What: Denver Broncos vs Houston Texans – NFL Week 13
Where: NRG Stadium
When: Sunday, December 3rd, 1 PM EST
Sunday afternoon brings a big Week 13 matchup at NRG Stadium between the red-hot Denver Broncos and the Houston Texans. The kick-off is scheduled for 1 PM EST between the AFC counterparts. Denver has now won five in a row after beating the Cleveland Browns on Sunday by a score of 29-12. This team looks like they could potentially make the playoffs at this rate, now sitting at 6-5. As for Houston, they have the same record but did lose a heartbreaker to the Jacksonville Jaguars this past Sunday. Continue reading for the Broncos vs Texans picks.
Despite their recent win streak, the Broncos are actually the underdog here with +165 odds. The Texans meanwhile are a -190 favorite. Houston is also laying 3.5 points on the spread. The total is set at 47. Denver is the more dominant team in this matchup in recent years, winning four of the last five. That includes a 16-9 victory in the 2022 season.
Broncos a Whole New Team
When Denver started off the season 1-5, many believed Russell Wilson’s days in the Mile High City were numbered and the team would look to trade him. Fast forward to now and Russ is finally looking like the same quarterback of the past and continues to be a big reason the Broncos are flourishing over the last month. Wilson has completed 68.3% of his passes for 2,199 yards and 20 touchdowns against a mere four interceptions. That’s a far cry from his numbers last year.
Russ had another fantastic day on Sunday, completing 13 of 22 passes for 134 yards and a touchdown. The run game especially thrived against a stout Cleveland defense, with Samaje Perine and Javonte Williams both cooking. In fact, Denver’s RB room is one of their primary sources of offense each and every week. The Broncos only outgained the Browns by 25 yards but made a point of capitalizing on their opportunities.
Perhaps the No. 1 factor behind Denver’s turnaround is their defense. They had three takeaways in the win over Cleveland and now have 15 in their last four games. It’s truly been a treat to watch for Broncos fans. The playoffs are a serious reality for Sean Payton’s squad, who honestly don’t have the most difficult schedule ahead. Outside of a matchup with the Detroit Lions, Denver should win the rest of their games. That means a victory on Sunday in Houston.
CJ Stroud Continues to Impress
Let’s not sugarcoat it. There’s no way the Texans are a game above .500 without CJ Stroud’s dominance. The rookie quarterback is well on his way to winning Offensive ROY. His numbers are ridiculously impressive, completing 63.7% of his passes for 3,266 yards, 19 touchdowns, and just five picks. For a first-year player in the league, Stroud is doing a lot more than anyone expected.
Because of Stroud’s brilliance, Houston ranks fourth in total yards and second in passing yards while ranking 10th in points with 23.5 per contest. And while they saw their three-game winning streak coming to an end on Sunday, the Texans put up a fight and had every opportunity to win it. Houston missed a game-tying field goal late in the fourth. On a more positive note, Stroud threw for over 300 yards and became the rookie in NFL history to surpass the 300-yard passing mark in four games in a row. He’s special.
At 6-5, DeMeco Ryans’ team is tied for second in the AFC South and could definitely make the playoffs as a Wild Card, which absolutely no one expected heading into 2023. But whether they do or not, it’s clear Houston has their QB1 of the future for many years to come. Stroud is only going to get better. Just like the Broncos, the Texans’ remaining schedule is not difficult by any means, with the Jets, Titans, Browns, Titans, and Colts up next after Denver. If they can manage to beat Russell Wilson and Co., it could set them up for a strong finish.
Broncos vs Texans Picks
This Broncos defense will face a tough test in CJ Stroud. But, can they slow him down enough to win? I say yes. Expect Wilson to show out and Denver to come up with some more crucial stops. Take the surging Broncos to win another one.