Texans underdogs at home against Patriots on Sunday Night Football

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The Houston Texans will try to kick-start their march towards a playoff berth this weekend when they host the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football as 3-point betting underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Texans’ drive towards the postseason stalled last week with a 31-20 loss against Buffalo in which they failed to cover as 3-point road underdogs, halting a four-game win streak that had lifted them into a tie with the Indianapolis Colts atop the AFC South and into the thick of the crowded AFC Wild Card race.

With a 6-6 straight-up record Houston remains deadlocked with the Colts in the divisional standings, but now enters Sunday night’s Patriots vs. Texans betting matchup at NRG Stadium one game back of three 7-5 teams in the Wild Card hunt, including the Kansas City Chiefs, New York Jets, and Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Texans rediscovered their defensive touch during their recent hot streak, holding opponents to just six points on three occasions and allowing just seven total fourth-quarter points while posting four straight against-the-spread wins.

The team has also improved their stock at the sportsbooks, where they are now 3-2 SU in their last five as betting underdogs, including a 24-17 home win over the Jets as 4-point underdogs three weeks ago.

The Patriots travel south facing adversity for the first time this season.

New England has dropped two straight SU, including last week’s 35-28 loss to Philadelphia, surrendering 21 points to the Eagles following two turnovers and a punt return to record the loss as 8-point home chalk.

Since tallying just one ATS loss in their previous 10 games dating back to last season’s playoff run, the Patriots are now winless ATS in their past four games according to the OddsShark NFL Database.

The club has also been hampered by injuries to key members of their receiving corps, including Julian Edelman, who is sidelined indefinitely with a foot injury, and star tight end Rob Gronkowski, who missed last week’s clash with the Eagles due to a knee injury and is considered very questionable for Sunday night after participating in Thursday practice wearing a knee brace.

Despite their current challenges on the gridiron and in the clinic, recent trends continue to favor the Patriots, who have earned SU wins in their last 13 meetings with AFC South opponents, including three victories over Houston, and responded well to past adversity, going 7-3 ATS in their last 10 following a SU loss.

Broncos double-digit favorites on Sunday night vs. winless, depleted Giants

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The Denver Broncos head into Sunday night with the largest spread they have had at home after a bye week in at least 25 years. The Broncos are 11.5-point favorites against the winless New York Giants with a 38.5-point total for the Week 6 Sunday Night Football matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Denver is 6-1 straight-up and against the spread in post-bye week games dating back to 2010. There’s a similar long-running trend of Denver being 7-2 SU and ATS in home games following a bye week since 2003. However, this is the first time since 1996 that Denver has been a double-digit favorite in that scenario.

The Giants, which are 0-5 SU and 2-3 ATS, had three wide receivers, including Odell Beckham Jr., sustain season-ending injuries last week. That has left QB Eli Manning with WR Roger Lewis (15 career catches) and WR Tavarres King as his main outside targets. Slot WR Sterling Shephard (sprained ankle) could be inactive.

While team performances tend to gravitate toward the mean with time, the Giants will need to show something new – with replacement-level personnel – in order to move the ball against a Denver pass defense which allows only 6.2 yards per pass, fifth-best in the NFL.

The Broncos’ top-ranked defense, led by OLB Von Miller, is also first in run defense and has every starter healthy. While NFC teams are a combined 1-10 SU on the road against Denver since 2012, the Giants are a solid 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games against the AFC.

Denver, 3-1 SU and 2-1-1 ATS, has been quietly efficient on offense. The Broncos, with QB Trevor Siemian, are in the middle of the NFL pack in yards per pass, but they are facing a Giants secondary that is minus CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (suspension) and has also had inconsistent play from CB Eli Apple.

Denver, 7-2 ATS over its last nine home games in October, has been good at opening holes for the tandem of C.J. Anderson and Jamaal Charles, who are each capable of making things happen in the open field if the tackling gets sloppy. New York also won’t have DT Olivier Vernon drawing double teams up front and keeping blockers off MLB Damon Harrison.

Unless the Broncos stop themselves, they should be able to grind out a workmanlike win.

The total has gone over in three of the Giants’ last four games against the Broncos, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. The total has gone over in six of the Broncos’ last seven games as a favorite of 11.0 points or more.

For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Watch Indianapolis Colts vs. Seattle Seahawks live on NBC

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The Seattle Seahawks host the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday Night Football as both teams look to get back to .500.

Russell Wilson will be the focal point of the Seahawks offense after throwing for a career-high 373 yards and four touchdowns in a losing effort vs. the Titans in Week 3. Wilson’s ability to avoid the rush and use his legs will be on full display as Seattle’s offensive line continues to struggle.

On the defensive side, the Seahawks’ “Legion of Boom” will look to get back on track at home in a raucous environment against Colts QB Jacoby Brissett who is filling in for an injured Andrew Luck.

If the Colts have any chance to pull off the upset on the road, Brissett will have to use his legs and connect on some deep throws to T.Y. Hilton.

Football Night in America

Start time: 7:00 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app

Colts vs. Seahawks

Start time: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app