MNF Chaser: Betting Texans-Jets

Mark Sanchez is struggling, but take the Jets and the points. Debby Wong/US Presswire

What before the season looked like a premier matchup between two potential playoff teams now has the makings of a blowout when the New York Jets host the Houston Texans tonight on "Monday Night Football."

If you're a Jets fan, the season can't get much worse. Mark Sanchez looks like anything but a franchise quarterback, and New York's offense is going nowhere fast. Sanchez is completing a dismal 49.2 percent of his passes; Shonn Greene is averaging a measly 2.8 yards per carry; and as Pro Football Focus points out, the Jets' offensive unit (O-line, receivers, running backs) is the second-worst in the NFL, with the best part of the whole being the 22nd-ranked pass blocking of the O-line.

On top of that, injuries have hit the Jets hard. Santonio Holmes, one of the few playmakers they have on offense, is out for the season. Fullback John Conner, wideout Stephen Hill and tight end Dustin Keller are all expected to be out tonight.

On defense, Darrelle Revis (worth 2.5 points against the spread according to The Millman Rankings) is gone for the season. Starting nose tackle Sione Pouha is also expected to miss the contest.

But hey, at least the Jets are playing the Texans, possibly the best team in the NFL. Football Outsiders' stats have the Texans ranked as the NFL's best team with a 35.1 percent DVOA -- and it's tough to argue against them. Yes, Houston has played opponents with only a 6-14 combined record, but it has dominated them -- going 4-0 against the spread, winning by an average of 17.5 points per game and covering by an average of 9.12 points per game.

The Jets, meanwhile, are 2-2 ATS and have been beaten by a combined 51 points in their two losses.
For the Jets to have a chance in this game, they need to attack Houston by running the ball inside the tackles, where Houston has given up 4.75 Adjusted Line Yards per carry (31st in the NFL), and make a big play or two on special teams. Otherwise, it's likely going to be a long game for the second week in a row for New York.

Below is an analysis of the line and total from bookmaker Jay Kornegay of the Las Vegas Hotel, and a pick on the spread from handicapper Geoff Kulesa, aka Wunderdog.

Matchup: Houston Texans at New York Jets

Spread: Opened at Texans minus-7, now at Texans minus-8
Total: Opened at 40.5, now 40.