Dolphins-Texans TNF Betting Preview: Osweiler Will Be on the Run

Dolphins-Texans TNF Betting Preview: Osweiler Will Be on the Run article feature image

USA Today Sports. Pictured: DeShaun Watson, Brock Osweiler

Betting odds: Miami Dolphins at Houston Texans

  • Spread: Texans -7.5
  • Over/Under: 44
  • Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: FOX/NFL Network

>> All odds as of Wednesday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets

Betting market: While spread action has been relatively boring, steady money on the under has pushed the total down from 45.5 to 44.5, and even to 44 at some spots.

At the time of writing, 60% of tickets and 76% of dollars wagered on the total have played the under, explaining why this number has dropped throughout the week (see live betting data here). — PJ Walsh

Trends to know: This is the third game in Deshaun Watson’s career in which he has been favored by a touchdown or more. Houston won the previous two games by an average of 11.5 points but went 1-1 against the spread.

On the other side, Brock Osweiler has been an underdog of more than three points in 10 previous NFL games, and he’s gone 2-8 straight up and 3-7 ATS. — John Ewing

For whatever reason, the Houston Texans struggle under the bright lights. Houston is 11-23 straight up and 7-25-2 ATS in prime-time games. Evan Abrams

Biggest mismatch: Dolphins pass-blocking vs. Texans pass-rush

Pro Football Focus grades the Dolphins with the seventh-worst pass-blocking unit, which is troublesome for Brock Osweiler, who has been pressured on 40.2% of his dropbacks over the past two weeks — the 10th-highest rate among quarterbacks in that timeframe. Their offensive line will have their work cut out for them against a Texans defense that ranks seventh in pressures this season. J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney have been the biggest reason for that as they’ve combined for 44 pressures, 23 hits and 11.5 sacks, per Sports Info Solutions. — Justin Bailey

Which team is healthier: Texans

Both teams are all kinds of banged up, but the Texans at least figure to have most of their starters available Thursday night. Only secondary contributors Andre Hal (shoulder), Shareece Wright (shoulder/hand/groin) and Aaron Colvin (ankle) appear to be at risk of missing the game on defense, while right guard Zach Fulton (ankle) could also be sidelined for another week.

There’s at least a bit less uncertainty surrounding the Dolphins, as they’ve already ruled out receivers Albert Wilson (hip, IR) and Kenny Stills (groin) as well as quarterback Ryan Tannehill (shoulder). Defensive end Charles Harris (calf) also won’t suit up, while tight ends Mike Gesicki (shoulder) and A.J. Derby (foot) are shaping up as game-time decisions.– Ian Hartitz

DFS edge: Jakeem Grant is one to watch here. The Dolphins’ injury-riddled situation at receiver is expected to leave Grant, DeVante Parker and Danny Amendola in 3-WR sets.

The former Texas Tech receiver played a career-high 48 snaps Sunday. Grant is a natural stacking partner with the Dolphins’ DST thanks to his electric ability as a punt and kick returner. Overall, he has scored five touchdowns of at least 50 yards since entering the league in 2016. The Dolphins’ 5-foot-7, 169-pound sparkplug is set up well against the Texans pass-funnel defense that ranks first in DVOA against the run, but just 14th against the pass. — Ian Hartitz

Bet to watch: Under 44.5

As mentioned above, Miami is devastated by injury on offense and will have plenty of problems finding points against Houston’s defense that ranks fifth in the league per Football Outsiders’ DVOA.

While not an elite defense, the Dolphins rank a respectable 15th in DVOA and should be able to limit a Texans offense that has managed 22.1 points per game (21st in the NFL).

The market agrees, driving this total down from an opener of 45.5 to 44. Give me the under and a low-scoring game. — PJ Walsh

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.