After nearly a decade
of trying to ‘get over the hump’, the Texans finally broke through last year,
going 10-6, winning the AFC South and even winning a playoff game, despite an
injury plagued season that saw many of their top players go down for extended
Houston was a money winner for their supporters, thanks to a
9-5-2 ATS mark. They outgained their
opponents by 0.9 yards per play, tied for second best in the NFL, and finished
with a +7 turnover margin. The Texans
were an Under team in 2011, cashing Unders at a 10-6 clip.
But before we get carried away with the Texans success,
let’s not forget that they were beating up on a very weak slate of
opponents. Houston faced 3rd
easiest schedule in the NFL based on my numbers – numbers which are based on my
power rating of their opponents for the week that the game was played.
Houston has fairly good continuity from last year to this
year. Head coach Gary Kubiak and both
coordinators return, most notably defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. Phillips took a defense that had been ranked
dead last against the pass and #30 overall, and transformed the unit into the
#3 defense in the NFL last year.
The salary cap challenged Texans did suffer some major
losses on that side of the football, with DE Mario Williams, LB DeMeco Ryans
and CB Jason Allen all departing. Their
top four pass rushers return, but this defense is no ‘lock’ to match last
year’s stellar numbers.
Houston’s run to the playoffs last year was even more
remarkable because it came with third string QB TJ Yates behind center. 31 year old Matt Schaub is coming off another
injury plagued campaign. It’s a contract
year for Schaub, playing for his future as a starting QB in this league.
From center to left tackle, all three starting offensive
lineman return. That trio each started
all sixteen games last year; a top notch group.
But the Texans must rebuild the right side of their line. Top receivers Andre Johnson and Kevin Walter
are both on the wrong side of 30 with injury histories of their own. But the RB tandem of Arian Foster and Ben
Tate is as good as any in the NFL, capable of carrying the offense on the
There’s good line variance with the Texans around the
betting world. Over bettors can find
Houston at 9.5; Under bettors can find them at 10.5, with the prevailing line
holding steady at 10. Despite facing
another weak overall schedule in 2012, we’ve seen a trickle of money come in on
the Under in early betting action, but nothing significant.
Ted Sevransky has been a Las Vegas-based pro capper at Covers Experts for over 10 years. He can been heard on ESPN, Fox Sports and more.