The last time an NFL playoff team was laying this many points, Bill Clinton was the US president. The New England Patriots have opened as 16-point home favourites for Saturday’s Divisional Round matchup (8:15 PM ET, CBS) with the Houston Texans. That’s the biggest postseason spread since January 1999, when Randall Cunningham and the Minnesota Vikings beat the Arizona Cardinals 41-21 in Divisional play.
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Bettors of all shapes and sizes are still flocking to New England (14-2 SU, 13-3 ATS) at this inflated price. The Patriots were the top dogs in the NFL during the regular season, and they’ll be facing the Texans (9-7 SU, 6-9-1 ATS), one of the worst teams ever to make the playoffs. Houston took advantage of quarterback injuries to beat the Oakland Raiders 27-14 in last week’s Wild Card game, cashing in as 4-point home favourites after opening at –3.
Brock Osweiler will start at quarterback for the Texans after putting in a good performance against Oakland. Tom Savage has cleared concussion protocol after getting hurt in Week 17, but head coach Bill O’Brien says he’s sticking with Osweiler, who has had more bad times than good since signing with Houston in the offseason.
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