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Sports news with a Vegas perspective.

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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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NFL Playoffs Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans Start Time, NFL Odds, Free Pick

The Houston Texans are hosting the Oakland Raiders in an AFC Wild Card matchup on Saturday afternoon. The game is scheduled for a 4:35 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on ESPN and ABC. The NFL Odds for the game have the Texans favored to pick up the victory in this one.

NFL Odds
Houston -3.5
Total: 37 points

The Houston Texans are going to start Brock Osweiler in this game. Osweiler, who signed the big money deal in the off-season, has not been worth the money this season as he has struggled to get things figured out.

A win here, whether he plays amazingly or not, would help silence much of that criticism. In an earlier season matchup the Texans lost a 27-20 battle to Oakland in Mexico City, Osweiler threw for 243 yards and a touchdown, but also had an interception. Lamar Miller had a solid game on the ground with 104 yards and a score and the Texans will need him to be able to continue that run game here in this one.

Houston really isn’t that great on offense (no surprise there), but being able to sustain drives and put up points with their defense will be important to any success they have in this game.

Oakland lost QB Derek Carr to a broken leg, which derails their season. Backup Matt McGloin also got injured and now the Raiders are on third-string rookie Connor Cook to try and figure things out. That’s going to be real tough against a defense as good as the Texans, which ranks tops in the league. Putting pressure on the quarterback hasn’t been the same for Houston without J.J. Watt, the tem had just 31 sacks this season but Jadeveon Clowney has had a solid season with six sacks and has played well the last part of the season.

While both teams are battling injuries, Houston has the better overall defense. They’re also 7-1 in home games this season and went 8-2 in games decided by a touchdown or less.

The defense will be the difference here in this one.

Free Pick: Houston

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  • Journalist living in West Michigan. Inaugural "Who's The Man" contest winner at Pregame.com.

Journalist living in West Michigan. Inaugural "Who's The Man" contest winner at Pregame.com.

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