Patriots open as 16-point favorites over Texans in historically lopsided playoff matchup

(USA TODAY Sports Images)

If you didn’t enjoy the middling play and big wins of the first three games of the 2016 NFL playoffs, then you may want to avert your eyes from next Saturday’s primetime divisional playoff game between Houston and New England.

The Pats opened as one of the biggest favorites in NFL playoff history, starting as a 16-point fave over the Brock Osweiler-led Texans, according to If that holds over the next six days, New England would be the fourth-largest postseason favorite the league has ever seen and the biggest in 18 years. Only one other divisional playoff game has had a line bigger than 15.5. And of the 1,056 games in NFL postseason history, only 11 have ever kicked off with a two-touchdown spread. That’s about once every decade.

Lines fluctuate all week (as recently evidenced by the Pittsburgh line moving three points in three days), and this one is almost certain to shift, but it’s hard to see it dipping much below the opening number, which would make Saturday an NFL playoff rarity. It’s also hard to see this…