The Houston Texans are heading to Atlanta for a matchup versus the Falcons during the early game slate. Both teams head into the game at even 2-2 records and the winner will earn be awarded with a 3-2 record. Read on for the, predictions and odds for the Texans-Falcons contest.
Houston Texans Vs. Atlanta Falcons Prediction
The Falcons and Texans have been on opposite tracks through the first four weeks of the year. The Falcons got off to a surprising 2-0 start with wins over the Carolina Panthers and Green Bay Packers, but have dropped their last two games to the Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars.
Atlanta leaned on their running game to nab their first two wins. Their run game has hit a new level this year behind rookie No. 8 overall pick Bijan Robinson, who already ranks fourth in the NFL in rushing yards with 318 rushing yards.
However, the Falcons have struggled offensively as quarterback Desmond Ridder has not made a leap in his second season. The Falcons currently have the worst ranked passing offense, only averaging 156.3 yards through the air per game. Due to their weak passing attack, the Falcons have barely been able to utilize weapons Kyle Pitt and Drake London despite spending high draft picks on them. If Ridder doesn’t improve, fans will continue to call for him to be replaced.
Meanwhile, the Texans got off to an 0-2 start as many expected, but rebounded with two wins over the Jacksonville Jaguars and Pittsburgh Steelers. Houston has picked up two straight wins in part because of the play from No. 2 overall pick C.J. Stroud. In their dominant 30-6 win over the Steelers last week, Stroud put up his second 300-yard game going 16-30 for 306 yards and two touchdowns. He has formed a strong connection with wide receiver Nico Collins, who recorded seven receptions for 168 yards and two touchdowns in the win.
The Texans’ defense has also contributed to the team’s two-game win streak. Led by former San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, the Texans have improved at getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Their approach has paid off as their pass defense ranks top-10 in the NFL.
Though the Texans have the momentum going into this game, it’s important not to downplay the Falcons’ home field advantage. Both the Falcons’ losses have come on the road, while they got their two wins at home.
This game is a tough pick, but I’m going to roll with the Falcons’ home field advantage and take them to cover.
Houston Texans Vs. Atlanta Falcons Prediction: Falcons (-2)
Houston Texans Vs. Atlanta Falcons Best Odds
Oct. 08, 12:00 PM Moneyline 67% of staff picked HOU to cover the spread Odds updated October 8th, 2023, at 3:02 pm
HOU @ ATL
Oct. 08, 12:00 PM
67% of staff picked HOU to cover the spread
Odds updated October 8th, 2023, at 3:02 pm
The Atlanta Falcons are favored (-2) over the Texans by two points. Despite the Falcons losing two straight games while the Texans have now won two in a row, but Vegas gives Atlanta the home field edge. The over/under is set at 41.
Houston Texans Vs. Atlanta Falcons Key Injuries
The Atlanta Falcons had no players on their injury report. Everyone participated during Wednesday’s practice, including Cordarelle Patterson who was on the injury report the first four few weeks.
Meanwhile, the Texans have quite a few players working through injuries. Defensive tackle Maliek Collins, safety Jimmie Ward and Robert Woods all missed practice Wednesday. Left tackle Laremy Tunsil, guard Shaq Mason, running back Dameon Pierce and cornerback Steven Nelson were limited participants.
Houston Texans vs Atlanta Falcons Key Matchups
Even with a lot of questions surrounding the Falcons passing attack, the key matchup of the game comes down to the Texans’ rookie quarterback.
C.J. Stroud Vs. Falcons secondary
Through the first quarter of the year, Stroud has looked like the best rookie quarterback. Colts rookie Anthony Richardson has also showed his dynamic potential as a dual-threat, but Stroud has shown the most consistency. Stroud ranks 4th overall in the NFL 1,212 passing yards and third with 8.0 yards per attempt. He ranks 10th with six touchdown passes and zero interceptions! His ability to navigate the offense and put up the numbers without top tier weapons across the Texans has made his performance even more impressive.
The challenge for Stroud is he faces one of the top passing attacks in the Falcons secondary. Led by A.J. Terrell, Atlanta’s pass defense ranks fifth in the NFL. This is much improved from when they ranked in the bottom-10 last season. The Falcons secondary also got a boost with free agent addition Jessie Bates III, who has three interceptions and two forced fumbles through four games. Stroud will especially have to protect the ball from Bates if he wants to continue playing turnover-free.