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Houston Texans vs. Los Angeles Rams Point Spread - Pick

Houston Texans (3-5 SU, 5-3 ATS) vs. Los Angeles Rams (6-2 SU, 5-3 ATS)
Week 10 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, November 12, 2017 at 4:05PM EST
Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California
TV: CBS

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: HOU +11.5/LAR -11.5
Over/Under Total: 46.5

The Houston Texans come to the Coliseum to take on the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday in week 10 action. The Rams were big on Sunday, going to 6-2 and winning their third straight with a 52-17 road win over the New York Giants. They now host a Houston team that is in crisis, trying to put the pieces together after a 3-5 start to the season that includes a tough 20-14 loss to the Colts on Sunday. Battered by injuries, including the loss of breakthrough rookie QB Deshaun Watson midweek, we'll see what the Texans can come up with this week and moving forward.

At the end of the day, there have been too many injuries for the Texans to overcome. On one hand, they have won two straight division titles with JJ Watt shelved before and without standout play at the quarterback position. But the "D" is really hammered by injuries and not the stout playmaking unit of their recent past. And after seeing their offense explode under the guidance of Watson, they are now with Tom Savage and his first game back was not promising. On one hand, you want to defer to the resolve they have shown previously, but it looks like whatever winning formula they had over the past two seasons has been turned on its head.

The Houston offense now faces the dicey prospect of moving forward with Savage. On Sunday, he threw his first TD pass of his career and over 150 attempts, but was pretty bad on 19-for-44 passing. He hit DeAndre Hopkins, who was good on the day. Lamar Miller and D'Onta Foreman were decent on the ground, but they had just 7 points until late in the 4th quarter and even with the Texans' defense holding their own against the Colts, they never seemed to be all the way in the game. With the first score being a defensive score for the Texans, it took over 3-and-a-half quarters for this offense to get on the board—quite a jarring change from what Watson was able to do with this group.

The defense played well for Houston and with what they've been through this season, that says a lot. Granted, it came against an Indy offense that isn't very strong. But with the offense now having taken some steps back, this side of the ball being gritty is Houston's only chance. Jacoby Brissett was over 300 yards and they ran the ball a little bit, but they stopped them on ten third downs and were pretty solid, other than two long pass plays to TY Hilton. Against the high-flying Rams' offense this week, we will have a better idea of where the Houston defense really stands in the second half of the 2017 season.

The Rams looked strong coming off the bye with the 52-17 win over the Giants. The offense has really done an about-face this season. Over recent seasons, they were awful, barely able to make plays or put up points. This season, they are one of the best in the league. And with a defense that has started to play better, the Rams have gone from one of the league's doormats to what looks to be a viable contender in the NFC. They have already won more games than last season and scored more points than the 2016 Rams—just through half a season.

On Sunday, Rams' quarterback Jared Goff was good with 311 yards and 4 passing touchdowns. Todd Gurley scored two touchdowns on the ground, also given help in the ground-game by Tavon Austin and Malcolm Brown. Through the air, Sammy Watkins came to life some with a big 67-yard touchdown reception, but that was his only catch and he has become a bit invisible in this offense. Receiver Robert Woods was again effective and caught two TD passes, including one for 52 yards. Cooper Kupp, Gurley, and TE Gerald Everett all had production. And Tight end Tyler Higbee also hauled in a scoring grab.

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Earlier in the season, the Rams' defense wasn't looking very good. Over the past handful of games, they have tightened up. In their last four games, they have given up a combined 50 total points and with this offense playing the way they are, that's usually going to be good enough. On Sunday, they had some nice performances on this side of the ball. Aaron Donald and Connor Barwin both had sacks and each recovered a fumble. Trumaine Johnson got his second interception of the season. In the middle, Mark Barron was again a force, with Alec Ogletree chipping in. They're getting better over the course of the season and could be bad news for a Watson-less Houston offense on Sunday.

It's always good to exercise caution in games where the two teams are being cast in such divergent roles. It's always good to temper that with some trepidation. We see a high-flying Rams team on a roll seeing everything go their way and in the opposite corner, a losing Texans bunch that seems snake-bitten and to be getting worse. Granted, this is a tough road spot for a Texans team searching for answers. But I'm a little hesitant laying "Greatest Show on Turf" numbers on the Rams just yet. I'll take the Texans.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Houston Texans plus 11.5 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Texans vs. Rams game from home by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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