Raiders vs Texans AFC Wild Card Prediction – King Sports Picks
Oakland Raiders (12-4; 10-6 ATS; 11-5 O/U) vs. Houston Texans (9-7; 6-9-1 ATS; 6-10 O/U)
Saturday January 7th, 4:35pm EST
Line: Houston -3.5, 37.5
The first game of the NFL Wild Card weekend matches up the Oakland Raiders vs the Houston Texans. The highest-profile position on the field also will be the one surrounded by the most question marks when the Houston Texans host the Oakland Raiders on Saturday afternoon in the opening game of Wild Card Weekend. Oakland is down to its third-string quarterback in rookie Connor Cook while Houston turns back to Brock Osweiler, who was benched three weeks ago.
The Raiders were once one of the hottest teams in the NFL going on a 9-1 stretch over 10 games from September to December. Now they’re a team with quarterback questions after Derek Carr went down in Week 16. The Texans have quarterback problems of a different nature after signing Brock Osweiler to a $72 million dollar contract in the off season for a quarterback that threw more interceptions than touchdowns, 15 TD’s to 16 INTS’s.
The Raiders will no doubt need several players to step in in Carr’s absence on both sides of the ball. The Raiders have covered nine of their last eleven road games. Oakland’s offense has carried them most of the season but that may now be in question with all the quarterback trouble. Michael Crabtree led the team with 8 touchdown receptions and had over 1,000 yards in the regular season. The Raiders have covered six of the last eight games against a team from the AFC. The Raiders allowed an average of 24.1 points per game this season, ranking them 20th in the NFL.
Houston finished the season 9-1 and won the AFC South but the Texans have only covered one of their last six games against a team from the AFC. Houston’s defense is what carried them into the playoffs this season. The Texans ranks 1st in yards allowed and 2nd in passing defense in the NFL. Houston’s offense and passing game has struggled as they only average 17 point per game.
The Texans will look to run the ball frequently against a Raiders defense that will give up yards on the ground. Lamar Miller had a solid season collecting 1073 rushing yards with five touchdowns, and he will be relied upon heavily in this contest. Look for a defensively driven game with both teams relying on the ground game. Expect a low scoring game with this total going Under 37.5.