2016 Week 3 Thursday Night ATS Pick
** As always, Thursday Night picks will be included as one of my five weekly picks. A full review of the previous week will be included when I pick the remaining four games this week**
New England PK vs Houston
These teams are quite even on paper. Both boast strong defenses and try to build their offenses around foundational rush attacks that are average, but consistent. Because both teams are so similar this game is all about 'spot', where New England has a significant advantage in my mind.
QB play is generally an adventure when lead by a third string rookie, but it's also important to note that due to Brady's suspension, Brissett saw more reps and was prepared like a number two. Additionally, Garoppolo's success as a backup himself has to discount how much of a downgrade moving from second to third string actually is. New England should be able to run the ball with moderate success, and I believe Brissett will execute at a higher level than anticipated.
However, the real advantage for New England will be stamina. Thursday night games are what they are, and it's difficult to ignore the material impact limited rest has on these athletes. Whereas New England was able to check out in the second half of last week's game, Houston was locked in a physical 60 minute dog-fight. As a kicker, Houston players have been critical of the Thursday night timing, and I am beginning to believe that they may be mentally impacted as well.
It will be New England in a close one.