Houston Texans (-3) Looking To Improve Against New York Giants In Texas Sized Showdown

October 9th, 2010 – by Alex

The Houston Texans (3-1) will attempt to build on a great early season when they meet the New York Giants (2-2) this Sunday in Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. Kickoff this game on the Week 5 NFL Schedule will happen at approximately 1pm EST and will be broadcast on FOX and DirecTV channel 711.

On a mission to get their first postseason berth in franchise history, the Texans will attempt to add to an impressive 3-1 win total to start the season. Helping that effort will be the return of last season’s defensive rookie of the year, Brian Cushing. Last year Cushing started every single game and ended up with 133 tackles for the year. However, a lot of Cushing’s success was called into question this past offseason when he was handed a four-game suspension for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs.

Cushing will be coming back to a defense that’s ranked second-best in the league yielding 62.2 yards per game. Against the Giants, the Texans will need to focus in on the run considering the skill of New York running back, Ahmad Bradshaw.

On the offensive side of the ball, a lot of the Texans’ success will depend on whether or not Andre Johnson is good to go for the game. Johnson sat out during last week’s win versus the Oakland Raiders with a sprained right ankle. Aside from Johnson, a lot of the offensive duties will fall on running back, Arian Foster. Foster literally became the league’s best rusher with 537 yards on the season to lead the NFL. During last week’s game against the Raiders he pitched in 131 yards on 16 carries. Prior to Foster entering the game, Derrick Ward pitched in 80 yards on 12 carries.

The Giants offense has been sporadic this early season as shown by their wins and losses total. Running back, Bradshaw, has been more than solid with 382 rushing yards and a fifth best in the league ranking amongst his peers. However, during last week’s win against the Chicago Bears, Bradshaw was hobbled by a sore ankle after a 129 yard performance. Quarterback, Eli Manning will have to be at the top of his game considering center, Shaun O’Hara could miss his third straight game with an ankle injury Sunday. On top of that, his backup, Adam Koets sat out practice with knee problems. Manning has gone without a touchdown for consecutive games for the first time since his 2004 rookie year.

On the defensive end, despite defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka sitting out and not being able to add to his four sack total, the Giants still had ten sacks. Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora each chipped in three sacks for the cause. They will need a similar performance this week against a more-than-capable Houston offensive attack. Rushing the quarterback will be key in this game, though it’s unlikely that the Giants will be able to up similar sack totals. The Giants have the third-best defense in the league giving up 257 yards per game, however, they’re 22nd against the run with 117.2 yards allowed.

The Giants offense will be key for this one. Manning will need to break out of his touchdown-less slump against a Houston defense that has allowed 337.8 yards per game through the air. On top of that, they will need to buckle down defensively on the run because the Texans have proven on more than one occasion that they know how to kill a team on the ground.

Game Lines: The Texans’ strong play has made them a 3 point home favorite for this game according to Week 5 NFL Betting Lines. Currently, Bodog Sportsbook shows the over/under being at a total of 47.5 points. The NFL ATS Standings show the Texans with a mark of 2-1-1 ATS this season compared to a 2-2 ATS record for the New York Giants.

NFL Against The Spread Betting Trends: The Giants are 5-0 ATS in their last five games in Week 5 and 23-9 ATS in their last 32 road games. Meanwhile, the Texans are 4-1-1 ATS in their last six games in October and 4-1-1 ATS in their last six games overall.

Over/Under Betting Trends: The over is 4-0 in the Giants last 4 games following a straight up victory as well as their last 4 games as a road underdog. Furthermore, the over is 6-0 in the Giants last 6 games as an underdog period.

For the Texans, the over is 4-1-1 in their last 6 games overall and last 6 games played on grass. While the over trends have looked good, don’t forget that the under is 11-4 in the Texans last 15 games following an ATS win.

See more NFL Betting Trends for the Giants vs. Texans

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