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Houston Texans Betting – Lack Of “D” Will Keep Houston Out Of The Postseason Again

Posted by Stan Simmons on 7/11/2011 7:19:45 PM
houston texans betting

Houston’s online betting odds are solely predicated on their ability to step up on defense, where a number of problems conspired against them last season. The Texans should still put up points and they have some new pieces on defense, but until they come together on that side of the ball, Houston isn’t going to reach the playoffs.

  • Head Coach:Gary Kubiak
  • Offensive Coordinator:Rick Dennison
  • Defensive Coordinator:Wade Phillips 
  • Owner:Bob McNair
  • Stadium:Reliant Stadium
  • Capacity: 71,054
  • Super Bowl Wins: 0

Offense

There isn’t much to complain about when it comes to the Houston offense, which was ranked third in the NFL last season, and they were balanced, coming in fourth through the air and seventh on the ground. Matt Schaub to Andre Johnson continues to be one of the best pass-catch combinations in the league, although they would do well to re-sign free agent Jacoby Jones to keep some of the pressure off Johnson. Arian Foster came out of nowhere to lead the league in rushing and now he has to prove that last season was no fluke. Tight end Owen Daniels fought back from a knee injury to have a solid season and now that he’s 100% healthy, that is even more help for Schaub, who is protected by a very good line.

The biggest worry for the Texans and coach Gary Kubiak is a No.2 receiver to line up across from Johnson, who gets double-teamed as much as any wideout in the NFL. But the Texans have been pretty consistent offensively over the years, and you shouldn’t expect much of a drop-off next season. Jones should get a new deal, while Foster is an exclusive-rights free agent, so he won’t be leaving Texas.

Grade: A

Defense

As good as the offense was, the defense was just as bad, possibly worse. The Texans were 30th in the league defensively, and you shouldn’t feel encouraged by their 13th-place ranking in rush defense; they were so bad against the pass that teams never bothered running on Houston as they were the worst team in the NFL through the air. In a division with Indianapolis’ Peyton Manning, that’s an easy way to miss the playoffs. Linebacker Brian Cushing missed the first four games of the season because of a drug suspension and was out of sorts for the rest of the year, while fellow linebacker DeMeco Ryans missed 10 games because of an Achilles injury. But the Texans also have a new coordinator to turn things around in Wade Phillips, who, for all of his faults as a head coach in Dallas, is an excellent defensive mind. He is turning the Texans into a 3-4 team, and he is toying with the idea of turning Mario Williams into a stand-up rusher. Houston also drafted defensive players with their first five draft picks, including the 11th overall pick, end J.J. Watt and three backs.

The Texans’ NFL betting odds aren’t going to improve until they can defend the pass, and it remains to be seen whether Phillips can do it in one year. Safety Bernard Pollard was the best player in the secondary and he’s a free agent. The rest of the group is a mess, and the Texans could move Glover Quin from corner to safety to make room for rookie Rashad Carmichael. Either way, the secondary has to be fixed. 

Grade: D-

Special Teams

Houston ranked in the bottom third of the league last year in returning both punts and kicks, and Jones was a big part of that, so if he leaves, the onus falls on Steve Slaton, one of the biggest draft disappointments in the NFL in recent years. The Texans struggled to cover kickoffs, but they were fine on punts.

Punter Matt Turk ranked 20th in net punting and 26th in average, and he’s a free agent so the Texans could look to improve that position when the lockout ends. However, kicker Neil Rackers had a great 2010 campaign, hitting 90% of his field-goal attempts, and his 27 field goals were seventh in the league.

Grade: C

Prediction

NFL betting odds have the Texans at +250 to win the AFC South behind Indianapolis, at +1800 to win the AFC and a huge +3200 to win the Super Bowl. The Texans are still searching for their first playoff experience since their inception in 2002 and last year they were awful in the second half of the season, losing eight of their last 10 games.

Even though the NFL has made rules to favor offensive play, defense is what wins championships, and the Texans aren’t going to be a factor until they can stop the pass, especially in a division with Manning and even Jacksonville’s David Garrard. The Texans have some young pieces in place and a new coordinator in Phillips, but they won’t come together next season, and wagering on Kubiak to be fired would be a good sports betting choice.

2011 Schedule

  • Week 1 – vs. Indianapolis (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 2 – at Miami (4:15 PM ET)
  • Week 3 – at New Orleans (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 4 – vs. Pittsburgh (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 5 – vs. Oakland (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 6 – at Baltimore (4:05 PM ET)
  • Week 7 – at Tennessee (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 8 – vs. Jacksonville (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 9 – vs. Cleveland (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 10 – at Tampa Bay (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 12 – at Jacksonville (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 13 – vs. Atlanta (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 14 – at Cincinnati (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 15 – vs. Carolina (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 16 – at Indianapolis (Thursday, 8:20 PM ET)
  • Week 17 – vs. Tennessee (1:00 PM ET)

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