Cash Another Winning Ticket By Laying The Home Chalk With Texans

Houston Texans

Swinging Johnson

Thursday, August 25, 2016 8:36 PM UTC

Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016 8:36 PM UTC

The winless Arizona Cardinals will travel to NRG Stadium where they will meet the undefeated Houston Texans. Let's take a look at what the NFL odds makers are dealing with this one and cash a ticket.

Last week we went 2-1-1 which comprises my Week 2 preseason NFL picks as well as a separate write-up I did on the Broncos/49'ers game where my underdog Niners not only covered the number but won the game outright 31-24. So here we sit in Week 3 of the preseason with a 4-1-2 record and will once again dip our toes into the tumultuous gambling waters with not only this write up but two other preseason selections as well that you can read here.


Fitzy & Co. Sidelined
The Cardinals would prefer their speed merchant Larry Fitzgerald be sidelined in the preseason, as opposed to when the games begin for real, but any injury to their top receiver is a cause for concern. The 13-year veteran overextended himself in Sunday's practice and an aggravation of his MCL injury is not what the Redbirds need to begin the season.

In addition, deep threat John Brown continues to experience post-concussion symptoms and will most likely be watching from the sidelines when his teammates take the field on Sunday. Brown is a crucial element to the Cardinals' offensive attack and without him they become far more predictable and thus easier for defenses to cover.

One more casualty to add to the list is the No. 29 overall pick in this year's draft, which would be Arizona's rookie defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche. The 6'5" tower of power is being held out due to a high ankle sprain and despite champing at the bit to get into game situations, the Cardinals' coaching staff is being overly cautious as they want him suited up and healthy for Week 1 of the regular season.


Texans' Starters Clicking
The starting unit for the Houston Texans appears to be gelling. They looked like they took a markedly big step forward in last week's 16-9 win over the Saints. Though the team only scored 16 points it should be noted the starting offensive unit did all the heavy lifting in a limited amount of time. The starters rung up 214 yards of offense which included 175 yards of passing and 39 yards on the ground to go along with 11 first downs before the half. Newly-minted starting quarterback Brock Osweiler completed 12-of-19 passes for 124 yards and one touchdown and one interception. Wideout Will Fuller made four catches for 73 yards and caught a 19-yard TD pass from Osweiler in the opening quarter.

This will be the third of four preseason games and that means the starters will see plenty of action as Game 3 is always the dress rehearsal for the starters. I expect to see Osweiler improving each and every week as he gets accustomed to playing with his new offensive teammates. The timing should be better with his receivers while his linemen will become more familiar with his habits and where he is apt to roam if his targets are covered.


Betting Analysis
The wins and losses are meaningless in the exhibition season but sometimes a team could use a motivational boost by winning one, or even all, of those meaningless games. Bill O'Brien needs to build a winning attitude and his starting offense looks like it is progressing each and every week while his defense continues to impress.

I like the small home chalk here with the Texans as they are undefeated thus far and facing an Arizona team that has struggled on the field and in the trainer's room with all their injuries to frontline players. Let's lay the small number the NFL odds makers are requiring and cash another preseason ticket.


Free NFL Pick: Texans -1 -105
Best Line Offered:  at BetCris
Swinger’s Preseason Record: 4-1-2 (+2.9 units)

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