Mentor takes on pupil when coach Bill Belichick and his New England Patriots meet Bill O’Brien and the Houston Texans in an important AFC showdown on Sunday Night Football at NRG Stadium in Houston. Belichick is 5-0 all-time against O’Brien, who coached under Belichick in New England from 2007 through 2011. The Patriots (10-1) have won six of their last seven games on the road. Meanwhile, the Texans (7-4) sit atop the AFC South standings and trail both New England and Baltimore in the AFC playoff race. The Texans are 1-4 against the spread in their last five games. Kickoff is set for 8:20 p.m. ET. New England is a three-point favorite, and the over-under for total points scored is 46.5 in the latest Patriots vs. Texans odds. Before you make any Texans vs. Patriots picks or Sunday Night Football predictions, you have to see what SportsLine’s resident Vegas legend, Micah Roberts, has to say.

Roberts worked in the Las Vegas sportsbook industry for more than 20 years, including a 13-year run as Station Casinos’ book director. Armed with an unmatched network of sources, the former bookmaker became a SportsLine expert in 2016.

He has been red-hot over the last month. Since the start of Week 8, Roberts has gone 17-10 on his last 27 NFL picks. In addition, he has been uncanny with his picks in games involving the Texans. In fact, he is 10-2 on his last 12 against-the-spread picks involving Houston. Anyone who has followed him is way up.

Now, Roberts has locked in on this AFC heavyweight battle and generated another strong against-the-spread pick for Patriots vs. Texans on Sunday Night Football. You can head to SportsLine to see it. Here are several NFL betting lines for the game:

  • Texans vs. Patriots spread: New England -3
  • Texans vs. Patriots over-under: 46.5 points
  • Texans vs. Patriots money line: New England -170, Houston +150
  • NE: CB Stephon Gilmore has four interceptions and 11 breakups this season
  • HOU: WR DeAndre Hopkins is No. 2 in the NFL in receptions (81)

Roberts knows that Stephon Gilmore has been a lockdown cornerback for New England. He has not allowed a catch in back-to-back games and has an interception and three pass breakups over that span. He hasn’t given up a reception since Week 9, when he surrendered two catches for a total of 22 yards.

Roberts also has factored in that the Houston rush defense has been gashed the past two games. In fact, the Texans allowed 256 rushing yards to Baltimore two weeks ago. Last week, Houston gave up 175 yards on 39 carries (4.5 yards per carry) to Indianapolis. The rushing totals are the two highest Houston has allowed this season.

Even so, New England isn’t guaranteed to cover the Patriots vs. Texans spread on Sunday Night Football.

Roberts also knows the Texans’ offense is much more explosive with receiver Will Fuller in the lineup. With Fuller this season, Houston is averaging 6.27 yards per play; without him, that number is just 5.31. With Fuller in the lineup last week against Indianapolis, the Texans had five pass plays of at least 20 yards. In the three previous games without him, Houston had six combined.

In addition, the Patriots’ offense has been struggling. Since the start of Week 9, New England is averaging just 16.7 points and 307.3 total yards per game. Both of those figures rank 23rd in the NFL over that span.

Roberts has analyzed this matchup and while we can tell you he’s leaning under, he has discovered a crucial x-factor that makes one side of the spread a must-back. He’s sharing it only at SportsLine. 

So who wins Texans vs. Patriots on Sunday Night Football? And what crucial factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Texans vs. Patriots spread you should jump on Sunday, all from the Vegas legend who is 10-2 on his last 12 against-the-spread picks involving Houston.