July 17, 2012

2012 Houston Texans Odds and Preview

2012 Houston Texans Betting Preview

The Houston Texans battled through some key injuries last year to win the AFC South and make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. Now suddenly, as the Indianapolis Colts have chosen to go the rebuilding route, Houston finds itself as the favorite in the division and among the favorites to win the AFC. So it will be interesting to see how this team, with no past history of success, will perform under these heightened expectations.

Last Season in Review

The Texans only sat at 3-3 after six games last year, but then won seven in a row to get to 10-3, clinching a playoff spot. They then lost their last three in a row but won the AFC South anyway at 10-6.
Which was a damn good effort, considering they lost DE Mario Williams for the season in Week 5, QB Matt Schaub for the season in Week 10 and WR Andre Johnson missed nine games. With backup rookie TJ Yates running the show Houston won the last three of those seven in a row, and they beat Cincinnati in an AFC Wild-Card game. The following week the Texans outrushed and outgained the Ravens in Baltimore, before eventually falling 20-13, in part because they turned the ball over four times, as Yates threw three interceptions.

Statistically Speaking

With the second-ranked running game (153 YPG) and the second-ranked defense (286 YPG) Houston led the league in time-of-possession last year at +5:21 per game. Across the NFL last year teams that won the T-o-P battle covered the spread 66 percent of the time.

That defense also ranked fourth vs. the run, allowing just 96 YPG on the ground.

Overall the Houston Texans led the league in total rushing at +57 YPG and ranked third in total yardage at +86 YPG.

Houston also went a profitable 9-5-2 ATS, 3-2 ATS with Yates at QB.

Finally, the Texans played 6-10 on the totals, as they relied a bit more on the running game after Schaub went down.

Additions/Subtractions

Houston took a major hit when it lost Williams via free-agency to Buffalo. The Texans also lost, traded or cut LB DeMeco Ryans, CB Jason Allen and the right side of the O line, with the departures of T Eric Winston and G Mike Brisiel.

Looking to fill the hole left by Williams Houston used the 26th pick in the draft to take Illinois DE Whitney Mercilus, who left school as a freshman. The Texans will try to fill most of the other holes in-house.

2012 Texans Schedule

According to last year’s W/L records Houston will play the fourth-easiest schedule in the league this season. The Texans have just five games vs. teams that made the playoffs last year, but do have to play at the Jets and at Chicago. In fact, a closer look tells us that schedule might be a little tougher than first thought. During the first half of the season Houston goes Broncos-Titans-Jets-Packers-Ravens, which is no walk in the park, and later they play three straight road games at Detroit, Tennessee and New England. But they finish the season with the Colts-Vikings-Colts.

2012 Houston Texans Betting Odds and Prediction

The Texans are lined as -400 favorites at Bovada to win the AFC South this season, and they’re getting 5/1 to win the AFC and 14/1 to win the Super Bowl. Over at 5Dimes Houston will play against a regular-season wins ‘over/under’ of 10 (O -135/U +115).

The Texans finally broke through last year, and now look like the best team in the AFC South. Big expectations can be hard to play with, but this team might have what it takes to avoid a setback. They can run the ball, they don’t turn it over a lot and they play good defense. But that price to win the division is way too heavy, and the odds on the conference championship and Super Bowl just aren’t enough to entice us. Houston won 10 games last year without several key people for periods, so we figure that if those folks can stay healthy the Texans should win 11 games this season and go ‘over’ their total.

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Cole Ryan

Cole started off as a part time handicapper and a full time computer programmer. After developing a computer program that consistently provided winners in NFL, NBA, MLB, and college sports Cole went into full time handicapping. The computer program and his knack for winners made him a rising star in the handicapping world. His complex computer program based on algorithms and analytical calculations have led to a 60% ATS rate.

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