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Houston Texans Betting Odds Preview

Last season was a complete and utter disaster for the Texans. Houston began the season as the favorite in the AFC South and a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

What followed was an epic collapse, as they started the season 2-0 only to lose every game thereafter to finish a league-worst 2-14. The meltdown cost Gary Kubiak his job. Former Penn State coach Bill O’Brien takes over, while Romeo Crennell will ty to sort out the defense.

Houston Texans Odds to Win AFC South: +300 at Bovada
Houston Texans Odds to Win Super Bowl: 75/1 at Bovada
Houston Texans Regular Season Win Total: 7.5 at Bovada
Houston Texans Betting Props: Arian Foster to Win NFL MVP 100/1 at Bovada

The Texans still have some potent offensive weapons for a team that won only two games last season. Ryan Fitzpatrick takes over at QB and he can’t possibly be worse than Matt Schaub was last season. In only 10 games Schaub threw 14 interceptions. Fitzpatrick’s success will likely depend upon the health of his supporting cast. Andre Johnson appeared in all 16 games last season posting 1,407 receiving yards and five touchdowns, but has been injury-prone throughout his career and he’s 33 years old. Johnson already injured his hamstring once in training camp and it would be a shock if he played in all 16 games again this season. Even if Johnson doesn’t last the year, DeAndre Hopkins could soon be ready to take over the No. 1 receiver’s role after a solid rookie season.

One of the biggest blows to the Texans' offense last season was the loss of running back Arian Foster. He was limited to eight games due to injury and even when he was able to play averaged only 67.8 rushing yards per game. O’Brien has said he plans to cut back on Foster’s carries this season to keep him healthy but with Ben Tate gone newly acquired back Andre Brown will be tasked with picking up the slack.

The only good news that came out of Houston’s failure last season was that it earned them the first pick in the draft. The Texans grabbed South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney. His talents had been highly touted before he even played a down in college, but have tapered slightly after a somewhat disappointing college career. Houston has one of the best pass rushers in the game in J.J. Watt and a solid defensive leader in linebacker Brian Cushing, but their secondary is inconsistent and was burned repeatedly last season.

Since they began the season as the favorite in their division only to completely tank, Houston’s 4-12 record ATS should shock no one. In fact, as the favorite last season Houston was 0-6 ATS.

AFC South Odds at Bovada as of August 5
Indianapolis Colts -200
Houston Texans +300
Tennessee Titans +700
Jacksonville Jaguars +1400

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The Houston Texans followed up winning their first division title in franchise history in 2011 with an even better season in 2012, winning the AFC South again with a 12-4 SU campaign. Houston has all of the pieces in place to take its shot at a Super Bowl Title in 2013.

Odds to Win AFC South: -225 at Bovada
Regular Season Win Total: 10.5 at Bovada
Betting Props: Arian Foster to win NFL MVP (33/1) at Bovada

The Texans were a well-oiled machine on both sides of the ball for most of 2012. The Texans finished 12-4 SU and 9-7 ATS, ranking seventh overall in both total offense (averaging 372.1 yards per game) and total defense (allowing 323.3 yards per game). If there is any nitpicking to be done, it would be that the Texans finished the regular season 1-3 SU and ATS after going 11-1 SU and 8-4 ATS through their first 12 games; perhaps losing some focus down the stretch.

Many teams are thrilled to have an elite player at any skill position on offense, but the Texans are blessed with elite players at all three. QB Matt Schaub passed for 4,008 yards last season, RB Arian Foster rushed for 1,424 yards and 15 touchdowns, and WR Andre Johnson had 112 catches for 1,598 yards. These three players are among the best in the league at their respective positions, and provide a nightmare of matchup problems for opposing defenses every week. First-round draft choice WR DeAndre Hopkins won’t make things any easier.

On defense, J.J. Watt emerged as the best defensive player in the game last year. The defensive end and 2012 defender of the year finished the season with 81 tackles, 20.5 sacks, and an incredible 16 pass deflections. Offensive lines don’t have an answer for this guy, whether he is getting in on the play or getting his hands up to defend the pass. The addition of veteran ball hawk safety Ed Reed should make an already outstanding unit even better.

The pieces are in place for the Texans. All that is left for Houston to do is put the pieces together in the postseason.

AFC South Odds at Bovada as of July 28
Houston Texans -225
Indianapolis Colts +240
Tennessee Titans +750
Jacksonville Jaguars +2500