Houston Texans vs. Denver Broncos
Date and Time: Monday, October 24, 2016, 8:30 p.m. ET
Location: Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, CO
Week 7 NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Broncos -7.5, 41
Texans vs. Broncos TV Coverage: ESPN
This is a huge test for a Texans squad in search of their first road win of the season. It will also be in search of its first win against a bona fide Super Bowl LI contender with its four wins coming against the Bears, Chiefs, Titans and Colts. The two losses, both on the road, came against the Patriots who shut them out 27-0, and to the Vikings who dominated leading up to the 31-13 win and cover.
Brock Osweiler has been bad. No doubt. He’s only thrown for 1402 yards (No. 16), owns a 74.1 QB rating (No. 29), and owns a touchdown to interception ratio of 8:8. Pedestrian numbers at best and ones certainly not worthy of all that money he was paid in the offseason. He does however enter this tilt off his best showing as a Texan in leading Houston back from the dead to snag a 26-23 overtime win from the jaws of defeat. He looked confident and ready to lead, but he’ll quickly realize throwing into the Broncos secondary is a completely different animal than that of the Colts.
The season started off magnificently for the defending champs. They opened it with a come-from-behind win against Carolina in a rematch of Super Bowl 50. Then they took care of business against the Colts with the defense leading the way. Their most impressive win of the season came in Cincinnati where Trevor Siemian had his best game as a pro throwing for 312 yards and four touchdowns. That was followed up with a spanking of the Bucs in Tampa Bay.
That win against the Bucs came with a price however after Siemian was knocked out of the game with a shoulder injury. He sat out the next game against a surprising Atlanta squad of which the team suffered its first loss of the season. He did return last week in San Diego, but his reinsertion under center didn’t change the Broncos offensive struggles with the unit logging just 13 points in an eight point defeat. Denver enters this game having failed to cover each of its last two games as the favored side.
Player to Watch
All eyes will no doubt be on Osweiler with the boo birds out in droves letting him know just how displeased they were about his sudden departure. However, the main player to be watching on the Texans offense is Lamar Miller with the team’s RB1 having much more of an impact on how this game plays out.
Denver owns the No. 1 ranked pass defense in the league that concedes just 182.3 yards per game at 5.6 yards per pass attempt (No. 3). The story is much different when it comes to run defense with Von Miller and company penetrable evidenced by the 112.7 yards per game (No. 22) and 4.0 yards per carry (No. 16) given up to date.
Texans vs. Broncos Free Picks
Houston is the current AFC South frontrunner. If it’s to be considered anything more than a division winner that has no shot of making noise in the playoffs, a game like this must be won. The Texans are almost mirror images of the Broncos at this stage of the season, only their offense runs the ball and protects the quarterback better. Both defenses bring a ton of heat, but the Texans hold the advantage running up against a Broncos offensive line that’s given up an average of 2.8 sacks per game (No. 28).
Houston has the horses to pressure Siemian all game long, and it also has the ground attack ready to dominate the point of attack. They’re the rushing dogs in this contest, and you know how I love backing those type of teams on the NFL odds at Bookmaker.eu when getting a healthy serving of points. I’ll take a flyer on the moneyline as well.
Texans vs. Broncos ATS Pick: Texans +7.5 at BookMaker.eu
Texans vs. Broncos Score Prediction: Texans 20 – Broncos 16