NFL Free Pick: HOU/OAK

One of the hottest teams over the past couple weeks has been the surprising Houston Texans. The Texans will look to win their fourth straight game when they take on the Oakland Raiders this Sunday.

Our team of writers and handicappers break down the matchup and hand out a Free NFL Pick for Week 16.

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Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Texans -7 point spread favorite. The over/under for this game has been set at 43.5 total points.

Key Trend: The Texans are an impressive 5-0 against the spread in their last five games while the Raiders are just 2-6 against the spread in their last eight contests. The total has also gone under in four of Houston’s last five games and under in four of Oakland’s last five games at home.

Key Stat: Both of these teams can run the ball effectively, which should play into the under with the clock continuous running throughout the game. Houston is averaging 116.4 yards per game on the ground this year while the Raiders are averaging 118.3.

Game Outlook: While the Raiders have pulled a surprise or two out of their sleeves this season (they beat the Jets and Broncos earlier in the year), more often than not they look dismal. Case in point, last Sunday they allowed over 40 points at home to the Patriots in a driving rainstorm. Houston is in unfamiliar territory being such a huge road favorite, but they’ve flat out played well the past couple weeks and should continue to play well this weekend. Steve Slaton should continue his hot pace this week and Matt Schaub should have no problem finding his favorite target again in wideout Andre Johnson, who is coming off a massive game against the Titans. Houston probably won’t roll, but we like them to at least cover the seven and win their fourth straight. For the rest of our NFL Free Pick, see below.

Our Free NFL Pick for the Week 16 matchup between the Houston Texans and Oakland Raiders game is

HOUSTON TEXANS -7

TheSpread.com Projected Final Score

Houston Texans 21

Oakland Raiders 13

We also predict that this game will GO UNDER THE TOTAL (43.5 Sports Interaction.com) SET BY ODDSMAKERS

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Posted: 12/21/08 12:30PM ET

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