Houston Texans vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Week 16 NFL Betting Analysis
Houston Texans (9-5 7-7 ATS) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-7 5-8-1 ATS)
The Texans head to the Sunshine State to take on the hot Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a 3-point favorite with the total sitting at 50.5.
The public has really backed the Titans in this one, as they opened as a 1-point underdog and as of Tuesday are now a 3-point favorite.
The Titans have won three of their last four games and they came up big in their last game with a 24-21 road win over the Tennessee Titans. They are now one game up on the Titans, who they face at home in the last game of the season, and they need one win in their last two games to win the AFC South.
The Bucs have won four in a row and with their last win, they pulled to .500 on the season. They have the offense, they have averaged 34.8 ppg in their four-game win streak, but can they keep the Texans from lighting up the scoreboard?
All three of the games the Bucs have won in their four-game win streak have been on the road and this season they are only 0-5-1 ATS at home. On the other side of the coin the Titans have covered the spread in five of their last seven road games.
Watson vs. Suspect Tampa Bay Pass Defense
Deshawn Watson has put up good numbers on the season and will be facing a Tampa Bay pass defense that ranks 30th in the league. He has been picked off two times in each of his last two games and in the win over Tennessee he passed for 242 yards with TD and DeAndre Hopkins had 119 receiving yards. He may torch the Bucs’ secondary but needs to avoid the pick and get good protection.
Carlos Hyde rushed for 104 yards in the Titans game and he has a tall task in this game. While the Bucs’ pass D is not good their run D is the top-ranked unit in the NFL.
Tennessee had fewer yards in the win over the Titans and had two turnovers while only forcing one, but they scored the last 10 points of the game.
Bucs Look to Stay Rolling
Tampa Bay looks for their 5th straight win and to do so they will need another big game from Jameis Winston. He made a little history in the last game, which was a 38-17 win over the Detroit Lions, where for the 2nd straight game he passed for over 450 yards becoming the first QB to ever do that. He passed for 458 yards with four TD and was picked off once.
Winston has some solid targets even though 2nd leading WR Mike Evans is doubtful for this game with a hamstring injury and he missed the last game.
The interception has plagued Winston all season and he leads the league, by a pretty wide margin, with 24 of them. Even in the four-game win streak, he has been picked off six times including four in the last two games.
Winston has gotten little help from a rushing offense that ranks tied for 27th in the league averaging 94.1 rushing yards per game. Ronald Jones II leads the team with 541 yards but has only averaged 3.7 yards per carry and has only totaled 67 rushing yards in his last three games.
Winston may have his chances to put up big numbers again, as the Texans only rank 28th in the league in pass defense. Their run defense ranks 19th but can the Bucs take advantage of that?
This season the Titans are a respectable 4-3 on the road while the Bucs are only 2-4 at home.
The Bucs have failed to cover the spread in their last four games facing a team with a winning record and are only 1-5 ATS in their last six games as an underdog. Conversely, the Texans are 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight games as a road favorite.
Winston will have a big game and keep it close, but it will not be enough. Like most of the season, he will not get help from the run game and Winston will rack up the passing yards against the TB pass defense. Houston will lock up a playoff berth with a win and they will also cover the spread.
PICK: Texans -3