Week 16 NFL Betting - Foles Attempts To Rally Eagles Past Houston Texans

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Jay Ginsbach

December 22nd, 2018

A Week 16 NFL clash has big time playoff implications when Houston travels to Philadelphia looking to shoot down the Eagles and end the Super Bowl champs' playoff push. The Texans (10-4) have plenty to play for and can not only secure the AFC South division with a victory, but also stay in front of New England for the No. 2 seed and first round bye in the upcoming AFC playoffs. Houston had their nine-game winning streak snapped two weeks ago in a home loss to division rival Indianapolis 24-21, but bounced back with a less-than-impressive win against the New York Jets last week, 29-22. A tough Week 16 NFL game ahead on Sunday at Philadelphia, as the Eagles (7-7) kept their playoff hopes alive with a surprising road win at LA as a 13-point underdog in a 30-23 win over the Rams last Sunday. Nick Foles was solid at quarterback in his return to the starting spot for injured Carson Wentz, and the team has confidence in their Super Bowl MVP quarterback. After an incredibly shaky start, that proved the validity of the Super Bowl hangover, Philadelphia is within range of the playoffs once again, and have two winnable games to close out the regular season.

WEEK 16 NFL FOOTBALL BETTING Houston Texans (10-4) at Philadelphia Eagles (7-7) Sunday, December 23rd – Lincoln Financial Field – 1:00pm ET Odds: Eagles -1.5 (46)

The weather looks fine in Philadelphia for this key contest with partly cloudy skies, low 60’s temperatures and light winds in the forecast. But after escaping New York with a win and very fortunate cover last week against the Jets, the Texans are not ready to win back-to-back road games against the motivated and desperate Super Bowl champs. That’s the view from high above after the Eagles flew back to Philadelphia with another big win, this time against the Rams. Philadelphia did it with backup quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles leading the offense again. He’ll continue this week with Carson Wentz on the mend and likely out for the season.

The Eagles still have a formidable defensive front, and the Texans have allowed a league-high 52 sacks. Houston QB Deshaun Watson can tend to hold the ball too long, however, he’s been effective in recent games completing at least 71% of his passes in four straight games with at least 7.0 yards per pass. But he’ll be under more pressure this week without a complimentary running game. Houston’s leading rusher Lamar Miller suffered an ankle injury last week and has been limited in practice this week. The Texans rushed for just 47 yards on 17 carries against the Jets, and it will be tougher this week.

Philadelphia has one of the best red zone defenses in the league, and Houston ranks No. 26 in red zone offense, which is a huge factor for Week 16 NFL betting in this pivotal matchup. Houston has won five straight road games, and their good fortune this season includes a plus-10 turnover differential. The Eagles are minus-4, but have a plus-5 turnover margin in their last five games. While the Texans have been rolling up wins against losing teams and on their way to a worst-to-first finish in the AFC South, the challenge and situation at Philadelphia suggests the Texans are in tough and the fortunate calls and breaks are likely to end this week.

Houston does have a top-4 run defense allowing 88.3 rushing yards per game, and their 3.3 yards per rush defense on first down is best in the league. But overall the Texans allow 346.6 yards per game against a weaker schedule including 394.0 over their last three games. The Eagles rolled up a balanced 367 yards at 6.8 yards per play last week at Los Angeles, and QB Foles was 24-of-31 for 270 yards as the Eagles balanced the attack with 30 rushing attempts and 111 rushing yards. The Eagles will likely be forced to pass more this week, but the Texans have given up 24 touchdown passes, and in their last four games, opponents have averaged 9.3 yards per attempt and have a 70.3 completion percentage.

The Eagles were laying 6.5-points at home to the Colts back in Week 3 and dominated Indianapolis more than the 20-16 score suggests. Now they are playing better and laying 1.5-points to a Houston team that was out-played by the Colts twice this season. A strong defensive effort is expected from an Eagles team experienced in big late season games. Houston won’t escape Philadelphia this week as the chants of Fly Eagles Fly echo through Lincoln Financial Field (and the sportsbooks) with a return to the playoffs still a possibility.

Week 16 NFL Pick – Philadelphia Eagles

Fairway Jay is a professional handicapper based out of Las Vegas. He focuses primarily on the four majors along with college football and college basketball. You can follow him on Twitter @FairwayJay.