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Arizona Cardinals vs. Houston Texans Point Spread - Pick

Arizona Cardinals (4-5 SU, 2-6-1 ATS) vs. Houston Texans (3-6 SU, 5-4 ATS)
Week 11 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, November 19, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
TV: Fox

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: ARI pk/HOU pk
Over/Under Total: 38.5

The Arizona Cardinals come to NRG Stadium on Sunday for a week 11 matchup with the Houston Texans. The Cardinals fell to 4-5 in a 22-16 loss to the Seahawks on Thursday Night Football. The loss dropped them to 4-5 and they look to get back to the .500 in a tough, but winnable road spot against the Texans this week. The Texans again faltered on Sunday, losing their third game in a row in a tough road loss to the Rams, 33-7. It has become hard to find the silver lining for a team that has seen injuries batter them into submission this season.

Arizona was starting to do good things on Thursday night with the Seahawks, but ran out of time. They gave it a good go, but the losses on offense seemed to really hurt them. It would be interesting to see what they could have made happen this season if they still had Carson Palmer and David Johnson on offense. Or if some guys on defense stayed healthy. Or if their offensive line wasn't constantly battered by injury and trying to piece something together. They've had to overcome a lot this season and while they have been resolute, the personnel issues may be too much to overcome.

Arizona quarterback Drew Stanton fell to 7-4 as a starter for the Cardinals in the loss to Seattle. He wasn't so bad with 273 yards and a TD. Larry Fitzgerald had ten catches for 113 yards, with Jermaine Gresham catching five balls including a TD reception. Stanton has been seen on a gimpy knee at practice and will turn to Blaine Gabbert if he's not ready to go on Sunday. But they needed more from Adrian Peterson, who was really awful with 29 yards on 22 carries with a fumble. So far in his tenure as a Cardinals' back, he had two really good games and two bad ones. They hope for a good one this week. It's unfortunate that they lost Palmer just as he appeared to start clicking. Stanton gives a good effort and you can do a lot worse than him as far as backups go, but this offense isn't likely to hit on all cylinders with Stanton or Gabbert behind center.

The Cardinals' defense wasn't awful against Seattle. They did some good things, but a few big plays proved to be their undoing. They at least kept the run-game in check. They appear to be getting better play up-front and against Seattle, saw guys like Olsen Pierre step up, as the youngster has a sack and was in on a lot of plays. Chandler Jones is among the best pass-rushers in the league and needs someone else to chip in. They've been getting better play from rookie Haason Reddick, who had another sack on Thursday. Frostee Rucker was also disruptive up-front, with Deone Buchanon and Karlos Dansby in the middle. We also saw the secondary playing a bit better, despite some lapses. If this side of the ball can be just a little better, it would really help out a team that is trying to patch things together.

It's a shame what happened this season to the Texans. With the growth of Deshaun Watson, it would have been interesting to see what would have happened if they weren't completely shredded by injuries on both sides of the ball. Watson is out for the year, with a handful of key contributors on the other side of the ball out of action, as well. Throw in a bunch of key role guys being out and we see what can happen when the injury bug dominates. Both sides of the ball have been hit and the Texans could never really get a grip on the situation. Granted, the Rams are a really good team and it was a tough road spot, but there was a certain level of ineptitude seen on Sunday that doesn't suggest good things for the rest of the season. For a two-time defending division champion, with all they've been through, the season is already a lost cause. They're not going to go on some massive winning streak with Tom Savage at QB with a "D" that only vaguely resembles its former self.

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Nothing against Tom Savage, a capable guy and good athlete, but it's hard to watch this offense putting forth such meek showings. He's completing less than half of his passes this season and had two picks on Sunday, while also fumbling the ball twice. Bruce Ellington caught a touchdown and DeAndre Hopkins was over 100 yards on Sunday. Lamar Miller had some nice runs against a good Rams' defense, but for them to go silent in the second half with one lone score shows how far this offense has fallen without Watson. In their last two games, they have put up a total of 21 points.

The Houston defense barely resembles how they started this season. There are still some contributors on this side of the ball with Jadeveon Clowney and to a lesser degree, Benardrick McKinney. The secondary has been strangely ineffective and is in the bottom quarter of the league in pass-defense this season. They just lost too many key guys this season and while they have remained somewhat stout against the run this season, the better offenses they play are having a banner day against this group. Over the last few seasons, this side of the ball was able to keep things pointed in the right direction even with injury problems. But for whatever reason, nothing really clicked for the Texans' defense this season in the face of adversity, with their best players hurt and the rest of the defense not as good as they've been in the past.

With the Texans in a state of disarray, look for the Cardinals to be licking their chops with a shot to get to .500. The Cardinals have undergone similar injury crises this season, with a greater ability to bounce back from it than the Texans. Still, with Stanton or Gabbert behind center and erratic play from those around him, no spot is a slam-dunk for this Cardinals' squad. I see a competitive game, with a more-intact Cardinals team getting it done with the win and cover.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm taking the Arizona Cardinals in a pick-'em. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today by signing up and betting the Arizona vs. Houston game from home at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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