The odds makers are starting to believe in Houston QB T.J. Yates, as they've installed the Texans as three-point favorites at Cincinnati, against a Bengals team with a top-ten defense that's fighting for their playoff lives.
Cincinnati is tied with four other teams -- the Jets, Titans, Raiders at Broncos -- at 7-5 for the final wild card spot in the AFC. After starting off the season strong at 6-2, they've dropped three of their last four games, all to AFC North powers Pittsburgh and Baltimore.
They've been powered by a strong defense that's ranked 6th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed and 10th in passing yards allowed.
It should be a challenge for a dominant Houston ground game, but Arian Foster and Ben Tate combined for 162 yards on 3.7 yards a carry last week against Atlanta, the 3rd best rush defense in the NFL.
The game will be a match-up of rookie QB's, but the Bengals Andy Dalton was drafted much higher out of college and has had the benefit of starting all 13 games this season. The TCU product has completed 59.2% of his passes for 2,644 yards, 17 TD's and 12 INT's so far.
His favorite target has been another rookie, WR A.J. Green of Georgia, who has caught 50 balls for 832 yards and 7 TD's.
With both teams featuring strong defenses going against young QB's, the over/under for Sunday's game is only 37.5.