Jones-Drew, who was a massive part of their offense, and with Rashad Jennings averages less than 3 YPC in his absence. They rank dead last in both yards per play differential and rate of sustaining drives differential. In yards per play differential, they are at -1.1. No one else is worse than -0.9. In rate of sustaining drives they are -14.8%, no one else is worse than -9.5%. They’re worse than even the Chiefs.  I’ve always said, if the Chiefs can avoid losing the turnover battle, they can be competitive. Meanwhile, the Jaguars have avoided losing the turnover battle. They are just -3 on the season, as Blaine Gabbert’s overly conservative style of play is not one that causes him to turn the ball over a ton. They still have not been close to being competitive, as they have a league worst -119 points differential. Using those two aforementioned statistics, yards per play differential and rate of sustaining drives differential, we can compute real line. The yards per play differential method gives us a real line of Houston -13.5, while the rate of sustaining drives differential method (which Houston leads the league in) gives us a real line of Houston -20.5. If you average them out you get a real line of Houston -17, 1.5 points higher than this line should be. Besides, this big line seems to have scared people off of taking the favorite. I’ve picked a lot of dogs this week because most of the favorites have heavy public leans and the odds makers still need to make back their money from 2 weeks ago, but some favorites need to cover so I like being able to take a non-heavy publicly backed favorite like Houston, a real rarity this week. There’s still a slight lean on Houston, but the odds makers still win either way because of the juice. I like Houston to get their 5th win of the season by 20 or more and Jacksonville to lose their 6th game of the season by 17 or more, for a small play. Houston is 3-0 ATS as double digit favorites this season, while the rest of the league is 3-7 ATS. Public lean: Houston (50% range) Houston Texans 31 Jacksonville Jaguars 10 Pick against spread: Houston -15.5 (-110) 1 unit
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