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Week 14 of the NFL season features one of the most anticipated games of the season when the New England Patriots host the Houston Texans. The Patriots and the Texans are two of the best teams in the AFC and this could very well be a preview of the AFC Championship game.

Houston Texans vs New England Patriots Odds: The opening line for this titanic tilt had the Patriots listed as a (-4.5) point favorites, but the public pounded the Texans and the line has moved down to 4 in most offshore sportsbooks.

Texans vs PatriotsPreview and Pick

Texans vs Patriots Preview and Pick

If the Houston Texans want to be considered a serious Super Bowl contender, it all starts with beating the Patriots. However, beating the Patriots in the month of December is not easy. The Boston Globe points out just how dominant the Pats are in the last month of the year.

With their 12 consecutive wins in December, the Patriots have tied a franchise record and become just the fourth team in NFL history to accomplish the feat. But their success in December goes back to the start of the Tom Brady era. Since 2001, the Patriots are an NFL-best 42-5 in December (three of those losses have been to the AFC East rival Dolphins). No other team has more than 35 December wins during that time.

If the Patriots are going to beat the Texans they need to stop the run. No team in the NFL has run the ball more this season the Texans, who are averaging 34.4 carries in 12 games. Texans back Arian Foster, who has rushed for 1,102 yards this season, is gaining a career-low 3.9 yards per carry and will be the main target of the Pats rush defense.

The Texans will look to rush the ball to the outside to avoid the road block in the middle known as Vince Wolfork. New England is sixth-best in the league against runs up the middle, allowing 3.3 yards per carry. Meanwhile, the Texans gain 5.01 yards per carry up the gut (ranking seventh in the NFL) — though, they run it outside more.

The Pats will look to force turnovers against the running game of the Texans. The Patriots have forced 26 fumbles, recovering a league-high 18 of them.

The Texans are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 Monday games and the Patriots are 4-0 ATS in their last four games under the Monday Night lights.

The Patriots are in desperate need of this game if they want to have home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Patriots trail by two games but if they can beat Houston they will only be one game back and will own the tiebreaker.

The Texans are very good but they are not on the level of the Patriots just yet. The Patriots at home will be able to win and cover this number in one of the best Monday Night games of the year!

Monday Night Football Predictions: Patriots -4

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