Houston owns the easiest schedule in the league based on opponents' win-loss record from last season. Check out a few likely spots to back and fade the franchise against the spread.
The Texans' offense was superb last year until rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson got hurt. If this team can stay healthy this season, a playoff spot is there for the taking.
Below you will find the Texans’ straight-up and against-the-spread records from last year’s NFL regular season, including average margin of victory, 2017 average odds, 2017 win totals and 2018 pre-scheduled figures, and projected strength of schedule using opponents’ combined record from 2017.
2017 SU Record: 4-12 (-6.1 avg. margin)
2017 ATS Record: 7-9 (-2.5 avg. margin)
2017 Average Line: 3.6
2017 Win Total: 8.5 (+100)
2018 Win Total 5Dimes (pre-schedule): 8.5 (-135)
2018 Strength of Schedule: 32nd, opponents were 116-140 (.453)
Three Games to Back ATS
Browns, Week 13; Colts Week 14, @Jets, Week 15
The Texans’ offense was a thing of beauty last year before Watson suffered a season-ending knee injury in practice prior to Week 9. The Texans averaged 30.7 points per game, surpassing 33 in each of Watson’s final five starts. Houston has operated as a defense-first team under head coach Bill O’Brien his entire tenure, and it’s scary to think how good this squad can be if the offense picks up where it left off under Watson and both sides of the ball stay healthy (J.J. Watt in particular).
The Texans are 22-6 SU and 22-5-1 ATS when scoring more than 21 points in a game under O’Brien. NFL teams averaged 21.8 points per game contest last season. That’s all this franchise needs: to produce points better than at pedestrian levels. Expect Watson and crew to do just that against three of the league’s worst scoring defense form last season if healthy: the Jets (23.9 per game), Colts (25.2) and Browns (25.6). The number will adjust as the season goes along, it will not be enough to cover the difference.
Three Games to Fade ATS
@Redskins, Week 11; @Eagles, Week 15
The Texans have never won a road game against an NFC team under O’Brien. Ever. They are 0-8 SU and 2-6 ATS, losing by 13.1 points per game. The vaunted defense surrenders 31.0 points per contest and has never held an opponent under 20. As a franchise, it is 8-24 SU and 9-21-2 ATS in this situation. One has to go back 2012 (Lions) to find the last time it picked up a win.
Jaguars, Week 17
O’Brien’s Texans are just 7-25 SU and 10-21-1 ATS versus opponents with a positive points differential from the prior season. At NRG Stadium, with home-field advantage factored in, the record is 4-10 SU and 3-10-1 ATS. Houston is falling to the number (0.6) by 4.4 points per game. Jacksonville owns an 8.2 average margin of victory from last season.
Trap Game Potential
Cowboys, Week 5
The above-mentioned Jaguars angle applies to the Cowboys in Week 5. Dallas is expected to improve on a 9-7 mark in which it averaged a 1.4 margin of victory. This matchup is just early enough to see the market attempting to play catch up if Dallas performs to projections.