Originally written 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
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Big Ten coaches opposed to 9-game conference schedule

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Hill arrested for reckless driving, clocked going 107 mph

Diamondbacks GM: Padres wanted Goldschmidt for Kimbrel

'Rowdy' Roddy Piper dead at 61

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Mets acquire Yoenis Cespedes from Tigers

Sheldon Richardson escapes felony charges for recent arrest

Lawyer who litigated against NFL: Brady plays every game

Cowboys should sign interested RB Steven Jackson

Jameis Winston confirmed as Buccaneers starting QB

Russell Wilson contract increases likelihood of change

DeMarco Murray: fantasy football’s riskiest pick

Jim Harbaugh has interesting name for rival Ohio State

Jimmy Garoppolo: the most interesting QB in the world

San Francisco Giants: impact of adding Mike Leake

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

RB signed by Chiefs day after tweeting them highlight video

Evgeni Malkin had real penguins at his birthday party

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Jonathan Papelbon thinks he became ‘scapegoat’ for Phillies

Padres don’t sell at trade deadline, reportedly because AJ Preller still believes in team

First photos of Jason Pierre-Paul’s injured hand emerge

Stop kvetching about Notre Dame, please

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

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

Five worst baseball trades since 2000

Examining the state of the NFL

Puig: Broke out of slump by playing baseball video games

Braves dump risk, exchange it for risk

David Price traded to Blue Jays

The indefensible Hulk Hogan

Cole Hamels chose Rangers over Astros

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