Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans Preview: Prediction, Best Bets, Odds, Depth Charts (11/26/23)
The Houston Texans (6-4) play host to their division rival the Jacksonville Jaguars (7-3) on Sunday (11/26/23) at 1 p.m. EST in a game that could decide the AFC South division. This game is essentially a pick’em with the Jaguars at -1.5 against the spread, while the over/under is set at 48.5 points. This article provides Jaguars vs. Texans analysis, predictions and betting recommendations and explains why the best bet in this matchup is the Texans’ moneyline.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans Prediction & Best Bet
There may not be a more meaningful game on the Week 12 schedule than this one between AFC South rivals, as the outcome of this game could single-handedly determine the division champion. If the Texans win, they will be tied with the Jaguars and will own the tiebreaker based on head-to-head record. If the Jaguars win, they will have a 2-game lead that will be difficult to overcome with only six games remaining.
The Texans shocked the NFL world when they went into Duval County in Week 3 and thumped the Jaguars 37-17. They jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first half thanks to a missed field goal, a blocked field goal and a turnover. A kick return touchdown and a 68-yard TD to Tank Dell in the second half sealed the deal.
Rookie to rookie. @CJ7STROUD hits Tank Dell for a 68-yard TD!
— NFL (@NFL) September 24, 2023
Even after that impressive performance, the Texans have continued to exceed expectations by already doubling their win total from last season and positioning themselves to compete for the division and/or a wild-card spot. The Jaguars also bounced back well from that loss and have only lost one game since then (to the 49ers two weeks ago).
The Jaguars look a bit like paper tigers this season. They have managed to beat the teams they’re supposed to beat but have struggled against top competition like the Chiefs and 49ers (and apparently the Texans). They don’t have a win on their resume as impressive as the Texans’ dramatic comeback over the Bengals two weeks ago.
The biggest concern with the Texans is their recent turnover troubles. After setting an NFL record with the most pass attempts without an interception to start his career, C.J. Stroud has thrown four picks in the last two games after tossing a trio of them last week. Overall, the Texans have six turnovers in the last two games, which they cannot afford to let happen this week. We are believers in Stroud and expect last week’s performance to be more of an anomaly.
This game has the makings of a shootout, as both defenses have vulnerable pass defenses and could be missing key members of their secondaries (Texans S Jimmie Ward and Jaguars CB Tyson Campbell). While that makes it tempting to take the over, and we would lean in that direction, the best value here is on the Texans’ moneyline. As crazy as it would have sounded before the season, we have more confidence in Stroud and his weapons right now than we have in Trevor Lawrence.
It will be much closer than the last game, but the Texans will sweep the Jaguars and move into 1st place in the division after this week.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans Prediction & Best Bet: Texans win 30-28 | Best Bet: Texans moneyline (+105)
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans Betting Odds
This game is essentially a pick’em as the Jaguars are -1.5 favorites against the spread. For context, the Jaguars were -7.5 at home in week 3 when the Texans beat them by 20.
The over/under in this game is trending up after opening at 46.5 and currently sits at 48.5.
The implied outcome of these odds is the Jaguars winning 25-24.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans Key Injuries
The Texans have several key players on the injury report that need to be monitored, including rookie EDGE Will Anderson Jr., LT Laremy Tunsil, S Jimmie Ward and WR Noah Brown. Ward and Brown missed last week’s game and are the most at risk of missing this game.
The only significant player to watch for the Jaguars is starting CB Tyson Campbell, who aggravated a hamstring injury in Week 10 and missed last week’s game. For the Texans,
Jaksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans Key Matchups
Check out the key matchups and mismatches for Jaguars vs. Texans below.
Devin Singletary vs. Jaguars’ run defense
The Texans have suddenly found a running game over the last two weeks with Dameon Pierce out with an injury and Devin Singletary taking over as a bell cow back. Singletary had career highs in both carries (30) and yards (150) against the Bengals and followed that up with another 22 carries for 112 yards last week against the Cardinals.
The Jaguars have one of the best run defenses in the league. They are second in run defense DVOA, fourth in rushing yards allowed (87 per game) and 10th in yards per carry allowed (3.9). Singletary had some success against them in the last game, averaging over 4.5 yards per carry but only had nine attempts. If he can keep up his recent production and efficiency, it will balance out the Texans’ offense and make them that much harder to stop.
Jaguars’ OL vs. Texans’ pass rush
In a game that is expected to be a high scoring, pass-heavy affair, the Jaguars’ ability to protect Trevor Lawrence will be critical to their success. Lawrence has struggled when under pressure this season, completing just 46.5% of his passes compared to 73.9% when he’s kept clean. His 47.0 passer rating under pressure is 27th among qualified quarterbacks this season, while his 102.0 passer rating from a clean pocket is 13th.
The Texans are excellent at getting pressure with just their front four. They are seventh in the league in pressure rate despite being just 25th in the league in blitz rate. Edge rusher Jonathan Greenard has led the way with seven sacks while Will Anderson Jr. is fourth in the league among edge rushers in ESPN’s pass rush win rate metric (Greenard is 11th).
The Texans don’t need to dominate up front to win this game. They just need to win often enough to make Lawrence uncomfortable, and that could be enough to have a significant impact on the Jaguars’ offensive production.