Odds Shark Top Sportsbooks
*Terms and Conditions apply to all bonus offers on this website. Visit operator for details.

Betting Preview: Houston Texans vs New Orleans Saints

The Texans may now be the favorites to win the AFC South, but they are heavy dogs in Week 1 as they travel to tackle the NFC South favorite, New Orleans.

Houston Texans vs New Orleans Saints (Matchup Report)

Date/Time: September 9, 7:10 p.m. ET

TV Coverage: ESPN National Game

Opening Odds: Saints 7.5 | O/U 53.5 (Line History)

Opening Odds Analysis

The Saints opened as 7.5-point favorites, but the spread pulled back to -7. Houston’s moneyline opened at +270 and the point total opened at 53.5 before a small dip to 53. The Saints finished the 2018 regular season 10-6 against the spread but were just 3-6 ATS as home favorites. New Orleans is, however, 8-2 SU and 8-2 ATS over its past 10 games when favored at home by 7 or 7.5 points.

Houston News & Notes

TRADE IMPACT: The Texans overhauled a good chunk of their 53-man roster over Labor Day weekend. However, if you think the loss of Jadeveon Clowney and addition of Kenny Stills, Laremy Tunsil and Carlos Hyde dramatically changed Houston’s future or futures, think againThe line hasn’t budged off Texans +7/+7.5 (depending on book) since this was originally published August 29.

Somewhat lost in the Andrew Luck breaking news was that on the same night, Lamar Miller tore his ACL in a game against the Cowboys. With Miller done for the season and D’Onta Foreman cut earlier this preseason, the backfield belongs to the recently acquired Duke Johnson and Carlos Hyde. Miller accounted for nearly 50 percent of the Texans’ eighth-ranked rushing attack last season.

Ahead of the team’s fourth preseason game, the Houston Chronicle ran an article with the headline “Texans’ offensive line shows signs of struggle.” Coming off a season in which Deshaun Watson was sacked a league-high 62 times – the most since 2006 – this isn’t ideal analysis. Pro Football Focus ranks the Texans O-line 31st in the league and it faces a Saints pass rush that sacked the quarterback 49 times last season, fifth-most.

This will mark the first time Houston has been a road dog of 7 to 7.5 points since the 2017 season. The Texans covered the 7.5 at Baltimore that year and are 2-8 SU and 6-3-1 ATS under those spread conditions.

New Orleans News & Notes

With the free agency, injuries and contract disputes, roster consistency is worth its weight in gold when it comes to the NFL. The Saints boast nearly the same starting roster as the one that fell just short of an NFC championship last season. What was once a hyper-pass offense has turned into a more balanced attack – 12th in passing, seventh in rushing a season ago – that still managed to average 31.5 points per game last season.

If there’s a flaw in the Saints’ blueprint, it remains in the secondary. Marshon Lattimore and Marcus Williams both struggled in their second NFL season, but Eli Apple – acquired in a trade with the Giants late last season – helped stitch together some solid play down the stretch. Their job against the Texans should be to shut down Hopkins and let the rest of the offense try to beat them.

Like records, trends were made to be broken. So, although interesting, try not to get wrapped up in the fact the Saints are 1-5 SU and 0-6 ATS in their last six September home games or that they’re 0-5 in their last five Week 1 games. Focus on the matchup with the Texans roster as it currently exists and make your move.

Betting Pick: Saints +7

The Texans’ top two strengths are DeAndre Hopkins and its defensive pass rush. With Lamar Miller out for the season and Duke Johnson and Carlos Hyde still adjusting to a new playbook behind an inferior offensive line, how much time will Watson have to find (a double-covered) Hopkins downfield?

With Clowney’s departure, the Texans pass rush will have to lean heavily on JJ Watt to get to Brees behind a stout offensive line, ranked seventh by Pro Football Focus, while the Saints look to carve up the 28th-ranked pass defense of a season ago. Whereas Watson was sacked at a rate of 3.9 times per game last season, Brees was sacked 17 times – total.

It’s a lot of points to lay, especially so early in the season, but Houston head coach Bill O’Brien and the Texans front office may regret not investing more in the offensive line to protect their franchise quarterback.

Shark Bites
  • The Texans are 3-10 ATS in their last 13 games on Monday.
  • New Orleans is 1-5 SU and 0-6 ATS in its last six home games in September.
  • Since 2016, home favorites in Week 1 are 17-12 SU and 12-15-2 ATS.