DOLPHINS (4-3) AT TEXANS (4-3)
Line: Texans by 7.5; O/U: 44
TV: Ch. 5, NFL, 8:15 p.m.
If this game were scheduled a month ago, the line would not be this high. The Dolphins were rolling at 3-0, the Texans reeling at 0-3. But things change fast in the NFL. Real fast. Now, Houston has won four in a row and is in first place in the AFC South. Miami has lost three of four, and continues to lose players. After losing Ryan Tannehill, they're dropping wide receivers by the day.
Brock Osweiler's return to Houston was never going to be easy, facing a team that knows him so well and with J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney staring him down. But now it's an even bigger obstacle without injured wideout Albert Wilson. Plus, fellow receiver Kenny Stills is unlikely to play. The two were a big reason for Miami's hot start, especially Wilson, whose big-play ability fueled a pair of comeback wins.
Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson is hurting, too. He had to take a bus to Jacksonville because a chest injury made it difficult for him to fly. Being at home will be a boost for Watson. Lamar Miller, who ran for 100 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 20-7 win over the Jaguars, should have success against his former team.
This is more points than I'd like to lay on a Thursday night game, and Houston has played nothing but close games before the Jags' win. But this is one of those lines where it feels as if Vegas is begging you to take the points. Last season, in a similar spot on TNF -- coincidentally, it was Week 8, too --the Dolphins and backup QB Matt Moore were three-point underdogs at Baltimore. I took the points. The result: Ravens 40, Dolphins 0. I'm not taking the bait this time, and neither should you.
The pick: Texans
Bob Glauber: Dolphins
Tom Rock: Texans
Al Iannazzone: Texans