Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 1/9/13
Las Vegas odds makers learned their lesson from the Patriots-Texans matchup earlier in the season. When New England and Houston matched up in Foxboro in Week 14, the Patriots were just 5.5-point favorites before beating the Texans 42-14. This week, the Patriots are 9.5-point favorites over Houston, but is that enough? Since New England embarrassed the Texans on Dec. 9, the Patriots have only gotten stronger with Rob Gronkowski back from a broken forearm. There’s barely any tape of Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez on the field at the same time from this season, so it will be tough for Houston to prepare for a Josh McDaniels-led unit with both star tight ends. Of course, the Patriots also played nearly perfectly against the Texans the first time around. Houston was also playing without outside linebacker Brooks Reed, though you’d be hard pressed to argue that he’s more important to the Texans than Gronkowski is to the Patriots. With a game under their belt, though, Houston should be able to prepare better this week than they did in Week 14. It would be very difficult for New England to beat Houston by 28 points again, and 9.5 is a very large point spread for a playoff game, but these are roughly the same teams that played in December. Will the Patriots cover the spread? Will they win with the Texans covering the spread? Or will Houston be able to pull off the upset? Vote below. Take Our Poll
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Who should perform at Super Bowl 51?
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Ezekiel Elliott reportedly arrived at training camp overweight

Olympian auctions off medal to help young cancer patient

Report: Dodgers have turned down lowball offers for Puig

Jason Pierre-Paul’s lawsuit against Adam Schefter, ESPN will proceed

The Rock, Vin Diesel to settle 'rivalry' at WrestleMania 33?

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Browns trade former No. 6 overall pick Mingo to Pats

Harden organizing players-only minicamp with Rockets

Raiders file trademark applications for ‘Las Vegas Raiders’

U.S. Soccer hands Solo six month suspension for Olympic comments

Report: Josh Gordon will be restricted free agent after 2016

Chargers release statement on Joey Bosa situation

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

A look at 2016 college football conference changes

The 20 best boxing movies ever

Will Perriman help Ravens find elusive WR success?

Jay Bouwmeester’s selection to Team Canada’s World Cup roster is a head-scratcher

Five MLB players with a lot to lose down the stretch

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies

Bruce Arians on sideline video use: 'It helps bad coaches'

Hard not to be cynical about LeBron's 'Cleveland Hustles'

Familiar faces that won't be seen in the NFL this year

Junk Diver: Yasiel Puig

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

A look at 2016 college football conference changes

The 20 best boxing movies ever

Can Perriman's return help Ravens find oft-elusive WR success?

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies

Hard not to be cynical about LeBron James' 'Cleveland Hustles'

Ranking the uniforms of the NFL from worst to best

Familiar faces that won't be seen in the NFL this year

The 24 quintessential moments of Kobe Bryant's career

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker