NFL Picks: Texans vs. Vikings in Preseason Week 1

Jordan Sharp

Thursday, August 1, 2013 2:01 PM GMT

Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013 2:01 PM GMT

Both of these teams had disappointing playoff exits in 2012, but they are back to face one another in Week 1 of the 2013 preseason.

The NFL Odds are in favor of no one in this game, as the odds currently stand at a pick em, with a total of 35 points. Let’s take a look at both coaches’ history in these games, and see if there are any other trends that emerge that will clue us in on whom to bet on in this one.

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Kubiak makes preseason priority

If any of the active coaches play to win in the NFL preseason, it’s Gary Kubiak. Under his tenure with the Texans, he is 16-12 SU and 16-10-2 ATS in the preseason. He has only had one losing preseason SU in his career, and he is also 5-2 SU in Week 1 of the preseason (Leslie Frazier is only 6-6 SU and ATS in the preseason).

Houston had another winning preseason in 2012, and a Week 1 win against the Panthers helped start it. Matt Schaub played the entire first quarter in that game, and I could see the Texans once again using that strategy. DeAndre Hopkins is going to need some time working with the offense under Schaub, and I doubt Kubiak wastes any time. However, you have to be careful in these games managing your stars.

We do have to remember that the Texans are wanting to make a Super Bowl run, and over extension in the preseason could be a bad thing if someone major gets hurt because they were playing late into the 1st quarter in Week 1 of the preseason. Coaches are very important to study in the exhibition games, and Kubiak has a long track record. Arian Foster wont play in this game, and neither should a majority of the starting veterans.

NFL offseason coverage continues with the Texans Season Win Total Odds preview!

Vikings’ new ship

Although Captain Christian Ponder is still driving the ship, the offense of the Vikings is gone from small and mighty to big and scary. No longer are they only Adrian Peterson, but they have some nice passing weapons. Greg Jennings has come over, Kyle Rudolph looks poised for a breakout, and they drafted Cordarelle Patterson, all of which will see some time on the field for this one.

While I doubt the Vikings unleash Peterson for more than a series or two, the rest of the offense is going to need some time in this game. Plus they brought in Matt Cassel to back up Ponder, and don’t think Ponder’s job is completely safe. Cassel will get some time in this game, and coming off a horrible year in Kansas City, and against 2nd and 3rd string defense, the upside of the Vikings in this game is big.

Going up against the preseason cookie monster in Kubiak isn’t going to help, but there is a reason this game is a pick em. Either of these teams could take this game; their both coming to win.

Take a look at the Vikings Season Win Total Odds, also part of our NFL preseason coverage!

The Sharp Pick

In a coin flip like this, you have to go with the home team for your NFL picks. The Texans’ preseason record is one thing, but it isn’t stellar ATS, and with the Vikings’ new toys all around, I don’t think Frazier will be able to resist playing with them a little. It’s going to be like when you’re a kid and you open your presents a night early, and then neatly put them back in place before your parents noticed. Kubiak can’t afford an injury or the subsequent bad press from it, but Minnesota is more worried about their offense than Houston is.

[gameodds]16/226856/?r-1=43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

NFL Pick: Vikings -110 at Bet 365

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