Monday Night Football in Week 14 features a marquee matchup, as the Houston Texans travel to Foxborough to face the New England Patriots. This matchup hearkens back to old days, when the league’s marquee matchup took place on Monday night. This game features plenty of opportunities to impart some sports gambling strategy and make some cash for the holidays.
The Patriots are up to their usual tricks in 2012, having already wrapped up the AFC East. In perhaps the best testimony to the Patriots’ dominance this year, the team’s three losses have come by a combined four points. However, the Pats have played the league’s easiest schedule; of their four games against current playoff teams, they’ve gone just 2-2. This game against the Texans, owners of the league’s best record, on Monday night is a great test of their true ability.
New England is favored by 3 in this game, which in football gambling terms the game would have an even spread on a neutral field. It’s tough to tell which team is actually better, given that the Texans have played just as weak a schedule as the Patriots. The Patriots have scored 100 more points than the Texans, but they have also allowed 40 more points. Houston does have a better defense and running game, but the Patriots’ running game has been a vast improvement over recent years. This may give the Patriots the edge they need to cover the spread against a great Texans team.
If you believe Houston will cover the spread, you may as well also take the +160 money line. This is tremendous value when you consider that you’re getting +160 on an 11-1 team. The Patriots money line of -190 isn’t too appealing when you can get -110 odds on the spread by laying just three points.
The over/under is 51, the second-highest line on the board in Week 14. The best sportsbook will adjust the line as bettors wager on either side of the line, so it could go up or come down as the game approaches. As it stands now, the line is right in line with what you might expect, but add in a cold and rainy environment on Monday night and it looks like the under is a better bet.