Steelers vs. Texans Point Spread: NFL Week 16 Odds, Prediction

Payton Matthews | Updated Dec 18, 2017

leveon bell

The first two NFL games on Christmas features one team in the Pittsburgh Steelers that still has plenty to play for and another in the Houston Texans that has no such motivation.

Pittsburgh
13-3
AT
December 25, 2017, 4:30 PM ET
NRG Stadium
Houston
4-12
Pointspread -9 -115
Moneyline -490
Over / Under o +45.5

73%

Betting Action

27%

Pointspread +9 -105
Moneyline +380
Over / Under u +45.5

73%

Betting Action

27%

Pittsburgh is the AFC North champion for the second year in a row but still battling for playoff positioning. The Steelers want a first-round bye to not only avoid playing on wild-card weekend but to potentially rest key players in Week 17 vs. Cleveland.

NFL Point Spread and Betting Analysis

When teams are well below .500 this late in a season as Houston is, you will hear how it’s actually better for such a club to lose as much as possible the rest of the way to improve its draft position. So, tank, basically.

That doesn’t apply to the Texans, who have been perhaps hit harder by injuries than any team in 2017. One of said injured players out for the year is rookie superstar quarterback Deshaun Watson. To get the former Clemson star at No. 12 overall in the 2017 draft, Houston had to surrender its first-round picks both this year and next to Cleveland. In fact, the Browns also have the Texans’ 2018 second-round pick from another trade involving Brock Osweiler. Thus, the more Houston loses the better for the Browns but does nothing for the Texans.

The Steelers are 3-2 all-time vs. Texans. The teams last met in 2014, a 30-23 Pittsburgh home victory. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 265 yards and two scores. Le’Veon Bell had 145 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown. Houston’s QB that day was Ryan Fitzpatrick, now a backup with Tampa Bay.

Pittsburgh Steelers

This has the makings for a major letdown game for the Steelers (11-3 SU, 6-8 ATS). That’s because they played in the most important matchup of the 2017 regular season Sunday and lost a 27-24 thriller at home to New England, meaning the Pats would have home-field advantage over the Steelers (assuming teams finish with same record) should they meet in the AFC title game as many expect. Now Pittsburgh has to worry about simply keeping a first-round bye with Jacksonville one game back and holding the tiebreaker over the Steelers.

They also saw superstar receiver Antonio Brown leave the Patriots game with what is being reported as a partially torn calf muscle. He was playing at an MVP level (no receiver has won the award) by leading the league in receptions and receiving yards.  Brown is expected to miss the rest of the regular season but should be ready for the playoffs – getting that bye could be very important in that regard.

Houston Texans

The Texans (4-10 SU, 7-7 ATS) were forced to start third-string quarterback T.J. Yates on Sunday in Jacksonville – backup Tom Savage is likely also done for the year with a concussion – and Yates played, well, like a third-stringer making his first start in two years. He was just 12 of 31 for 128 yards with a touchdown and interception in a 45-7 loss. To be fair, the Jags do have the NFL’s top-rated pass defense.  Houston lost two starting offensive linemen, center Nick Martin (ankle) and right guard Jeff Allen (concussion), to injuries during the game. This is the Texans’ home finale and thus could be the last home game for Coach Bill O’Brien as there are rumours the club could make a change after the season. It would be a coveted job largely due to Watson.

Steelers vs. Texans Prediction

SportsInteraction