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Game Preview - Panthers underdogs vs Texans at Houston

Carolina PanthersHouston Texans
Dec 18, 1:00 PM | Grass of Reliant Stadium

Carolina Panthers vs Houston Texans Odds


The Houston Texans finally clinched their playoff spot and now the question is whether QB TJ Yates and his team can muster a big effort at home against the Carolina Panthers.

The game is one of many on the Week 15 betting menu where motivation starts creeping into the NFL handicapping equation. The Panthers have been dynamic on the road in 2011, scoring tons of points but the Texans may want to slow this game down.

Houston is now 6-1 ATS in their past 7 home games and 6 of them have played UNDER the total.

View Carolina vs Houston Odds and Stats.

Betting Line:
If you're siding with the visitors in this one you'll find the Panthers listed as 6.5-point underdogs. Meanwhile, the over under line for the matchup was at 46.5.

Power Rankings / Prediction:
The Power Rankings at OddsShark have the No. 13-rated Panthers taking on the No. 1-rated Texans in this contest. Handicapping models indicate a 33-20 win for the Texans on Sunday.

How They Match Up:
Offensively, the game matches up Houston's No. 5-ranked offense (25.4 PPG) against a Panthers defense that ranks No. 29 at 27.3 PPG. The Texans passing attack has averaged 227 yards per game, less than the Panthers give up through the air (236.5 YPG on average).

Defensively, the Panthers feature the league's No. 27-rated road run defense, allowing 140.2 yards per game. Houston, meanwhile, ranks No. 1 in rushing offense at home.

Last time out for Carolina, they were a 31-23 loser as they battled the Falcons at home. The Panthers failed to cover in the match as a 3-point underdog, while 54 combined points moved the game OVER for totals bettors. Carolina lost its last outing 31-23 against Atlanta on Sunday, getting a 125-yard receiving performance from Steve Smith in a losing cause at Bank of America Stadium.

In their last action, Houston was a 20-19 winner on the road against the Bengals. They covered the 2.5–point spread as underdogs, while the combined score (39) was profitable news for OVER bettors. T.J. Yates led his team to victory last time out, throwing for 300 yards Sunday as the Texans downed the Bengals 20-19 at Paul Brown Stadium.

Carolina Panthers Trends:
When playing in December are 5-5
When playing on grass are 3-7
After outgaining opponent are 3-7
When playing outside the division are 3-7

Houston Texans Trends:
When playing in December are 5-5
When playing on grass are 9-1
After outgaining opponent are 6-4
When playing outside the division are 6-4

A few Panthers at Texans trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Carolina's last 6 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Carolina's last 5 games
Carolina is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games
Carolina is 3-6 ATS in its last 9 games on the road
Houston is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Houston's last 5 games at home
Houston is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Houston's last 10 games

Next up:
Carolina home to Tampa Bay, Saturday, December 24
Houston at Indianapolis, Thursday, December 22