The NFL oddsmakers have pegged this weekend's match between the 5-5 Houston Texans and the 6-3-1 Cincinnati Bengals as the closest game of the year. The Texans have a -1.5 advantage at home at NRG Stadium while the over/under is at just 43.5.
The Texans beat Cleveland 23-7 last week but the biggest issue for the team is whether or not running back Arian Foster is going to play for the team this week. He has been struggling with a groin injury and the odds are a decision on whether or not he will play will not be made until a few hours heading up to the game. Alfred Blue, who had 156 rushing yards on 36 carries last week against the Browns, would be the new starter at the position in the event that Foster is unable to play.
The Texans will be hoping to take advantage of a Bengals passing game that has been suspect for much of the year. While the Texans have eleven interceptions this season, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has nine interceptions himself. Also, J.J. Watt has 9.5 sacks for the Texans.
The Bengals had a 27-10 win over New Orleans last week and are still bearing with many significant injury issues. While running back Giovani Bernard has been upgraded to probable, Vontaze Burfict and Terence Newman are both questionable on defense.
A.J. Green had one of his best games of the year last week when he had 127 receiving yards and a touchdown against the Saints. Green had been bearing with injury concerns for a good part of the year and missed a few games.
Also, the Bengals may try and impose pressure on Texans quarterback and former Bengals starter Ryan Fitzpatrick. He has been sacked twenty times this year and has eight interceptions.
This game will hold some significant playoff implications. The Bengals have a .014 lead over Pittsburgh for the AFC North while the Texans are one game behind Indianapolis for the lead in the AFC South.