The AFC South is by no means settled at the moment. But the Houston Texans are in the lead with a 6-3 record according to offshore sportsbooks. Their dilemma is that they have to play the Baltimore Ravens (leaders in the AFC North). And on top of that, they have other teams nipping at their heels. The Tennessee Titans, who have a bye, are 5-5. The Indianapolis Colts, at 5-4, can actually pull into a tie with them if they can beat the Jacksonville Jaguars. And the Jags (4-5) get closer if they win and the Texans lose.
Will Texans have the plan to keep Jackson under wraps?
Houston Texans vs. Baltimore Ravens NFL Week 11 Odds
|Texans||+4½ (-111)||51½ (-110)||+184|
|Ravens||-4½ (-109)||51½ (-110)||-220|
This is one of the marquee games of the week, and deservedly so. The Ravens were at risk of a letdown last week, as they had been coming off a win over New England. So all they went out and did was score a 49-13 win over Cincinnati. Houston does not necessarily have sensational defensive numbers against the run. But by no means is there any reason to believe that the Ravens and their potent ground attack (5.5 yards per carry, 15 touchdowns) are going to run roughshod here.
We understand that Lamar Jackson has been getting some support since Baltimore is front-runner in the AFC North. And he’s got 702 yards rushing to lead the team. But Houston’s DeShaun Watson is almost as elusive. And he is further along as a passer, with 70% completions and 8.1 yards per attempt.
Since the acquisition of Laremy Tunsil, Watson has not been quite as easy to get to. And those who are under the impression that Baltimore’s defense is imposing might be surprised to learn that they have only 16 sacks on the season. Yes, the Ravens have improved the secondary with the acquisition of Marcus Peters, but Watson doesn’t lack for weapons to spread it around to.
One thing that might turn out to be a factor is that the Texans have had extra time to construct a game plan. That’s a result of their bye week. And with that extra time, they might have a wrinkle or two to throw at Jackson. We’d expect that they’ll stop the run first and make the Ravens’ QB beat them by throwing.
The Ravens have covered two of their last ten home games. It might be worth it to go with the dog.
Foles takes the reigns for Jags
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis Colts NFL Week 11 Betting Odds
|Jaguars||+2½ (-110)||43 (-110)||+120|
|Colts||-2½ (-110)||43 (-110)||-140|
Well, Nick Foles, the guy the Jaguars gave all that money to, is set to come back. And while we appreciate that management feels the obligation to use him, you have to wonder about the wisdom. They appeared to be getting something out of Gardner Minshew, who had only been intercepted four times in 307 attempts. The Colts are also returning a starting quarterback, although Jacoby Brissett was out only briefly by comparison.
Brissett does bring more of an ability to stretch the defense out than Brian Hoyer. But the Colts have not been the type to run and hide from any opponent. By the same token, they haven’t been run or hidden on either. In fact, all of the games they’ve had have been decided by seven points or less. So to begin with, this is one of those games where you start out looking to take the points.
Throw in the fact that J-Ville has compiled a 7-0-1 ATS record in the last eight meetings. And also that the Colts will once again be without TY Hilton and Parris Campbell. Brissett is going to be handicapped in a big way, the way Hoyer was before him. This is what contributed to producing the loss to Miami last week.
We will concede that Indy might get some real service out of Marlon Mack, since the Jags have allowed 4.9 ypc. But you know, the Colts might be permissive with Leonard Fournette too. It might be necessary here to grab the points.
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