Oddsmakers: Texans 1-point favorite against Patriots on TNF

OUCH!

Pretty much across the board, NFL teams are feeling the pain from key players getting hurt. Pro Picks was damaged by some of those injuries in Week 2, as well.

On Thursday night, a team likely down to its third-string quarterback, a rookie no less, takes on a club that in the offseason signed its new QB to a sweet $72 million, four-year contract.

Yep, the Patriots figure to have third-round selection Jacoby Brissett behind center withJimmy Garoppolo mending his injured right shoulder and Tom Brady suspended for two more weeks. Houston counters with Brock Osweiler, who has looked pretty good in his first two outings as a Texan.

Yet New England (tied for first in AP Pro32 with Pittsburgh) is a mere 1-point underdog to Houston (No. 7, AP Pro32). That's a testament to how tough the Patriots are at Foxborough.

Maybe Texans coach Bill O'Brien's familiarity with the Patriots' system after having coached there for five seasons, two of which ended in Super Bowl defeats, will help. After all, this is a guy who slept at Gillette Stadium during his time working there.

"No question when I was quality control coach, I definitely had a couple nights there," O'Brien says. "(Josh) McDaniels had me breaking down all kinds of film. (Bill) Belichick had me breaking down all kinds of film. I had to get the job done."

The oddsmakers figure his team will get it done this week with no Tom Terrific, no Jimmy G and maybe no Gronk — All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski has yet to play this season because of a hamstring issue. Sure seems like a good spot to pick the visitors.

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