Houston (40.5) @ Denver (-7.5)
Tuesday October 25th, 11:30am AEDT
Houston was dead in the water last Sunday night, down 23-9 with just over two minutes left, before rallying to tie the game at 23-23 and eventually winning it in OT, 26-23. The game was very evenly played as Houston averaged 6.1yppl and Indy 5.9yppl.
Denver returns home with a two game losing streak, following their 21-13 Thursday night loss at San Diego. Denver ran for 5.3ypr compared to 3.4ypr for San Diego but were outrushed in total yardage, 84 to 99 in favour of San Diego. San Diego out passed Denver 5.4yps to 4.2yps and also out gained them 4.5yppl to 4.4yppl but threw the ball 21 more times than their opponent, while SD ran the ball 13 more times.
Houston has been horrible throwing the ball, averaging just 5.4yps against teams allowing 6.4yps and overall, gaining just 4.9yppl against 5.5yppl. The defence allows just 5.9yps against 6.7yps and overall, allows just 5.1yppl against 5.6yppl.
Denver has been equally as bad throwing the ball, gaining just 5.9yps against 7.1yps and overall averaging just 5.1yppl against 5.9yppl. The pass defence allows just 5.0yps against 6.9yps and 4.6yppl against 5.7yppl.
Houston appears to have a very healthy roster coming into this game with WR Will Fuller banged up but will reportedly play.
Line Backer DeMarcus Ware is Denver’s only main injury and Left Tackle Russell Okung is likely to play if he clears the concussion protocol.
Houston qualifies in a fundamental rushing situation, which is 234-140-24, based on their strong rushing performance last week. I make the number Denver by 4.5 points and project about 32 points.
Houston is a bit of a disaster and it’s hard to make a case for them but their two biggest losses this year were at New England without Tom Brady (0-27) and at Minnesota (13-31). The Patriots are the Patriots and I don’t care how good Houston are, they aren’t likely to beat them anytime in the near future. Minnesota are playing on another level right now and that level is much better than Denver so even though both Denver and Minnesota have dominating defences, the Vikings defence is playing at a much higher level than Denver.
Denver shouldn’t be laying more than a touchdown to any capable team as long as their offense continues to play as poorly as it has recently. This will be far and away the best defence Denver faces this year and although Houston never seems to play up to their statistical numbers when they come up against a tough foe at a prime time slot, this is still a lot of points to be laying for Denver.
There’s value to the Houston side in this game. Denver dinks and dunks their way down the field with QB Trevor Siemian and against a good Houston defence that will eventually lead to problems. It’s not much different for Houston but they will take shots down the field and Houston isn’t the team needing to win by eight or nine points in this game.
DENVER 17 HOUSTON 14
BACK – First Half total points Under 20.5
BACK – Under 40.5
BACK – Houston +7.5
YPR = Yards Per Rush