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ANTONIO GATES LEADS THE NFL WITH NINE TOUCHDOWNS THIS YEAR.
Tue, 07 Dec 2010 10:20 AM EST

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (3-5)
at HOUSTON TEXANS (4-3)

Kickoff: Sunday, 1:00 p.m. EDT, Line: San Diego -3, Total: 49.5

The Chargers look for their first road win of the season when they travel to Houston to take on the Texans. QB Philip Rivers should be licking his chops at the thought of bringing the league’s top passing offense (315 YPG) against the league’s worst pass defense (299.4 YPG). But Rivers will not have all his weapons at his disposal. His favorite target, TE Antonio Gates will be a game-time decision due to plantar fascia, and three of the top four wideouts on the team are all out for Sunday’s game. Malcom Floyd (513 rec. yds) and Legedu Naanee (181 rec. yds) both have hamstring problems while Craig “Buster” Davis (259 rec. yds) was placed on I.R. with a groin injury. NFL spreads.

StatFox take:
What a mess for San Diego whose only healthy receivers are Patrick Crayton, Seyi Ajirotutu, Gary Banks and newly-signed Kelley Washington. If Gates can’t go, it could be a long day for the Chargers. Gates leads the NFL with nine touchdowns and ranks third in the league with 663 receiving yards. The good news is that the Chargers finally got their running game going last week, gaining 156 yards on the ground in the win over Tennessee. Mike Tolbert, Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles each rushed for 40-plus yards, which snapped a three-game team streak of rushing for fewer than 100 yards. San Diego leads the AFC in giveaways (19) and has a conference-worst turnover rating of minus-8.

The Texans are just 2-4-1 ATS this year including 0-3 ATS in their past three home games. Despite all the talk about the pass defense being bad, their run defense has been excellent with only one game of 120-plus rushing yards allowed (Kansas City). Offensively, WR Andre Johnson (ankle) and TE Owen Daniels (hamstring) are not 100 percent. Johnson is expected to play on Sunday, but Daniels will be a game-time decision. Johnson has 15 catches for 244 yards and two touchdowns in his past two games. NFL lines.

Despite having outgained opponents by an average of 195 yards in four road games, the Chargers remain winless away from home (0-4 SU and ATS). But they are also 3-0 against the Texans franchise, winning those games by an average of 17.7 PPG. These two FoxSheets trends show why San Diego will win again on Sunday.

SAN DIEGO is 16-3 ATS (+12.7 Units) against AFC South division opponents since 1992. The average score was SAN DIEGO 28.4, OPPONENT 18.1 – (Rating = 3*).

Gary Kubiak is 0-9 ATS (-9.9 Units) versus good rushing defenses – allowing <=90 rushing yards/game as the coach of HOUSTON. The average score was HOUSTON 20.2, OPPONENT 32.4 – (Rating = 4*).

These FoxSheets trends like the Over.

Kubiak is 14-3 OVER (+10.7 Units) after a loss by 10 or more points as the coach of HOUSTON.The average score was HOUSTON 26.3, OPPONENT 26.0 – (Rating = 3*). NFL betting lines.

Play Over – Road teams against the total (SAN DIEGO) – dominant team – outgaining their opponents by 1.25 or more yards/play, after gaining 400 or more total yards in their previous game. (51-21 since 1983.) (70.8%, +27.9 units. Rating = 3*).


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