New England is one of the biggest betting favorites in a playoff game, and here's why: Bill Belichick's Patriots have outscored protege Bill O'Brien's Texans by a combined 54-6 in their past two head-to-head games.
As good as Houston's top-ranked defense has been — Jadeveon Clowney's interception set the tone for a 27-14 win over Oakland in the wild-card round — there is a world of difference between facing a rookie QB making his first NFL start (Oakland's Connor Cook) and a three-time Super Bowl MVP (Brady). And Belichick will surely dream up some schemes to bedevil Texans QB Brock Osweiler.
"You have to make sure that, No. 1, that you do your job," coach O'Brien says. "That your players understand what their role in the game is and how they're supposed to perform on every single play. They're going to make their share of plays. I think one of the biggest things for us is we have to play good, sound, fundamental football. They're the type of team that if you make too many mistakes, they're going to bury you."