2011 Season NFL Football Past Picks
January 07, 2012
Cincinnati at Houston
Saturday 01/07 04:30 PM Eastern
3 units on Game Total UNDER PICK (risk 3 to return 3) RESULT: LOSS
The Houston Texans will be playing their first playoff game in franchise history as they host the Wildcard round vs. the Cincinnati Bengals. This will be a rematch of a game that took place less than a month ago when Houston scored on the last play of the game for a 1-point, 20-19 win. That total in that game was set at 37.5, so the oddsmakers have bumped it a point, moving to Houston for this one. The Houston offense has struggled since the loss of Matt Schaub at QB. Although TJ Yates has managed the games fairly well, there is no question that the Houston offense has been reduced. The 10 games started by Schaub saw the Texans score 27.3 points per game. With Yates under center that has dropped to 17.0 ppg. The Bengals have some concerns of their own as Andy Dalton spent Wednesday in the hospital with an illness. He should be ready to go on Saturday, but there are other concerns. Dalton threw for 200+ yards in six of his first eleven games, but just once in his last five. And his yards per attempt over the last two games has been down to 5.3 and 5.0 - a pair of the lowest of the season. Defenses now have a lot of tape on Dalton and he isn't suprising defenses as much as he did to start the season. Since the loss of Shaub, Houston's real strength now is their defense. This team is ranked #4 in points allowed and #2 in yards allowed. They gave up 12 or less points in half of their home games. I look for the defense to play with a lot of passion here as they know it is one and done and the offense needs them to come through. With the Bengals defense giving up 221 yards on the ground last week, expect a lot of Arian Foster and Ben Tate here with the clock ticking. The Texans are 8-2 to the UNDER in their last 10 at home and 9-1 UNDER this season as a favorite. Under Marvin Lewis, the Bengals are 31-18 UNDER vs. teams that complete 61%+ of their passes. My computer matchup for this game (not official picks) likes the Trxans to cover. My official play is on the UNDER.