Houston Texans @ New England Patriots – Sunday January 13, 2013 4:30PM EST
The sportsbook experts have learned to never bet against the New England Patriots in the playoffs. That is, unless, the Patriots wind up playing the New York Giants in the Super Bowl. Since the Giants did not make the playoffs this season, the path looks clear for New England to challenge for a world title this year. But before the Patriots can rack up its fourth Super Bowl title since 2001, it will need to get past the Houston Texans. The Patriots has enough weaknesses for the Texans to exploit. It is just a matter of being able to actually exploit those weaknesses in a game situation.
The Houston Texans has had one of the best defenses in the AFC for the past couple of years. The sports betting experts watched as the Patriots dismantled that defense in week 14 of the regular season. But Houston defensive coordinator Wade Philips is smart enough to learn from his mistakes, and he learned a lot from that week 14 game. The only question is whether he learned enough to be able to stop Tom Brady and the New England offense in a setting where the Texans failed miserably no less than five weeks ago.
New England Patriots
The Patriots will play this game with tight end Rob Gronkowski, which is one of the significant differences between this game and the week 14 game. Gronk did not play in week 14, but it did not seem like the offense suffered from his loss. If you bet on sports, then you know that the New England Patriots can adapt to anything. But when all of the pieces of the New England offense are in place, then this becomes a very potent unit. Many would argue that the Patriots has the best offense in the NFL.
The online sports book experts remember not too long ago when the Houston Texans’ defense was the team’s major weak point. Ever since Wade Philips showed up two years ago, the Texans’ defense has drastically improved. The Texans allowed linebacker Mario Williams to leave in free agency, but filled his spot with the dynamic J.J. Watt. There are a lot of elements to this Houston defense that the Patriots will need to keep an eye on. It is possible that the Houston defense has more than the Patriots can handle. But only time will tell.
The Bottom Line
The Patriots just do not lose home playoff games, especially to teams that New England just blew out of the building a few weeks earlier. A strong defense is the cornerstone of any championship team. But the Patriots has found a way to make its team stronger without focusing on the defense. This will be an interesting game, and it will be one that the Patriots will win.
Read more about the New England Patriots and its 2012 season.
Pick: New England Patriots