The bye week for some football fans means a chance to relax for a weekend, perhaps take a stroll up into wine country, spend some time with your kids, or get some much needed shuteye. For another type of football fan — I am raising my hand — it means finding teams to watch, teams other than the one for which you root. Emotional investment on some level enhances the viewing experience, and that emotion can come from one of two places — gambling or rooting for a positive ripple effect for your vacationing favorite team.
So, for Texan fans, Week 10 if the bye week. There is no Texans football until Sunday, November 17, when the Texans travel to Baltimore for one of the more anticipated matchups of the season thus far, Lamar Jackson versus Deshaun Watson. For now, there is a slate of 12 games this weekend (Thursday night is in the books as you read this), so I am here to help you conjure up some good ol' fashioned emotion, through gambling and effects on the Texans.
Here we go, each of the 12 games remaining this weekend with a (when possible) Texans-related reason to root for one of the two teams ....
Sunday, November 10
Detroit at Chicago (-2.5), NOON CBS
Any game involving the Bears is an opportunity to relish the fact that some team was stupid enough to draft Mitchell Trubisky over Deshaun Watson, so we root for more Chicago misery.
ROOTING INTEREST: LIONS
Baltimore at Cincinnati (+10), NOON CBS
While it would be fun to have the Ravens come in on a high to give that Week 11 game with the Texans as much juice as possible, let's be practical — a Ravens loss means they're tied with the Texans in the loss column. So we have to root for the Bengals.... who have yet to win a game this season, so we know a Cincy W ain't happening. Still....
ROOTING INTEREST: BENGALS
Buffalo at Cleveland (-3), NOON CBS
The Bills have a better record than the Texans, but who cares? A Buffalo win means a chance to see THIS version of Baker Mayfield again...
ROOTING INTEREST: BILLS
Kansas City at Tennessee (N/L), NOON CBS
OK, intuitively, our gut tells us to root against the Tennessee Titans. I mean, they're in the Texans' division, and they stole our football team two decades ago. However, I've gotten over their franchise thievery, and honestly I'm more worried about maintaining an edge on Kansas City in the overall AFC standings than I am about the Titans catching the Texans in the division. Thus — I can't believe I am saying this — Go Titans!
ROOTING INTEREST: TITANS
Atlanta at New Orleans (-13), NOON FOX
If Matt Schaub is starting for the Falcons, we root for all the pick sixes in the world. Them's just the rules. Sorry, Schaubby.
ROOTING INTEREST: SAINTS
New York Giants at New York Jets (+2.5), NOON FOX
If turnovers were fireworks, this game would be like a dozen Fourth of Julys. Sasm Darnold and Daniel Jones, are you kidding me? I can't bring myself to root for the Jets, who are led by Adam "Crazy Eyes" Gase and Sam "Chunky Face" Darnold.
ROOTING INTEREST: GIANTS
Arizona at Tampa Bay (-4.5), NOON FOX
This is a sneaky fun matchup, with two intriguing offenses, and two former number one overall picks at quarterback. Let's not pick a side here, let's just have some fun and bet the over!
ROOTING INTEREST: THE SCOREBOARD OPERATOR
Miami at Indianapolis (-10.5), 3:05 P.M. CBS
The Dolphins won a game last week! WOO HOO! Now, they come into Indianapolis with at least a little confidence. No word yet on whether Jacoby Brissett or Brian Hoyer starts at quarterback, but as a Texans fan, I'm hoping for Hoyer. Of those two Colts quarterbacks, he is clearly the one with the "could dish out enough turnovers to lose at home to the sorry ass Dolphins" club in his bag.
ROOTING INTEREST: DOLPHINS
Carolina at Green Bay (-4.5), 3:25 P.M. FOX
Cam Newton is done for the season, so it's the Kyle Allen Show in Carolina. I'm happy for the kid, who made two horrific career decisions in college to go play for Kevin Sumlin in College Station and Lyin' Tom Herman at Houston, but seems to have landed on his feet, and should, at a minimum, pull an NFL paycheck for the next decade or so.
ROOTING INTEREST: KYLE ALLEN
Los Angeles Rams at Pittsburgh (+3.5), 3:25 P.M. FOX
I'm enjoying watching Sean McVay's offense flounder around the middle of the league rankings. So he is not a boy genius! Wow, no way! I'll take the over on "sacks of Jared Goff." If we can't root for J.J. Watt, may as well root for T.J. Watt. Have a day, T.J.!
ROOTING INTEREST: THE WATT FAMILY
Minnesota at Dallas (-3), 7:20 P.M. NBC
There should be an AMBER ALERT style push notification anytime there's a chance to fade Kirk Cousins in prime time, and you're laying a field goal or less on the home team. Free money, folks.
ROOTING INTEREST: AGAINST COUSINS NONEXISTENT CLUTCH GENE
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Monday, November 11
Seattle San Francisco (-6), 7:15 P.M. ESPN
Deshaun Watson is in the running for league MVP. Russell Wilson is the leader in the clubhouse, and stands in his way. Here's hoping the Niners do mean, awful things to Russell Wilson.
ROOTING INTEREST: NICK BOSA
THIS WEEKEND'S BEST BETS
BENGALS +11 over Ravens
Cardinals/BUCS OVER 51.5
Dolphins +10.5 over COLTS
PACKERS -4.5 over Panthers
STEELERS +3.5 over Rams
COWBOYS -3 over Vikings
LAST WEEK: 2-4
SEASON NFL ATS RECORD: 26-28 (48.1 percent)