The New England Patriots are pretty well settled as the 1-point home underdog against the Houston Texans, with the over/under floating around 40.5. Just like how the Patriots were massive underdogs in week 1 against the Cardinals, history is on the Patriots side.
The Patriots have been home underdogs 12 times under head coach Bill Belichick and hold a 7-5 record. Of course, the Patriots were 1-3 with Drew Bledsoe at quarterback, including the game where he was injured and the Tom Brady era began. Brady is 6-2 as a home underdog starter, including three overtime victories.
Dating back to Brady’s first start against the Colts as an 11.5-point home underdog, the Patriots have covered the spread and hit the over on points seven out of eight times.
The current projection is a Texans 20.75-19.75 victory, which seems pretty reasonable given the Texans average of 21 points per game this year and the Patriots quarterback situation, but I don’t think anyone would be shocked if the Patriots exceeded 20 points, right?
Remember, the Patriots have faced Texans defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel three times and have put up 34 points (Browns, 2007), 34 points (Chiefs, 2011), and 27 points (Texans, 2015). While there was a clear talent deficit in the first two games, the idea that Crennel would have an edge because of his history as the Patriots former defensive coordinator seems a little overblown.
Now we have a different scenario with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback, but if the Patriots end up covering the spread, they’ll have almost assuredly won the game, unless the Patriots and Texans give Bill Belichick his first career tied game.
Speaking of Belichick, a win on Thursday will place him in a tie with Curly Lambeau for the 4th most regular victories for a coach all time with 226. Belichick is also 18-18 with the Patriots without Tom Brady at quarterback.