Texans are listed as 1.5-point favorites on NFL odds board & lines haven't moved since opener. While a lot can change, is it probably more valuable locking a bet now or until September?
How Has The Betting Line Moved?
Open: Houston -1.5
Current: Houston -1.5
The Houston Texans feel that improved quarterback play could lead to a return to the playoffs. The Kansas City Chiefs are in a similar position. Only one of those teams can emerge from its opener with a win as the Chiefs are set to visit Houston in Week 1 of the 2015 NFL season.
This NFL betting odds haven't moved much as nobody seems to find an edge here, which is a bit surprising now that Arian Foster could miss the contest. Bettors seem to feel that the Texans defense can still keep them in this and that the drop-off to Alfred Blue isn’t significant enough as the Texans will probably still be able to run the ball.
3 Key Storylines
Texans Quarterback Battle: Quarterback play will be a major point of emphasis for Houston to improve this season and while head coach Bill O’Brien has not made a final decision on his Week 1 starter it appears as though Brian Hoyer is the early frontrunner to land the job. Hoyer, who signed with the Texans in the offseason, completed 2-of-4 passes for 67 yards and a touchdown and then connected on a 2-point conversion with DeAndre Hopkins. Ryan Mallett responded by completing his first eight passes and went 10-for-11 for 90 yards but Houston didn’t score on any of his four possessions. O’Brien has confirmed that Mallett will get the start for the Texans in their next preseason game against the Denver Broncos but right now it looks like Hoyer is the favorite to win the starting quarterback job this season.
Chiefs Vertical Passing Game: Alex Smith threw for 3,265 yards and 18 touchdowns last season but he didn’t throw a single TD pass to a wide receiver and that will be a point of emphasis for the Chiefs heading in to this season. Kansas City signed free agent wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and drafted Georgia wide out Chris Conley in the third round but it was three young wide receivers that impressed the most in their preseason opener with Fred Williams, Frankie Hammond Jr. and Da’Ron Brown each catching a touchdown pass. All three players will be in tough to make the Week 1 roster but it’s no coincidence that three different receivers caught a touchdown pass in Kansas City’s preseason opener as stretching the field with the wide receivers will definitely be a point of emphasis for the Chiefs early on this season.
Fostering The Houston Run Game: Hoyer will represent an upgrade at the quarterback position but perhaps the more pressing issue looking ahead to Week 1 is how the Texans will make up for the absence of star running back Arian Foster. Foster might not be available for the first half of the season after suffering a groin tear and it will be impossible to replace his production. Alfred Blue is expected to handle the biggest share of the workload and he looked good in the preseason opener when he averaged 6.6 yards per carry for 59 yards against the San Francisco 49ers but it would be a major blow if he were injured between now and Week 1. Jonathan Grimes, Kenny Hilliard and Chris Polk are all auditioning for a roster spot but another injury could force Houston to explore the free agent market for a more suitable option.
Bet Early or Bet Later… And What’s The Play?
The Chiefs would be an obvious favorite in this matchup if they were the home team and playing in Houston won’t make enough of a difference to sway the result of this Week 1 showdown. Eric Fisher’s injury isn’t expected to keep him out for an extended period of time and Kansas City upgraded in a number of areas on both sides of the football this offseason – including at wide receiver. The Texans are better off with Hoyer under center but they won’t have Foster for the first half of the season and his production will be impossible to replace. Another injury at the running back position would be absolutely devastating for Houston, so it makes sense to take Kansas City right now as the slight road underdog for Week 1 rather than wait with a real chance they could become a slight favorite by the time September rolls around.
NFL Pick: Kansas City +1.5 at Pinnacle