Week 1 NFL action has the Houston Texans hosting the Chicago Bears. Kickoff is set for 1:00 EST at NRG Stadium and will be televised locally on FOX. Oddsmakers have the Texans as a 6-point home favorite and the total set at 44 points. Click here for more Week 1 previews and betting odds.
Bears vs Texans Vegas Odds Preview
Chicago is coming off a 6-10 finish in 2015, giving them just 11 wins the last two years combined. While the record wasn’t great last season, the Bears were very competitive. Keep in mind they were making some major changes in the first year under John Fox. The fate of this team falls on quarterback Jay Cutler and that’s where it makes it hard to trust them.
The Texans won the AFC South last year with a record of 9-7. Unfortunately for them that success didn’t carry over into the postseason. Houston was embarrassed on their home field 30-0 by the Chiefs. The Texans spent big money to make Brock Osweiler their new quarterback in the offseason. Now it’s just a matter of whether or not they can live up to the hype.
Free Betting Pick & Game Predictions: Bears +6
I just think that this number is a bit inflated for the wrong reasons. Everyone is pegging the Texans as a serious playoff threat with Osweiler. I know he won a lot of games last year with Denver, but I wasn’t overly impressed. He only had 10 touchdowns to 6 interceptions and it’s not like he didn’t have weapons with the Broncos.
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I know the Texans also added in Lamar Miller at running back. While a great move, I still think the offense will struggle to score points. My big concern on offense is the offensive line, which is going to be without left tackle Duane Brown. They also lost talented rookie guard/center Nick Martin to a season-ending injury.
Defensively Houston was one of the better teams in the league. I’m a little skeptical of the unit to start the season. J.J. Watt is probable, but I question just how effective he’s going to be coming off that back injury.
While Houston is getting hyped up, Chicago is flying under the radar. The Bears were a better team than the 6-10 record would indicate. Chicago had 7 losses by 8-points or less. Their three losses by more than that were against Arizona, Seattle and Minnesota. All playoff teams that won 10+ games.
Cutler is coming off one of his best seasons as a pro and that was with Alshon Jeffery only playing 10 games. They also lost rookie 1st round pick Kevin White before the season ever started. I like the weapons Cutler has around him. If Watt can’t put constant pressure on Cutler, he could carve up what I think is a mediocre secondary.
The Bears might not have the high profile names on defense, but John Fox’s teams are almost always strong on that side of the ball. I think they are talented enough to keep Houston in check.
More than anything, I just see this being a low-scoring grind it out kind of game. Hard to pass up on the value with the Bears at +6, as they could easily win this one outright.