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.

Bennett doesn’t fear backlash for skipping White House trip

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HOUSTON (AP) Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett says he is not worried about upsetting team owner Robert Kraft by not attending New England’s trip to the White House as Super Bowl champions.

Bennett said after the Patriots’ 34-28 win over the Falcons on Sunday night that he’s “not going to go” to the traditional meet-and-greet with the president. It will be the first visit of a Super Bowl champion to Washington since Donald Trump was sworn into office.

Trump’s positions have alienated some athletes, which has raised questions about whether some might choose to skip the trip while the new president is in office.

But Bennett said he isn’t concerned about it and thinks the team believes “in whatever I want to do.”

Kraft is a supporter of Trump and attended a celebration dinner in Washington for him the night before his inauguration.

Patriots’ Tom Brady earns 4th Super Bowl MVP trophy with epic comeback

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HOUSTON (AP) The greatest quarterback in NFL history led the biggest Super Bowl comeback to be the MVP on Sunday night.

Tom Brady rallied New England from a 25-point third-quarter deficit for a 34-28 win over the Atlanta Falcons in the first overtime game in Super Bowl history to earn his fifth Super Bowl title and fourth MVP trophy.

“They’re all sweet,” he said. “They’re all different and this was just an incredible team and I’m just happy to be a part of it,” he said.

Brady threw touchdown passes of 5 and 6 yards in the second half and tied things at 28-28 when he connected withDanny Amendola on a 2-point conversion with 57 seconds left.

He then directed the drive in overtime which ended with a 2-yard run by James White to make the Patriots the first team to win a Super Bowl after trailing by more than 10 points.

“We all brought each other back,” he said. “We never felt out of it. It was a tough battle.”

His performance certainly wasn’t without its struggles. His incredible second half and overtime came after a first half where the Patriots managed just three points and he threw an interception which Robert Alford returned 82 yards for a touchdown. He was hurried and harassed for much of the games. The Falcons sacked him five times and hit him on another eight occasions.

He noted the beating he took when he was trying to recount the details of the comeback and couldn’t remember what the score was at one point in the rally.

“There was a lot of (stuff) that happened tonight,” he said. “I got hit pretty hard.”

His 466 yards passing are a Super Bowl record, surpassing the 414 yards Kurt Warner had 17 years ago. He also set a record for most passes completed in a Super Bowl with 43 and most attempts with 62.

He is the first to play in seven Super Bowls and the victory ties him with Charles Haley for most Super Bowl rings.

After all Brady has done in his career, was this his finest moment?

“Tom’s had a lot of great ones,” coach Bill Belichick said. “But, yeah tonight was one of them.”

It’s a triumphant end to a difficult season for Brady, who missed the first four games because of his “Deflategate” suspension and dealt with his mother Galynn Brady suffering through an undisclosed illness. The Super Bowl was the first game she’s attended all season.

“They’re all happy,” he said fighting back tears. “It’s nice to have everybody here and it’s going to be a great celebration tonight.”

He shared a quick moment with her right after the game, but was looking forward to more time with her in the upcoming days.

“It’s kind of madness after the game so I didn’t get much quality time with her but we’ll get it this week,” he said.

But he certainly wasn’t asking for sympathy for his rough road to this title though, chuckling when someone asked about the adversity the Patriots have gone through in the past couple of years.

“We’ve done pretty good over the last few years … so I don’t think anyone’s feeling bad for the Patriots,” he said. “I don’t think anyone feels bad for the Patriots.”

Brady also collected the MVP trophy in 2001, 2003 and 2014.

“It was just a lot of mental toughness by our team and we’re going to remember this one for the rest of our lives,” Brady said.

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