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Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans- 1/7/17 NFL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Oakland Raiders (12-4) at Houston Texans (9-7)

NFL Football: Saturday, January 7, 2017 at 4:35 pm (NRG Stadium)

The Line: Houston Texans -3.5 -- Over/Under: 36.5 See the Latest Odds

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The Oakland Raiders and Houston Texans kick off the NFL Wild Card Round on Saturday afternoon with a show down at NRG Stadium.

The Oakland Raiders had been the feel good story of the 2016-17 NFL season after they qualified for the playoffs for the first time in 14 years and did so in the strength of third year pivot Derek Carr. However, the Raiders season and their playoff chances went up in flames when Carr suffered a broken leg against the Colts and now they have gone from an AFC dark horse to traveling to Houston as a three point dog and have been written off by virtually all of the pundits and oddsmakers. The Raiders so have some of the league’s best offensive lines, a solid running game, and some very good receiving options to give third string Connor Cook a lot of help but the fact remains that a quarterback making his first NFL start on the road in a  playoff game against a very good defense is not the recipe for success.  The Raiders are going to need to run the ball a ton and hope their defense can make some plays or this one could get out of hand in a hurry.

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Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans- 1/7/17 NFL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Texans meanwhile aren’t in much better shape as they had written off a horrible season from Brock Osweiler and have the reigns to backup Tom Savage, but an injury to the latter as their big money man back behind center in what could be vindictive effort if he can play well. The Texans will employ the same philosophy as they will lean on their running game and defense as well as to keep the ball out of Osweiler’s hands but unlike Cook at least Osweiler has been playing with this group all season and is familiar with how the offense should run, even if he has trouble executing. The Texans did lose to the Raiders earlier this season but it was close, the Raiders did have Carr, and now they are at home where they are usually a very tough team to beat.

The Raiders are 4-0 ATS in their last four following a loss and are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 road games while the Texans are 1-5 ATS against a team with a winning record and 1-5 ATS in their last six against the AFC. This is a nightmare scenario as the Texans should have the edge with Carr on the shelf and the public seems to be thinking that way, but in what should be a low scoring affair and the difference in this game coming down to one or two plays I think getting a field goal is the move for the Silver and Black. 

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