The Cleveland Browns will chase that elusive first win of the season this week when they visit the Houston Texans. Kickoff is set for 1:00 EST on Sunday, October 15 at NRG Stadium in Houston. Fans can watch the game on CBS in local markets.
Oddsmakers have made the Texans 10-point favorites at home. The over/under for the game is 46.5 points. Click here for a full list of the Week 6 betting odds and links to more game previews.
Browns vs Texans Vegas Odds & Game Preview
It’s hard to be surprised that the Browns have started the season 0-5. To be fair, three of their five losses have come by just a field goal. That includes last week’s game when the Browns missed two field goals that could have been the difference in the game.
Despite showing some promise early in the season, rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer has been benched in favor of Kevin Hogan for this week’s game. Kizer has three touchdown passes and nine interceptions on the season, and so this is the right move. Of course, Hogan has just 64 career pass attempts in the NFL, so there’s no guarantee he proves to be Cleveland’s answer at quarterback.
Speaking of quarterbacks, the Texans believe they have found theirs in Deshaun Watson. Behind Watson, the Texans are fourth in the NFL in points per game. However, the Houston defense has been a disappointment, and to make matters worse, J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus both suffered season-ending injuries last week.
Alas, the Texans at 2-3 this season, although just a game out of first place. With the AFC South being so balanced (aka mediocre), the Texans have a real shot at winning the division. Of course, they definitely can’t afford to lose to a team like the Browns, especially at home.
Free Pro Football Pick Against the Spread: Browns +10
This is a tough game to call. The Texans have been up one week and down the next, while the Browns are obviously unreliable as well. However, between Houston’s banged up defense and Cleveland’s propensity for close losses, I’ll take the Browns and the points, assuming another close loss for Cleveland.
Obviously, we’ve seen little of Hogan this year, and no defense he’s played this season has prepared to play against him. But he did complete 16 of 19 passes against the Jets last week. He isn’t likely to take too many chances offensively, in part because the team’s leading receiver is the backup running back. But a conservative game plan should help Hogan avoid the turnovers that plagued Kizer. It may also get the Browns somewhere against a Texans defense that’s literally hurting.
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Meanwhile, Watson has thrown nine touchdowns and just one interception over the past two games. Of course, all five of his touchdown passes last week came when his team was trailing by double digits. Against the Browns, Watson is unlikely to find his team trailing by such a large margin, so things may not be easy after leading his team to a lot of garbage time points last week.
The Cleveland defense also showed improvement last week, allowing just 212 yards, albeit against the Jets. First overall pick Myles Garrett finally made his NFL debut and immediately made his presence known with two sacks. Perhaps things are improving for Cleveland on that side of the ball.
I can envision Watson having a big game and the Texans winning easily. But Houston’s overall inconsistency this year gives me pause. With a defense that’s struggled this season and missing several key players due to injury, it’s difficult to feel confident about the Texans beating anybody by double digits, even the Browns.
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