Last time they met, the New England Patriots blew out the Houston Texans 42-14 and oddsmakers expect another rout on Sunday as the Texans are 9.5 point underdogs. The over/under for the game is set at 48 points.
The Texans and Patriots finished the season with very similar records, but headed in different directions. Both teams went 12-4; with the Texans going 9-7 against the spread and New England going 9-6-1 against the spread. The Pats finished the season on tear, winning nine of their last ten games, but only went 2-2-1 against the spread over their final five. Houston lost three of their last four regular season contests outright and went 3-5 against the spread in their last eight games. The Texans did manage to cover as 3.5-point favorites with a 19-13 win over the Bengals last week.
For the Texans to win, or just to cover, they will have to score frequently and slow down a lethal Patriots offense. The Texans and Patriots defenses finished tied for ninth in the league, as both allowed 20.7 points per game. On offense Houston averaged 26.0 points per game, good enough for ninth best in the league, but 8.6 points behind what the top-ranked Pats averaged.