Monday Night Football Preview – Houston Texans vs. Oakland Raiders @ Mexico City (11/21)
The Oakland Raiders are fulfilling the prediction a number of people had for them at the beginning of the season, as they are genuine contenders in the AFC. In fact, they now have the lead free and clear in the AFC West as they move into Monday night’s encounter with the Houston Texans. This game will be played at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, and will kick off at 8:30 PM ET. BetAnySports customers can watch this game live on ESPN, and they can engage in real-time wagering with dynamic odds through the facilities of Live Betting Ultra.
The Raiders are coming off the bye week, but they impressively beat the Denver Broncos in their last game 30-20. In that one, they held Denver to only 33 rushing yards, while piling up 218 yards themselves. Latavius Murray had 114 yards and three touchdowns in that game, and he is expected to play despite ankle injury.
The Texans have a gametime decision, it appears, with wide receivew Will Fuller, whose presence is important since it might help quarterback Brock Osweiler stretch the field a little. The Raiders, while having one of the best offenses in the league, have not always been reliable on defense. They have allowed 4.7 yards per rushing attempt in 283 passing yards per game. That is in stark contrast to the 197 yards per contest that Houston allows.
In the Monday night football odds posted on this game by the people at BetAnySports, the Raiders are the favorites:
Oakland Raiders -6
Houston Texans +6
Over 45 points -110
Under 45 points -110
Derek Carr has gotten some mention for MVP, and that is not totally undeserved. He’s been more than solid as Oakland’s quarterback, with 66% completions and 17 touchdowns with only three interceptions. Another thing that is important to note is that he’s been sacked only 11 times, and Houston, even without JJ Watt, who is out for the rest of the season with an injury, can get a pass rush on. Whitney Mercilus has 4.5 sacks on the season, and Carr has to look out for the athleticism of Jadeveon Clowney, who is third in the league in tackles for loss. However, Houston only has four interceptions on the season, so they are far from opportunistic.
On the other side, Oakland would certainly need to get some pressure on Osweiler, although it appears as if the game plan with the Texans is for him to get rid of the ball as soon as possible. True, he has suffered 17 sacks. But his 5.6 yards per attempt indicates that he is not exactly successful in getting the football down the field. BetAnySports patrons are well aware of the capabilities of DeAndre Hopkins, but he’s averaged only 10.7 yards per catch, and Houston has not been an especially proficient offense in the red zone, converting only 43.5% of their trips into touchdowns.
What can these respective running games do? Well, Lamar Miller has 720 yards on the season for the Texans, and he’s been a relatively solid addition for this team, which really lacked the ground attack last year. The Raiders prefer to do their rushing “by committee,” and it’s a pretty good committee at that. Murray is just part of it, along with Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington, and Oakland’s offensive line, which was a grave weakness only a season or two ago, has developed into one of the very best in the NFL.
Oakland has played five road games this season, and they have won all of them. Houston has faltered badly in trips to New England, Minneapolis and Denver, although they did manage to beat the underachieving Jacksonville Jaguars last week 24-21, giving them their first road win of the campaign.
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