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Jaguars vs Texans Odds, Pick: Bet This NFL Week 17 Underdog

Jaguars vs Texans Odds, Pick: Bet This NFL Week 17 Underdog article feature image

Cooper Neill/Getty Images. Pictured: Trevor Lawrence.

  • The Jaguars are road favorites in Week 17 against the Texans.
  • Jacksonville's playoff fate won't be affected by this game ahead of a huge Week 18 matchup with the Titans.
  • Blake Krass breaks down the matchup and makes his betting pick below.

Jaguars vs Texans Odds

Sunday, Jan. 1
1 p.m. ET
Jaguars Odds
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Texans Odds
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Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

This Week 17 game has a couple of interesting angles, as we’ll see in breaking down our Jaguars vs Texans pick.

The Jaguars are in the heat of the playoff race, but technically, this game doesn’t really matter. Next week, they play the Titans, and the winner of that game will win the AFC South.

Technically, the Texans should be in “tank mode” with them in control of the No. 1 pick. However, they have been playing their best ball as of late. They have covered their last games with a cover margin of at least eight points. They also won their second game of the season last week against the Titans.

In recent history, the Texans have owned the Jaguars. Believe it or not, the Texans have won nine straight games against their division rivals and are 7-2 against the spread (ATS) during that stretch. Trevor Lawrence is personally 0-3 straight-up (SU) and 0-3 ATS in this matchup, averaging only 14.33 points per game in those games.

Here’s how that all plays into our Jaguars vs. Texans pick for Week 17.

Jaguars vs. Texans Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Jaguars and Texans match up statistically:

Jaguars vs. Texans DVOA Breakdown
Overall DVOA 8 20
Pass DVOA 5 18
Rush DVOA 19 24
Overall DVOA 31 27
Pass DVOA 31 31
Rush DVOA 32 12

The Texans are playing their best football of the season. Most of that can be attributed to a defense that’s finally healthy and young players finding their footing in Lovie Smith’s system. The Texans defense is 13th in weighted DVOA, which weighs recent games as more important.

Lawrence has really struggled against Smith’s defense. In addition to being 0-3 SU and ATS, Lawrence has a 3-5 TD-INT ratio in those games. The Jaguars have won four of their last five games, but that could set this game at the perfect time for some natural regression for a team that still isn’t supremely talented.

Bet Jacksonville vs. Houston at FanDuel

The Texans are 31st in our Action Network Luck Rankings, and with everything breaking the Jaguars’ way recently, this is a luck differential of -11 for the Texans. That bodes well for positive regression to come the Texans’ way.

Brandin Cooks finally returned last week for the Texans and made a huge difference. In the most important moment of the game, he made a spectacular TD catch to defeat the Titans. He should have success against this Jaguars pass defense that ranks 31st in pass DVOA.

Some of the public perception is that the Jaguars “need to win this game” since they are still in the playoff fight. Teams that “need to win” vs. teams that are eliminated from the playoffs are 57-95-4 ATS (37%).

This is the NFL and no one really “tanks.” These guys are playing for their jobs and don’t care about sealing the first pick in the draft.

However, realistically, this game means largely nothing to the Jaguars with the Titans on deck. That has been baked into the line some, and there could be no motivation to win or cover late in the game like we saw from the Titans on Thursday Night Football. That aspect of the game also plays into the hands of the Texans.

Finally, the Texans are elite on special teams. They are second in the NFL in special teams DVOA and are solid in every facet. That gives them a big advantage when it comes to field position. Also, if the game comes down to a missed extra point or field goal, they are more often than not on the right side of those.

Betting Picks

This seems like a pretty perfect spot for the Texans. I believe the public perception is that the Jaguars are the team to back here because they “need to win” and have been hot recently. However, the Texans have also been hot ATS and the Jaguars have little to no motivation to win.

Lawrence has really struggled against Smith’s defensive system and I doubt the Jaguars will want to pull out too many tricks from the bag with such an important game looming. That sets up a scenario where the Jaguars could go super conservative and really struggle to score.

This number was great at +4 on Friday, but it moved down to +3 on Saturday and that’s as far as I’d play it. I think the Texans manage to play this extremely tight, and I would not be surprised if they win outright.

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