Please check PointsBet for the latest Sunday Night Football prop bets odds as they will change more rapidly than point spreads and over/unders.
Neil Bisman’s Sunday Night Football prop bets and picks
Maybe I’m putting too much stock in last week’s game against the Indianapolis Colts, but I really did not like what I saw out of the Houston Texans. Give the Texans credit for grinding out the win, however, it just never really felt like I was watching that good of a team. This coming a week after the Texans lost 41-7 in Baltimore against the Ravens.
The Texans do enter Sunday’s game with a nice break having played last Thursday, so maybe they come out swinging here.
I’m willing to throw out the New England Patriots’ performance last Sunday, when they beat the Dallas Cowboys, 13-6, in a game marred by nasty weather. But there are still causes for concern for New England as the Patriots have a season-high 17 players on the injury report – 10 of which are starters – for Sunday listed as questionable. Many of those players are battling the flu. The likelihood is they should be able to play.
Patriots wide receiver Mohamed Sanu’s availability remains unknown as he deals with an ankle injury.
Sony Michel is one of the few starters healthy for New England, and I like the Patriots running back to get 75+ rushing yards (+105) against a Texans run defense that has not looked the same since losing All-Pro defensive end J.J. Watt for the season. The Texans have allowed a combined 431 yards rushing in their last two games.
I’m going to avoid any other prop bets related to Tom Brady and the Patriots due to the status of their wide receivers and the expected return of cornerback Bradley Roby for the Texans – who has not played since Week 6.
Similarly, I don’t have much confidence in Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson or any his weapons with the Patriots defense leading in the NFL in yards per pass attempt (5.4), opponent completion percentage (53.9), and interceptions (20).
With all that said, the Texans to throw the most interceptions (+178) has my attention. Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty is tied for the NFL lead in interceptions with five and teammate Stephon Gilmore is just behind him with four.
This could also be an ideal time to bet the under (46.5).
As for the game itself, Bill Belichick has owned former assistant Bill O’Brien in recent years with a 5-0 head-to-head record. I think Belichick improves to 6-0 Sunday. The line has also dropped to Patriots -3, which I like a lot more than -3.5. If the line goes back up to Texans +3.5 or above, Houston absolutely deserves some consideration.
One teaser that’s a safer play is Patriots +3, under 52.5. If you’re siding with the Texans regardless, consider Texans +10, under 52.5.
Steven Inman‘s Sunday Night Football prop bets and picks
The 10-1 New England Patriots get another crack at an AFC contender, facing the 7-4 Houston Texans. Both teams were beaten up by the Baltimore Ravens within the last few weeks.
The Patriots’ No. 1 ranked defense does an excellent job of taking away the best option on the opponent’s offense. In Week 12, the Patriots held the Dallas Cowboys’ No. 1 receiver Amari Cooper to zero yards.
With this in mind, I’m not betting on Texans No. 1 receiver DeAndre Hopkins this week. Instead, I’m looking at more of an underrated target in receiver Will Fuller.
Fuller has been inconsistent in his NFL career but is coming off a seven catch, 140-yard performance in a win over the Indianapolis Colts.
Fuller is +110 to have 75+ receiving yards on Sunday night and with Patriots star corner Stephon Gilmore busy with Hopkins, this could give Fuller a chance at a big day.
On the New England side of the ball, I’m taking Sony Michel to get 75+ rushing yards (+105). Michel is coming off a solid game where he received 20 carries for 85 rushing yards.
Michel rarely catches the ball out of the backfield so any yards he gets are likely on the ground and count for our prop bet.
The Texans’ run defense is average, allowing 108.0 rushing yards per game, 17th best in the NFL.
Prediction: Patriots (-3), total points under 46.5
The Patriots haven’t shown any vulnerabilities this season against any team except the Ravens.
The Texans, led by quarterback Deshaun Watson, have shown improvement this season but their defense shouldn’t be able to hang with the Patriots’ somehow underrated offense.
Watson is going to have his hands full trying to get the ball to Hopkins, likely covered by Gilmore all night.
The Patriots have owned the Texans for the entirely of the Texans’ existence, as they are 10-1 lifetime against the Texans.
Donnie Peters, Operations Manager for SharpSide.com
Sunday Night Football between the New England Patriots and Houston Texans has the potential to be one of the best games of the season, and it’s one that I’m looking forward to both as a football fan and a sports bettor. The Patriots are road favorites, and rightfully so. They’re the better team here, even if their offense isn’t the high-flying New England offense we’ve seen in the past.
For this one, I’m taking the Patriots (-3), and here’s why.
In order to beat this Patriots team, opponents need to do two things, in my opinion, and I brought these two points up on the weekly Gridiron Gamble football betting podcast. First, they need to be able to run the ball successfully. Even though the current NFL is a passing league, this Patriots defense, albeit strong all over, is weakest when it comes to defending the run. Just look at some of the teams that have had success against the Patriots this season. The Baltimore Ravens beat them convincingly, and the Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys played them very tough in close games. Heck, even the Cleveland Browns looked decent against New England but had some very costly turnovers. All these teams had success running the ball against the Patriots.
Although the Texans rank sixth in the league in rushing yards per game, this stat is a bit inflated due to Deshaun Watson averaging 27.4 yards per game on the ground. A running quarterback can give the Patriots some trouble, but Watson doesn’t play a run-first style like Lamar Jackson does. Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson aren’t that good, and this all plays into the hands of the Patriots.
The second thing teams must do in order to beat New England is stay aggressive. That means going for it on fourth down when the opportunity presents itself and going for touchdowns instead of field goals. Texans head coach Bill O’Brien is not the guy to do this. Even when he does elect to be aggressive, O’Brien tends to just be clicking buttons with no real rhyme or reason.
We also can’t forget that Houston’s defense is not that good. According to Football Outsiders, they’re ranked 26th in overall defense DVOA. They’re 26th in pass defense DVOA and 13th rush defense DVOA. According to these metrics, their rush defense is better than their pass defense, but New England would rather pass the ball than run it.
We also can’t overlook how good New England’s defense has been. I can’t wait to watch Stephon Gilmore go up against DeAndre Hopkins on Sunday night. Gilmore has been incredible this season, most recently blanking Amari Cooper last week. Hopkins might get some, but he’s not going to be able to get all against Gilmore.
These are the big reasons why I’m taking the Patriots as 3-point road favorites against the Texans.
A couple Sunday Night Football prop bets I like that are available at PointsBet are the under on 46.5 and the under on the Patriots team total of 24.5 (-115). These picks are in line with what I previously discussed. I don’t believe this Texans team has the offensive ability to be successful against this Patriots defense. They’re that good. I also don’t believe that this Patriots offense is the New England offense of old. The way the Patriots are built now is to win by having Tom Brady manage the game, control the ball, and be successful on defense. With how I think this game plays out, I think there’s a very good chance the Texans only score 17 points or fewer, and then I can see New England getting to 20-24 points. Outcomes such as 21-17, 21-14, 21-10, 24-17, 24-14, etc. are all outcomes that I feel have a high probability of occurring and check all the boxes on Patriots (-3), under 46.5, and Patriots under 24.5. This could also lead me to want to take total touchdowns under 5.5, but it’s juiced fairly heavily at -154. While I lean this way, the price isn’t appetizing.
A couple more exotic Sunday Night Football prop bets that I like are for the Texans to throw the first interception (+122) and for the Texans to have the most interceptions thrown in the game (+178).
Watson has seven interceptions this season, and he’s thrown at least one pick in five of 11 games. New England has a very, very good defense, but especially in the secondary. Their pass coverage coupled with the way they bring pressure from the linebacking position can force a lot of turnovers, to the tune that the Patriots lead the league in this department by a wide margin. They have 20 interceptions on the season, which is six more than anyone else.
Brady is extremely experienced, has great awareness in the pocket, and is generally very safe with the ball. Houston’s defense is without the elite pass rusher that is JJ Watt, and the Texans secondary isn’t that great and they’re not that aggressive. Again, Houston’s pass defense is ranked 26th per Football Outsiders. They have just five interceptions on the season, which is tied for the second lowest in the league.