While no team is officially confirmed for the playoffs, four teams have already been eliminated from consideration. Two of them collide when the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars go head-to-head on Sunday.
It will be the first game for Jacksonville since Wednesday night’s firing of first-year head coach Urban Meyer just 13 games into his tenure.
The knowledge that the season is over for these teams is likely to lead some bettors to overlook this game on the NFL odds board. But doing so could come at the risk of missing out on some valuable betting angles.
- Game: Houston Texans (2-11) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-11)
- Location: TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, FL
- Day/Time: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
- Television: CBS
Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars
|Houston Texans||+5 -110||+190||39½ -110o|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||-5 -110||-230||39½ -110u|
The Houston Texans lead the all-time head-to-head series over the Jacksonville Jaguars 26-13-0, a run of form that includes a seven-game winning streak dating back to 2018.
The last time the Jaguars got into the win column was in 2017, when they beat the Texans 45-7 at TiAA Bank Field. The most recent victory went the way of Houston in Week 1. The Texans closed as the 3½-point home underdogs at the sportsbook exchange but came through with an outright 37-21 upset at NRG Stadium.
Next game: vs Los Angeles Chargers
The Houston Texans are riding a three-game losing streak into Week 15. Had the Texans not beaten the Tennessee Titans last month – delivering one of the most stunning upsets of the season – they’d be on a 12-game losing streak now. Head-scratching though it was, upsets do happen from time to time and sometimes they make absolutely no sense.
In any event, Houston reverted back to their losing ways since then with losses to the New York Jets, Indianapolis Colts and Seattle Seahawks. The Texans have opted to start rookie quarterback Davis Mills for the rest of the season after Tyrod Taylor proved he couldn’t cut it.
They’re down to a 2-11-0 record overall. As well, they’re 5-8-0 against the spread (ATS) with a 13.8 losing margin on average and a -3.7 differential versus the spread.
Wide receiver Davion Davis (leg) is out for the season; linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill (knee) and defensive back A.J. Moore Jr. (illness) are out indefinitely; Defensive back Justin Reid (concussion), running back Rex Burkhead (hip), defensive back Desmond King II (head), cornerback Jimmy Moreland (foot), linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis (hamstring), and defensive back Terrence Brooks (hamstring), are all questionable.
Next game: at New York Jets
The Jacksonville Jaguars are riding a five-game losing streak into Week 15 that’s capped by an embarrassing 20-0 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 14. The Jaguars closed as the 8½-point road underdogs across betting online markets, but they failed to whiff at the point spread when all was said and done.
There’s absolutely nothing redeeming about the Jaguars right now and last week they seemed to hit a new nadir going pointless. Trevor Lawrence had a horrendous outing with Rashaan Evans, Jayon Brown, Kristian Fulton and Buster Skrine picking off his passes and the Jaguars defense had no answers against the Titans.
Trevor Lawrence today
38.3 QB Rating pic.twitter.com/qmE6W2PGU4
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) December 12, 2021
The Jaguars are 4-9-0 ATS with a 12.3 losing margin on average and a -5.9 differential versus the spread.
Offensive lineman Brandon Linder (back), defensive end Jordan Smith (illness), running back Carlos Hyde (concussion), defensive end Josh Allen (shoulder), defensive tackle Malcom Brown (toe), linebacker Myles Jack (knee), offensive lineman Andrew Norwell (back), offensive lineman Ben Bartch (back), running back James Robinson (lower body), and offensive lineman Jawaan Taylor (ankle) are questionable.
Betting on the Game
The Jacksonville Jaguars are a hot mess, inside a dumpster fire, inside a train wreck. No. 1 overall pick Lawrence isn’t living up to the hype and buzz that preceded him in the draft, the players are absolutely clueless on both sides of the ball and Meyer seemed totally out of his depth before he was shown the door. He was estranging the locker room with each passing day and if last week’s pointless account were any indication, his days were numbered and three days later his number was up.
I wonder why Trevor Lawrence isn’t going good
Trevor Lawrence WR’s :
— 𝐏𝐡𝐢𝐥 (@PhillieMVP) December 12, 2021
How this team opened as a field goal favorite is a bit shocking. How this line have moved up to five points on the heels of Meyer’s ignominious exit is even more baffling. Granted, the Houston Texans are short on redeeming features too, but that doesn’t reconcile with the market on this game. There’s good reason for both teams to lose this game rather than win it.
The Texans certainly have reason to lose out down the stretch in order to get the highest possible draft selection. They need a quarterback badly, even though the draft class might not be the best in recent years.
Similarly, the Jaguars have incentive to lose this game too. Draft capital is at a premium and not something teams will sniff at when they’re looking ahead to extensive rebuilds.
If there’s one thing the Texans have over the Jaguars is some semblance of respect for coach David Culley. He hasn’t had a lot to work with this season, but he’s certainly not lap dancing his weekend nights away and throwing players under the bus. Blaming everyone and everything for the way things have unfolded.
In short, it’s hard to back the favorite in this game on the moneyline or the point spread. Now, with the coaching uncertainly, this is moreso the case. If there’s a bet going on either of these markets, the underdog holds better value especially for NFL picks against the spread.
Ultimately, the game total, which is a lowly 39½ points, might be the best play with a bet on the under in what should be a right yawn of a game.