2002 Season NFL Football Past Picks
October 13, 2002
Buffalo at Houston
Sunday 10/13 01:00 PM Eastern
4 units on Houston +7.5 (-110) (risk 4 to return 7.64) RESULT: PUSH
Defense wins championships. Heard that before? What about Rushing wins championships? Believe it or not, Houston has a better running game (98 ypg versus 79 for Buffalo) and a better defense (ranked 11th in the league versus Buffalo at 25th in total yards given up). Don’t get me wrong. Buffalo is a better team with a high-powered offense but Houston should be able to score enough to keep this one close.
Buffalo’s D is ranked dead last in the league for points allowed, giving up a whopping 36 points a game. To put that in perspective, that is 14% higher than last year’s worst defense (Indianapolis at 31.7 ppg who went 6-10 ATS). After five games they have still have no interceptions.
I find it interesting that a team with one of the worst defensive performances ever over the first quarter of a season is giving 7.5 points ON THE ROAD!
On the flipside, Drew Bledsoe may finally struggle. Why do I say that? The teams he has faced (and torched) so far have an average league ranking of 27 (out of 32) in passing defense (yards). On contrast, Houston has a surprisingly good pass defense, rated 8th best in the league.
The Texans are coming off an extra week of preparation. Remember how Dom Capers was able to get his team up for a big game against Dallas in Week 1 when he had a lot of time to prepare and motivate his team? Expect another solid performance here as Capers has spent two weeks tweaking what has been an pooor-performing offense. My guess is we will see some pretty drastic improvements. Two of practice weeks for young David Carr is a lifetime! Expect an improved performance from him and a team that will be working overtime to get back on the winning track.
There’s more… Historically, big underdogs with losing records do very well against the spread in a week following a bye (winning 7 out of 10). It gets even better against teams with losing records (9 out of 10).
Finally, throw in the fact that the Bills, coming off a grueling three-game stretch against Denver, Chicago and Oakland, will be looking to take a little rest against a “weak” Texans team and you have yourself a great Doggie situation!