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

Anthony Davis wants gold medal more than NBA MVP

Report: Ronda Rousey’s last fight topped 900,000 PPV buys

Rose issues statement denying sexual assault allegations

Giants’ rookie Tomlinson blasts a grand slam for first MLB home run

Coughlin treats training camp-weary Giants to ‘spa day’

Wilson: Comments about miracle water ‘perceived wrong’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ryan Mallett missed Texans practice after oversleeping

Report: Barry Bonds loses collusion case

Martavis Bryant reportedly failed multiple marijuana tests

Mortensen: Krafts called me to apologize amid Deflategate drama

Packers smart to sit Aaron Rodgers for rest of preseason

Is Rich Paul steering Tristan Thompson towards Toronto?

Melvin Upton Jr. channels Willie Mays with catch

John Elway talks up Colin Kaepernick: ‘I’ve always liked Colin’

Enrique Hernandez falls down trying to hit Aroldis Chapman pitch

How the Chicago Cubs are swinging

WATCH: McElwain surprises six players with scholarships

LeBron James gives shout out to writer recovering from surgery

Frank Gore calls Andrew Luck ‘football God’

Eddie Royal joins the list of injured Bears receivers

Terry Stotts, Damian Lillard and the shapeless Trail Blazers

Jim Harbaugh thought phone call from Michael Jordan was a prank

The Buffalo Sabres have a 96% season ticket renewal rate

Karl-Anthony Towns is perfect for today's NBA

Serena’s grand slam bid prompts sell out of women’s US Open final

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

How the Chicago Cubs are swinging

Report: Barry Bonds loses collusion case

Packers smart to sit Rodgers for rest of preseason

Towns is perfect for today's NBA

The Opening Drive: Utah alum Jordan Gross is fed up with the HarBros

Five greatest NBAers without a ring

Exactly how bad is the NL East?

Five potential college football Week 1 shockers

Top 10 storylines for Week 3 of the NFL preseason

Wilson’s ‘Recovery Water’ plug sends the wrong message

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