Best Betting Picks for Sunday Night Football: Spread, Over/Under and Prop Bets for Patriots vs. Texans
USA Today Sports. Pictured: Deshaun Watson, Deatrich Wise
- Depending on the sportsbook you're looking at, the betting odds for Sunday Night Football are New England Patriots -3 or -3.5 against the Houston Texans.
- Our experts reveal their favorite picks for the AFC SNF showdown, including bets on the spread and two player props.
Patriots at Texans Sunday Night Football Betting Picks
- Odds: Patriots -3.5
- Over/Under: 46.5
- Kickoff: 8:20 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: NBC
Odds as of Saturday evening.
Public support continues to pour in on the New England Patriots, who are attracting more than two-thirds of the tickets and money bet. But is the 3.5-point spread now too high?
Our experts reveal how they’re betting it below. You’ll also find Sean Koerner’s favorite prop.
Stuckey: Texans +3.5
Look, I don’t like fading excellence either, but this Patriots offense is far from excellent right now.
Why? Well, for a variety of reasons:
- The offensive line play isn’t as stellar as in years past, partly due to injuries.
- The running game is nonexistent. (They rank 21st in Football Outsiders’ rush offense DVOA.)
- The passing game lacks explosiveness and any type of vertical component.
You can’t really blame the Patriots for all of these problems as they’ve had a rotating carousel of receivers and tight ends on a week-to-week basis and sorely miss Rob Gronkowski. Tom Brady is also a year older and dealing with what looks like a real elbow issue. But the timing is off with this offense.
Now, I’m sure they’ll figure it out come playoff time. Ultimately, they have future Hall-of-Famers at coach and quarterback, as well as the NFL’s best offensive line coach, and should keep building continuity as they find their identity. But until I see otherwise, I have to assume it’s still broken.
It’s odd to say these things about a team with only one loss, but a spectacularly easy schedule has enabled them to mask some of these issues. Even the special teams isn’t as elite as usual: New England recently moved on to another kicker just this week.
From a matchup perspective, I think Deshaun Watson can give the Patriots defense some issues with his legs, similar to what Lamar Jackson and many other mobile quarterbacks before him did against the man-heavy Patriot defenses.
I think the Texans can also have success running the ball right at a vulnerable Patriots run defense. And don’t sleep on a healthy Will Fuller, who will bring a much-needed dangerous speed element to the Texans offense.
The Texans defense misses J.J. Watt up front and they have a very poor secondary, but I haven’t seen enough from Brady and Co. through the air just yet to be too concerned. There’s a reason Brady’s 34% completion percentage when under pressure ranks dead last among 29 quarterbacks with a minimum of 250 snaps this season. That stat summarizes so many problems with the offensive line, injuries on the outside and the overall timing of the offense.
I know Bill Belichick owns Bill O’Brien and the coaching mismatch is severe, which does scare me, but this Pats offense is getting too much respect in the market as a road favorite of 3 (or more). The Texans should also benefit situationally with extra prep and rest while staying home after a Thursday night win over the Colts.
I took the home pup here at +3.5 but like it down to +3.
Sean Koerner: Sony Michel Under 7.5 Receiving Yards (-115)
I’m projecting Michel for six receiving yards, so how could I love this prop?
It’s important to remember there can be a huge edge in low-yardage props such as this. Michel has seen his route running decline with Rex Burkhead back. Last week Michel didn’t run a route on any of Brady’s drop backs. It’s impossible for Michel to catch a pass if he’s literally not running a route.
I think he’ll end up being in on seven to nine pass plays tonight, so my reception projection for him is around 0.8. That’s about a 55% chance to get a pass, and 33% of his receptions have been longer than 7.5 yards — a rate that I believe will regress closed to 40-50%. So essentially there’s a 36.9% chance this bet fails, which makes for a 63.1% win rate.
Mike Randle: Texans WR Will Fuller Under 4.5 Receptions (-148)
The stinginess of the New England pass defense encourages this prop. The Patriots have allowed the fewest wide receiver receptions (109) and receiving yards (1202) on the season. Overall, they’ve allowed the fewest wide receiver fantasy points as well.
Fuller is the quintessential “feast or famine” player, as he’s failed to crest four receptions in exactly half of his eight games this season. He’s always a threat for a deep play, but it’s difficult to project him for five or more receptions against the league’s top pass defense.
Our projection of 3.8 receptions is 11% under the implied total of 4.3 receptions. I would bet this prop down to -170.