Two of the worst teams in the league face off in a game for the ages in Houston this weekend with the 2-win Houston Texans hosting the 2-win New York Jets in a battle for the worst team in the AFC. It’s hard to imagine a game where either of these teams would be considered favorite, but when it’s two terrible teams facing off against each other one team usually has to be favored at the NFL odds board.
This week it’s the Tyrod Taylor Texans who are just under a field goal ahead of the Jets according to the best online bookmakers and it’s actually a higher total than I expected at the mid-40s. A strange quirk of the season is that these two teams have given the Titans 2 of their 3 losses this season. Keep reading to get some expert betting advice and cash out your NFL pick.
New York Jets vs. Houston Texans
Sunday, November 28, 2021 – 01:00 PM EST at NRG Stadium
Can Wilson Prove His Worth?
After originally missing a game with an injury and then essentially being benched, the #2 overall pick Zach Wilson finds his way back into the starting line-up with newly-signed Joe Flacco and Mike White both contracting covid this week, therefore, missing the game. Josh Johnson will be backing up Wilson.
It was torrid to start to the year for the rookie and you’d hope in his time off watching the more experienced QBs play that he’ll have learned that checking the ball down and completing the easy passes is a way to get by in the NFL, but we’ll see in this game.
Michael Carter had been a bright spot on the season especially with White at QB, but he suffered an injury last week which will rule him out for a couple of weeks so Tevin Coleman and Ty Johnson should be involved more, likely Coleman on the ground and Johnson in the passing game.
The early-season games with Wilson saw him having Corey Davis as his main target but the emergence of rookie Elijah Moore in the passing game has been impressive and rational coaching would suggest he gets targeted more as the season goes on regardless of who plays at QB.
Will the Texans Win Again?
In a lost season, it seems strange that the Texans are still trying to win games. They are blowing up the roster and getting the highest draft pick possible seems like it would be the most sensible way to improve their roster, but they won again last week in a shock victory against the AFC #1 seed Tennessee Titans.
That win was mainly based on turnovers as Ryan Tannehill threw 4 interceptions. The Texans actually only contributed 190 yards of offense but that was good for 22 points and enough to win. They are a better team with Tyrod under center, he only threw for 107 yards but rushed in 2 scores and his mobility is a big part of his game especially with the Texans' lack of run-game.
Part of that run game had been Phillip Lindsay, who had under-performed and they released this week. David Johnson is still getting carries, but Rex Burkhead getting more of the ball seems to work a little better for them, although 2.2 yards per carry over 1.4 for Burkhead over Johnson isn’t exactly impressive.
Running backs scoring against the Jets is a big thing this year, but I can’t advocate either of the “main guys” having a good game and finding the endzone. The passing game has been Brandin Cooks all year and I’d imagine it would be again but the Jets defense is actually all right against the pass so could easily be avoided completely. Chris Conley actually led the team in targets last week with tight end Pharoah Brown just one behind him.
Does Anyone Win This One?
The winner might be the loser in the long run as draft capital should be more important for these teams overall than the result of this game, but coaching staff and players want to keep their jobs so the needs of the franchise are over-ruled by the needs of the players.
If it were Mike White, or even Joe Flacco starting at QB I would probably have taken them on the spread line for my NFL pick, but with Zach Wilson back there I don’t think I can take the Jets. Tyrod Taylor is actually getting wins with this Texans team and I think that continues this week.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.