NFL picks, but there is still plenty of pre and regular season coming up.
Both teams won and covered in Week 2, and now they come together to face one another. Under Gary Kubiak, the Texans have been solid in the preseason, which could be one of the reasons they are favored here other than being at home. The Texans are -2 ½ favroties, with a total of 44 points.
We have seen starting quarterbacks, and starters on both sides of the ball play as little as one series, or well into the third quarter in this week’s preseason games, but for Kubiak and Sean Payton, I think it’s safe to say we will see plenty of both team’s starters in this game. Payton has already come out and stated that his starters will almost all play the entire first half. He has also said that if the snap counts aren’t high enough for some players at half time, those guys will get some playing time in the third quarter as well.
While there is little news on Kubiak’s rotations today, a look at his SU preseason record could be an indicator of the play here. Kubiak is 20-14 SU during his preseason coaching career, however he is 14-4 SU in Weeks 1 and 2, and only 6-10 SU during Weeks 3 and 4. Sean Payton on the other hand owns Week 3 of the preseason during his career, going 6-1 SU. I’m taking the points with the Saints. If their offense can put some points on the board, it will be hard for the Texans to come back. Plus without Arian Foster this preseason, the Texans have had zero running game.
My Pick: Saints +3 at Heritage
San Francisco has yet to put up any true fight in the preseason, but may be about to change in Week 3. Even though the Niners have to get their backup quarterback situation solved, I think a couple of series for Colin Kaepernick in this game is reasonable to expect. Jim Harbaugh said yesterday that he wants all five quarterbacks on the roster to get some playing time in this game, and the team just signed Seneca Wallace, who seems to be one of the favorites for the backup job.
While the NFL Odds for this game have dropped from -4 ½ to -3 because of the announcement Harbaugh made, it makes things easier. In my article on this game, I mentioned I liked the Niners at -4 ½, but that was under the assumption that Kaepernick would play a couple quarters. Even though the news of them likely not playing Kaepernick very long, (I don’t see how he gets more than two or three series when they want to play five quarterbacks in this game) I think the line has dropped enough to still have value.
If it was at -3 ½, I would go with the Vikings, but the fact that it’s -2 ½ at places like Bookmaker, I still think the Niners are the better pick. Even though their starting quarterback might not get much time, I could easily see their defense playing longer in this game. Even though they’ll have to try and stop Adrian Peterson for the first time this preseason, I doubt AP plays long enough to make a huge impact on the final outcome of the game. Lay the points with the home team.
My Pick: 49ers -2 ½ at Will Hill