Bill Belichick, New England Patriots in tossup game with Houston Texans

Next up at quarterback for the New England Patriots might be Steve Grogan, after Jimmy Garoppolo was knocked out by a shoulder injury last week.

Jacoby Brissett, a rookie from North Carolina State, will start Thursday night against the Houston Texans. Brissett was serviceable a week ago and in the preseason.

At most Las Vegas sports books, New England has moved from a 1-point underdog to a 1-point favorite. The total is 40, with the expectation the defenses will control the game.

It’s not wise to underestimate the Tom Brady-less Patriots, as seen the first two weeks.

There are plenty of Bill Belichick connections — including coach Bill O’Brien — on the Houston side. But the Texans offense still appears to be a work in progress as Brock Osweiler and other new weapons are taking their time getting in rhythm in the O’Brien scheme.

Houston has relied on defense for its 2-0 start, but that recipe might not be enough against Belichick.

The Gold Sheet pick: Patriots, 20-17

Las Vegas handicapper Bruce Marshall is editor of The Gold Sheet (

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