Week by Week Analysis of the Texans Total Wins

Nikki Adams

Sunday, August 17, 2014 4:51 PM UTC

Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014 4:51 PM UTC

The Texans are the second favourites in the AFC South with the ‘Over’ 7.5 favoured in win totals betting. What bookies and the betting public are suggesting is a phenomenal turnaround. Do they have it right or is this just wishful thinking especially when the QB situation remains uncertain heading into 2014?

Gaping Hole at Centre
When a team sports multiple options at centre it clearly means none are good enough. Not only is that an utterly concerning predicament to be in but also it defies the logic behind market estimations that have the Texans  going over 7.5 wins without a known entity at centre – the most important repertoire of an elite NFL team – to navigate the course of the 17-week NFL season. Granted the AFC South is hardly the most competitive division in the league, which means all hopefuls contained within have notional wiggle room. Add to that sepia-toned memories of the Texans winning back-to-back division titles (2011-2012), and you get a sense of why NFL bettors ably dismiss the abominable 2-14 record in 2013 and, in turn, how they might be so optimistic.

It’s one thing to expect a marked improvement on the train wreck that was 2013, another to expect the kind of turnaround and complete makeover that could potentially wrestle the AFC South title from the firm grip of the Colts, who pounced on the status quo last season in order to fly the AFC South flag high and open such a big divide between them and the rest of the pack. In this current state of uncertainty in the Texans camp, how can they possibly compete, let alone challenge the Colts? Perhaps, NFL bettors need to temper their expectations, look towards the ‘under’ 7.5 at 5Dimes as a realistic option instead.


Game-by-Game Predictions

Week 1 vs. Washington
The combination of RGIII and DeSean Jackson could prove too much for the Texans defense. Both teams come into the new season looking to bounce back from their respective disappointments in 2013. New coaches will be on hand for each team. The Bills could field Ryan Fitzpatrick at centre or Case Keenum (all hinges on preseason deposits by both). Too many questions abound that it could go either way. Safe bet: the Redskins have the known entity at centre, which could trump home advantage.
NFL Pick: Loss


Week 2 @ Oakland
This game could potentially reunite Matt Schaub with his old team. The Texans cast-off will look to prove a point: that last season’s nosedive in the AFC South wasn’t just down to him but down to the team as a whole. Add to that motivation, decent defense, home advantage, and the edge goes to the Raiders.
NFL Pick: Loss


Week 3 @ New York Giants
This isn’t going to be a pleasant trip for the Texans to the Big Apple. The Giants splashed a lot of cash in free agency to bolster the team from top to bottom. Giants also have something to prove this season, which, so long as Eli Manning keeps turnovers in check, could be achieved.  The Giants should win at home.
NFL Pick: Loss


Week 4 vs. Buffalo
It remains to be seen whether Ryan Fitzpatrick will get the start against his former team the Buffalo Bills or whether Case Keenum will. In any event, the Bills have questions under centre with EJ Manuel struggling to find his way in the league. This game could come down to the defensive side of the ball.
NFL Pick: Win


Week 5 @ Dallas
The Dallas Cowboys come into the season with many question marks hanging over them. How fit is Tony Romo? Will defense improve this season? Dallas were unable to make the necessary improvements in the offseason, even cutting players due to salary caps. This leaves the Cowboys looking rather vulnerable on both sides of the ball this season. That said they’ll be at home.
NFL Pick: Loss


Week 6 vs. Indianapolis
Andrew Luck and the Colts won all six divisional games en route to the AFC South crown. They’ll be keen to repeat that success this season. Impossible to predict anything but a Colts win in this game.
NFL Pick: Loss


Week 7 @ Pittsburgh
The Steelers are tough to beat at home. Granted the core group is getting older, but they are an experienced bunch, earmarked for a potential playoff spot this season. Surely, Ryan Fitzpatrick (or a rookie quarterback) can’t possibly have what it takes to beat Big Ben and Company.
NFL Pick: Loss


Week 8 @ Tennessee
Ryan Fitzpatrick could face off against another former team in the Tennessee Titans or, by now, back-up Case Keenum may be awarded the starting job. In any event, the centre role may not factor as much against a Titans team that is undergoing its own growing pains. Jake Locker is still finding his way in the league (when he’s not sidelined with injury) and too many deficiencies on both sides of the ball make this a winnable game for the Texans defense.
NFL Pick: Win


Week 9 vs. Philadelphia
The Eagles bring their high-powered offense that will sorely test the Texans defense, which somehow managed to rank inside the top ten despite the abysmal 2-14 record last season. Go figure. At first glance, the Eagles would appear to be the choice NFL pick, but, one second thought, if the Texans rises to the occasion particularly on the defensive side of the ball, this could an unlikely win for the hosts.
NFL Pick: Win


Week 10 Bye


Week 11 @ Cleveland
The starting role in Cleveland is also in question and it remains to be seen whether Brian Hoyer maintains the role for the duration of the season or whether Johnny “Football” Manziel receives the start here. If it’s rookie vs. rookie, the playing field could be level on the offensive-side of the ball. Texans are better on defense.
NFL Pick: Win


Week 12 vs. Cincinnati
Andy Dalton and the Bengals won the AFC North division with an 11-5 record, largely down to solid home form that was a perfect 8-0. Where they proved beatable was on the road (3-5). Essentially, the same core group returns this term to build from where they left off. This could be a close game but if Andy Dalton is mired in a shootout with a rookie, the edge goes to the visiting Bengals, surely.
NFL Pick: Loss


Week 13 vs. Tennessee
Last season, the Houston Texans beat the Titans at home 30-24 in overtime, marking their second win of the 2013 season in as many weeks, as well as their last. They didn’t win another game that season, oiling their way down the stretch instead on a 14-game skid to the finish line. Titans have many questions on offense, not unlike the Texans. On defensive-side of the ball, it’s edge to Texans.
NFL Pick: Win


Week 14 @ Jacksonville
Jacksonville Jaguars were one of the worst teams in 2013, a quality they’re expected to maintain this season if NFL betting markets, which chalk regular season wins for the Jaguars at 4.5, were any indication. Then again, perhaps they are being severely underestimated.  They do have top draft pick Blake Bortles, who could potentially be the starter by week 14. What’s more, there is the divisional rivalry to consider and home advantage is typically a factor in those.
NFL Pick: Loss


Week 15 @ Indianapolis
Colts on their home turf should prove difficult to beat, if not impossible, given the available quality the Texans have at centre and the elite quarterback steering the Colts and calling the plays.
NFL Pick: Loss


Week 16 vs. Baltimore
Joe Flacco and the Ravens will be tough to beat even on the road. Typically, they don’t travel well, a detrimental quality that cost them a successful Super Bowl title defence run last season when they went just 2-6 on the road. Gary Kubiak however has been brought in to reinvigorate offense and he’ll have a point to make against his former team. Early indications are that the Ravens are adjusting well to his awe-inspiring schemes. If they maintain that high-octane scheme down the stretch, Texans will have their hands full on the defensive side of the ball.
NFL Pick: Loss


Week 17 vs. Jacksonville
Hosting divisional rivals Jacksonville Jaguars on the last day of the season should provide an excellent atmosphere for fans, regardless of where these two teams are in the broad spectrum of the division and league rankings. Home team wins to give their fans something to cheer about.
NFL Pick: Win


NFL Betting Verdict
Our projections for the Texans may seem rather harsh and contrarian when bookies and the betting public are clearly suggesting the Texans will bounce back. For our money, we can’t see that happening without a solid answer at centre carrying the team to victories on any given Sunday. We’ve projected a 6-10 record for the Texans. On the upside, it represents an improvement on their 2-14 output in 2013. On the downside, it suggests the savvy NFL pick is to take the Under 7.5 at +130. Agree or disagree, it’s your call. After all, we’re not claiming to be writing the gospel. Just our guesstimate, if you will. 

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