Houston Texans Betting Odds – NFL Football Future Lines
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Let’s take a look at the numbers:
Last season – 9-7 SU, 7-8-1 ATS
Projection this season – 10-6 (second in AFC South)
Is it just the Texans’ crap fate to be in the same division as the Indianapolis Colts? Like soccer, which is all about the future and never about the present, the Texans can only seem to take baby steps in the AFC South, pushed aside by the Colts’ dominance or the surprise ascendance of either Tennessee (13-3 in 2008) or Jacksonville.
Last season’s finale gift victory over the Patriots enabled Houston to finish over .500 for the first time in franchise history, but things will have to fall right most of the season for the Texans to break into the playoff posse.
Especially defensively, where Houston will be without suspended (drugs) LB Brian Cushing for the first four games. How much work still needs to be done defensively was evident in a 38-20 exhibition loss to New Orleans.
Houston simply has too many good defenders to be anything but a high-level team on that side of the ball. Cushing, DeMeco Ryans, Zac Diles, Mario Williams, Antonio Smith – playmakers are everywhere. Why the job doesn’t get done – especially in division games – is somewhat of a mystery.
Matt Schaub led the league in passing yardage last season and the Texans have a top-3 receiver in Andre Johnson. But the running game went to seed last season when RB Steve Slaton took a huge step back after a terrific rookie season. A tendency to put the ball on the ground hasn’t helped things early on this season.
But no matter who carries the ball, Houston will always be a pass-first team.
Johnson will catch another 100 balls, Schaub will put up impressive-enough numbers to enter the Pro Bowl conversation, and they will be a tough game on everyone’s road schedule.
THE WAY IT LOOKS NOW – Just when you think the Texans are ready, they show they aren’t. In the biggest four-game stretch in franchise history last season they went 0-4 against division opponents, ripping out the guts of what should have been a good season.
Then, just to frustrate their fans a bit more, they won their last four and just missed the playoffs.
Exhibition results rarely carry over to the regular season (the 2008 Lions went 4-0 in pre-season and 0-16 once real bullets started to fly), but Gary Kubiak better get to work on patching together a half-decent defense or he might be looking for work next January.
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Lawrence Paul is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog, and is a free-lance gambling and travel writer from Massachusetts.