12/01/2013 10:01 AM
New England Patriots at Houston Texans (+7.5, 47)
New England won three of the four previous regular-season meetings against Houston, as well as last season's divisional-round playoff matchup. Quarterback Tom Brady has been less than stellar during the Patriots' road skid, throwing just one touchdown against three interceptions. He has been tremendous in December, however, posting a 41-6 record in the month over his career.
Despite its overall struggles, Houston leads the NFL in total defense (290.4 yards per game) and passing defense (171.8). Wide receiver Andre Johnson is eight catches away from becoming the 15th player in league history with 900 career receptions. Defensive end J.J. Watt looks to extend his streak to six straight games with a sack.
LINE: The Patriots opened -9.5 but have been bet down to -7.5. The total is steady at 47.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: New England (-6.0) + Houston (+6.5) - home field (-3.0) = Patriots -9.5
* Patriots are 21-8-1 ATS in their last 30 games after surrendering 30 or more points in their previous contest.
* Texans are 2-5 ATS in their last seven December games.
* Over is 5-0 in the last five meetings.