NFL Preseason Week 1 Picks: 49ers Are A Gold Bet Versus Texans

San Francisco 49ers

Doug Upstone

Friday, August 12, 2016 10:13 PM UTC

Friday, Aug. 12, 2016 10:13 PM UTC

Both Houston and San Francisco have new toys to begin 2016. Each club has very different agenda coming into the NFL preseason and will want to make sure they are on target after playing initial contest.

Houston Texans vs San Francisco 49ers
Houston won seven of their final nine regular-season games to win the AFC South and have bigger plans beyond this for this upcoming campaign, certain they actually have a true NFL quarterback is Brock Osweiler. While the jury is still on that belief, the Texans are deeper and more confident crew coming into this year.

San Francisco hired Chip Kelly to run their outfit after failed Jim Tomsula experiment. While there are as many doubters in football if Kelly is really an NFL coach as 49ers followers on Twitter, he's in charge and will not get another shot as head coach in this league without turning this group around.

Just so you know, you can trust my opinion on this matchup, sporting 78-53 ATS (59.5%) record in the preseason since 2003 with monitored NFL picks.


Texans Talk 
With Arian Foster now a former Texan, Houston and coach Bill O'Brien have officially moved on and the running game should be better because of it. In the past three years, Foster missed 23 of 48 contests and while they were aware of his injuries, he was still on the payroll as No.1 guy. With Lamar Miller now the featured back and Alfred Blue the first backup, there is more diversity among the entire contingent of running backs and yards per carry is sure to rise.

No word on how much if at all Osweiler will play, but Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden are at least competent and Houston has a nice collection of pass-catchers.

Defensively, even without J.J. Watt, the Texans have enough depth to slow whatever San Francisco shows them if they come to play.


Niners News 
Kelly has been open is discussing quarterback situation. He has Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick as "co-starters". Those at the San Francisco camp have noted there not been much to choose from between the two signal callers, each having bright and awkward moments. Whoever starts does not mean much, as both as expected to receive equal time with the first unit in the preseason before a decision is made.

The offensive line is set barring injury, which should help continuity going into regular season. Offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins said on Tuesday this game is more about "execution" than trying to "... out-scheme Houston".

Defensively, the 49ers have a few good players, but being on the third different scheme in three years is problematic from the start. Add in the shuffling of players in a game such as this and if Houston is aggressive in play-calling, San Fran could get burned.


Odds and What to Look For
Sports Betting has San Francisco a three-point home favorite with a total of 36.5 for its NFL odds. There is no doubt who the better team, but coach Kelly is trying to bring this squad along and first-year coaches are frequently good bets, especially at home in August.

Though neither 49ers quarterback inspires confidence , they are a better combo than what Houston will put on the field and I fully expect San Fran to be more energized and win by six or more points.


Free NFL Pick: 49ers -3 -120
Best Line Offered: at Bet365

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