Oakland at Houston (-7)
The Houston Texans have lost seven straight games, rank No. 21 in Real QB Rating Differential, No. 22 in Passer Rating Differential, rank near the bottom of the barrel on the Intelligence Index, and are No. 25 on the Relativity Index.
It’s been quite a fall from grace in 2013 for a team that dominated our Quality Stats for most of last season before a late-season swoon sent them tumbling into the wild card playoff round, and then on to an embarrassing divisional playoff exit at New England.
Of course, Oakland is worse than Houston – much worse, in fact – on many of those same indicators; but the Raiders also have, for the most part, been pretty competitive this season, save for their embarrassing loss to the Eagles two weeks ago.
If there’s been one bright spot in the Texans’ otherwise dark and gloomy season, it’s been the advent of young QB Case Keenum, who has played very well in relief of the injured Matt Schaub. Keenum has a 105 passer rating over three appearances and has yet to be intercepted.
The Quality Stats comparisons favor the Texans nearly everywhere, except for the rushing categories. The Raiders, as usual, are one of the worst teams in the league, as they have been year in, year out, since their appearance in Super Bowl XXXVII, which seems like it took place about 100 years ago.
This is a big number and a lot of points to give when the favorite has a 2-7 record, but the Raiders are a bad team and are making their second long road trip in as many weeks. The Texans also should have head coach Gary Kubiak back on the sidelines for this game, so that should provide them with a little boost.
Pick: Houston 27, Oakland 23