Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 8:00 PM
The Houston Texans and San Francisco 49ers have a few things in common as they prepare for their Sunday Night meeting on NBC. Not the least of which is the fact that both did something humiliating against the Seattle Seahawks! The 49ers were embarrassed in the Pacific Northwest a few weeks ago. Houston handed away a victory with a horrible turnover last Sunday.
There were concerns that young Colin Kaepernick of the 49ers wouldn’t be able to regain his confidence in big games after playing so poorly vs. the Seahawks. There were concerns that the Gary Kubiak/Matt Schaub era officially came to an end with that overtime loss last Sunday. How many more big game collapses can that unit endure?!
All of that sets up a very interesting scenario for Sunday Night:
*If Houston bounces back strong and springs an upset, then they’re right back where they’re supposed to be in the standings. A road win vs. a playoff caliber team would re-establish their bona fides as a championship threat in the AFC. It would show that the team has finally learned from their late season collapse in 2012, and their choke job of a week ago.
*If Kaepernick continues to bounce back strong, building on his fairly strong showing against St. Louis last Thursday Night, then San Francisco is once again in the championship discussion. Everybody has trouble playing up in Seattle these days because facing a GREAT defense in front of LOUD noise is so difficult to deal with. People will forget the home loss to Indianapolis and the season will pretty much be back on course.
On the other hand:
*The Kubiak/Schaub era may actually be over in Houston because the players lack confidence in their quarterback. That could lead to an ugly rout.
*Kaepernick may truly be in way over his head when not allowed to run the ball. It was the loss to Indianapolis that may have been the true red flare in that regard.
So much drama! Let’s run some numbers…
Won-Lost Records (opponents so far)
Houston: 2-2 (at San Diego, Tennessee, at Baltimore, Seattle)
S. Francisco: 2-2 (Green Bay, at Seattle, Indianapolis, at St. Louis)
Houston lost a game they should have won last week, after winning games they probably should have lost vs. San Diego and Tennessee to start the season. You’ll recall that Philip Rivers handed them a critical TD in Week One. A tough schedule for the Texans for sure…but they really are playing like a 2-2 team that is no longer scary in playoff scenarios.
San Francisco should be 3-1 based on the pointspreads. That loss as a double digit favorite to Indianapolis exposed market errors for both teams.
Yards-Per Play to Date
Houston: 5.4 on offense, 4.4 on defense
S. Francisco: 5.4 on offense, 4.6 on defense
At least the teams still look like playoff forces in this very important indicator differential. Remember that both played tough schedules…yet both are still at least +0.8 in per-play differential. That’s easily playoff caliber…and would be championship caliber if they both maintained those advantages vs. tough schedules all season.
S. Francisco: -4
The problem is…Kaepernick may be turnover prone if he’s prevented from running to avoid injuries…and Schaub may have lost whatever big game confidence he had left last week. Turnovers, thus far, have erased the edges gained on a per-play basis in yardage. That’s why both teams are 2-2 in the standings, with the loser Sunday Night falling to 2-3.
Houston: 0-4 ATS
S. Francisco: 2-2 ATS
Houston has been one of the most overrated teams in the league…just on a smaller basis than the disasters happening with the NY Giants and elsewhere. They were being priced like a #2 seed, when they’ve actually been playing like a Wildcard or .500 type squad. San Francisco’s playing par golf…but that’s with pointspread double-bogeys in Seattle and vs. Indianapolis. Feast or famine.
Current Line: San Francisco by 7, total 42.5
Clearly, the market is falling out of love with Houston. They’re no longer being priced like a #2 seed given that number. Clearly, if the Texans come in at their best, they can cover that spread and win the game outright. If they’re down in the dumps because of last week’s chokejob…the number doesn’t really matter because it’s going to be an ugly loss.
JIM HURLEY knows that volatile situations like this are GREAT opportunities for Las Vegas sports bettors because having the RIGHT INFORMATION will position you for an easy cover. As of press time, there’s a very good chance this game will be part of the Sunday mix. You can purchase the final word Sunday morning before the early games kick off right here at the website. If you have any questions, talk to the NETWORK representative in the Vegas-Sports-Masters office at 1-888-777-4155.
Back with you tomorrow to lay out the possibilities for the Monday Night game featuring the NY Jets and Atlanta Falcons. We’re aiming to get caught up with the baseball playoffs Tuesday and Wednesday before big game football coverage resumes on Thursday. Be sure you’re with us EVERY DAY so you know what’s REALLY going on in the world of sports…and link up with JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK for BIG, JUICY WINNERS!