2019 Houston Texans Odds to win the Super Bowl with Expert Betting Predictions
I hate drama around a team. It's hard enough to win when everyone around a team is working together towards a common vision. So, I really don't like the offseason the Texans had. When GM Rick Smith took a leave from the team, Brian Gaine was hired to be the new GM in January of 2018. He had been director of player personnel for the Texans for three years before leaving for the Bills for one year, so he was a known commodity. But in June of this year he was fired - and, at least openly, not for a particular reason. There were all sorts of rumors about who was coming in to replace him, but no one has been hired. Instead, the team is approaching things by committee. That's a disaster. Opposing teams reportedly don't know who to call if they are interested in a deal. The GM by himself doesn't win or lose games, so this isn't the biggest storyline around this team. But it doesn't instill a whole lot of confidence around a team that seems to be at a crossroads - either again or still depending upon how you look at it.
Houston Texans Coaching
If I was in charge of the Texans, Bill O'Brien wouldn't have come back last year after losing 12 games in 2017. But they kept him around, and he won 11 games last year. He's in Year 6 and has a lot of personnel say lacking a GM, so he is stable. The big change O'Brien made this year is that he hired an offensive coordinator after maintaining that role himself. Tim Kelly, who has climbed the coaching ladder with the Texans since O'Brien came to town, is in the role now. I hate when a head coach tries to wear both hats, but this move isn't as positive as it could be. O'Brien hasn't yet opened up about his plans, but it seems like he might still call plays. And he was not consistently good at that last year - especially early in the season.
Houston Texans Quarterback Situation
After a rocky, injury-riddled first year, Deshaun Watson played all 16 games last year and made the Pro Bowl. He is in command of this team. And if he stays healthy and gets on the same page as his coaching staff sooner, he could be in for a big year. Behind him, the organization ditched Brandon Weeden in favor of A.J. McCarron as his backup. Here's hoping that it doesn't come to that.
How The Houston Texans Improved
Where they needed to improve was on the offensive line, as protecting their star QB has been far from what they do best. They made some moves in search of a left tackle and some depth, but it remains to be seen if they were enough. After missing last year to a knee injury, Matt Kalil has joined the team as a free agent. Right tackle Seantrel Henderson missed most of last year with a broken leg, so they are really gamble on a return to health. They also went hard after tackles in the draft. In the first round they took Tytus Howard, who is taking a massive step up in class out of Alabama State. And in the second round they again went a little outside the college football mainstream, taking Max Scharping from Northern Illinois. It would really help if one or both of those guys were ready for primetime early.
How The Houston Texans Got Worse
The team had a secondary last year that had some serious questions, and the best answer they had for it in the offseason is to take Bradley Roby on a one-year deal worth two much. They aren't committed to him long term, but there is a reason that the Broncos weren't concerned about letting the former first-rounder walk. He's not the answer, and it doesn't seem like they have found one. On top of that, D-lineman Jadeveon Clowney is sitting out to start camp after being franchised in the offseason. That's both a distraction the team doesn't need and a massive hole if the team can't get him back and happy in short order - which is tougher to do without a GM.
Houston Texans Schedule Analysis
Their first three games include road games at Super Bowl contenders New Orleans and the Chargers, with a divisional game against a Jacksonville team that should be solidly improved in between. That's ugly. So are back-to-back trips to Kansas City and Indianapolis in Weeks 6 and 7. They play Tennessee twice in the last three games, which could really define the season if things are tight up to that point. The Titans are tabbed to finish last in the division, though, so that could be worse.
2019-20 Houston Texans Betting Odds and Trends
The Texans are at +2500 to win the Super Bowl, which has them in a large group of teams stuck behind 10 stronger contenders. They are the second choice to win the AFC South at +275, well behind the favored Colts at -125. They are tied with the Steelers as the sixth choice to win the AFC at +1200. The season win total is at eight, with action relatively even at this point. The "no" side is at -170 when it comes to whether they will make the playoffs, with the "yes" at +150. Watson is at +2500 to win the MVP, which puts him in a group of six quarterbacks behind nine stronger contenders. Not surprisingly, Patrick Mahomes leads that race. Watson is at +2000 to lead the league in passing, which puts him 10th in the race to the top. Expectations are high at receiver, with DeAndre Hopkins the fourth choice to lead the league in receiving yards at +900. The running game is a little muddy for the team, and the odds show that - Lamar Miller is a serious long shot at +7500 to lead the league in rushing. Houston is at +2000 to have the worst record in the league, which puts them in the middle of the pack.
2019-20 Houston Texans Predictions and NFL Picks
I am not in love with this team. Watson is the real deal and should be solid. But he doesn't have quite enough tools around him to help, and the line is a concern. He will have to do too much himself. The squad will be limited to an extent by O'Brien and by a division that is tough and a schedule that has some challenges. They are a playoff contender, but I'd pick them to wind up outside looking in if I had to.
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