Neither the Houston Texans nor the San Francisco 49ers have been very convincing to this point in the season. The Texans have a mistake-prone quarterback who has not been able to silence the doubts raised by a December collapse last season, one that was punctuated in the playoffs. The 49ers did win by 24 points in St. Louis last Thursday, but they punted seven times and were extremely shaky on offense in the first one and a half quarters. Their own quarterback is searching for his best form and is not guaranteed to reclaim it. Each team has a lot of reasons for concern at this early point in the season. Winning this game is important not just in terms of getting a high seed in the playoffs but merely in terms of making the playoffs in the first place. The 49ers are listed as a six-point favorite on the NFL betting lines at DSI.
Houston Texans @ San Francisco 49ers
Sunday, October 6th – 8:30 PM ET
Candlestick Park – San Francisco, CA
NFL Odds: 49ers -6
Why The Texans Can Cover The Spread:
They are facing a quarterback who is going through his own crisis of confidence. Colin Kaepernick wasn’t horrible against St. Louis, but he wasn’t particularly impressive, either. The 49ers drifted through the first half on offense and were fortunate that St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford played about as poorly as a quarterback can play. Bradford missed a wide-open receiver in the end zone and made multiple other mistakes that enabled the 49ers to establish a lead. Kaepernick, playing with a lead, was able to get his team to win simply by avoiding huge mistakes. He did not preside over a particularly potent offense, however. The Niners did come alive in the third quarter but did not sustain a high level of performance for anything more than 20 minutes last Thursday. Houston’s defense just came off a fine showing in which it limited Seattle and quarterback Russell Wilson to just 276 total yards. Wilson and Kaepernick are cut from the same cloth in many ways, so if Houston could contain Wilson, it should be able to do the same to Kaepernick. Houston allowed a total of 13 points to Wilson and the Seattle offense in regulation time last week. If it can do the same to Kaepernick this time around, Houston should be able to win. The Texans should be good for at least 17 points in this game, if not more, which means they should at least cover the NFL spread.
Why The 49ers Can Cover The Spread:
Their defense should be able to feast on Houston quarterback Matt Schaub. The Texans cannot be confident about their chances with Schaub, a quarterback who has thrown pick-sixes in three straight games. Schaub’s big gaffe last week against Seattle was the main reason why the Texans squandered a 20-3 lead on their home field. Schaub looks like a physically and mentally beaten-down player. He is antsy and skittish in the pocket. He is losing the trust of his teammates. The awareness that he lost his touch last December and January is weighing on anyone and everyone in the Houston organization. The Texans will stick with Schaub at the beginning of this game, but it’s entirely possible that if Schaub struggles early against a hard-hitting Niner defense, a change could be made. All in all, Houston’s offense is in shambles. San Francisco should shut it down.
The Niners aren’t playing well on offense, but Houston is playing even worse. San Francisco should be able to take control of this game on Sunday Night Football.
Pick: 49ers -6