This Sunday the Houston Texans (0-1) will host the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1) in a matchup of two AFC South rivals looking for their first win of 2019. Kickoff is set for 1:00 EST at NRG Stadium and will be televised locally on CBS.
Oddsmakers currently have the Texans listed anywhere from a 8.5 to 9.5-point home favorite, so be sure to shop for the best number in this one. Total for this one is sitting at 43.5 points.
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Jags vs Texans Vegas NFL Game Preview & Betting Odds
It was not the start to the 2019 season that the Jaguars were hoping for. Jacksonville had a chance to make a statement at home against the Chiefs and reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes, but they failed to do so. Kansas City won going away 40-26 and were never really threatened.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the Jaguars lost their prized free agent pick-up of quarterback Nick Foles to a broken clavicle. While not season ending, he’s out at least another 8 weeks. On the bright side, rookie Gardner Minshew looked capable of holding down the job until Foles returns. Minshew completed 22 of 25 for 275 yards and 2 scores.
The big concern has to be a defense that didn’t play up to their potential. For Jacksonville to be a playoff contender, they need to be elite on that side of the ball. Not only did they struggle against Mahomes and the Chiefs, they seemed to lose their cool rather quickly. Interesting to see how they bounce back against Deshaun Watson.
The Texans played in arguably the most entertaining game of Week 1. Unfortunately for them they were on the wrong end of a 30-28 loss at New Orleans. It’s one the Houston players won’t forget any time soon. The Texans who led 21-10 in the 2nd half trailed the Saints 21-27 with 50 seconds left to play. They had the ball on their own 25 with no timeouts, needing a touchdown. It took them a mere 2-plays to put 7 on the board and take a 28-27 lead.
At that point there’s no doubt Houston felt like they had won the game. Next thing you know the Saints are lining up for a 58-yard game winning field goal and the Texans lose the game in the final seconds.
Deshaun Watson had a big day with 268 yards and 3 scores through the air and another 40 yards and a touchdown on the ground, but the rebuilt offensive line left a lot to be desired. Saints sacked Watson 6 times and had 11 hits on him. Defensively it wasn’t great, but they won’t be the only ones to get lit up by Brees and that Saints offense.
Houston won both meetings last year in similar fashion. They won at Jacksonville 20-7 in Week 7 as a 3.5-point underdog. They then won at home 20-3 as a 7-point favorite in Week 17. This was after the Jaguars swept the series in 2017. In fact, these two haven’t split their 2-game series in the regular-season since the 2010 campaign.
Free NFL Betting Prediction: Jaguars +9.5
My early lean here would be to take the big number with the Jaguars. I just think we are seeing a bit of an overreaction to the Jaguars ugly loss to the Chiefs in Week 1 and the fact they lost their starting quarterback in Foles. No way is the public going to want to back Jacksonville on the road and I feel the books are taking full advantage of that by posting an inflated number.
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The biggest thing for me and the Jaguars lopsided loss to Kansas City, is I wasn’t the least bit surprised. The Chiefs were one of my favorite plays in Week 1. There’s not many teams in the NFL that can score with Kansas City. I’m not about to write off Jacksonville’s defense because they couldn’t stop Mahomes and all those weapons they have on the offensive side of the ball. In fact, I still think it’s one of the more talented defensive units in the league.
I think that defense is going to have a big bounce back performance against the Texans. Clearly there’s still a lot of problems with the Houston offensive line if Watson is getting hit 11 times and sacked 6 times. While the Jags didn’t record a sack in Week 1, they put a ton of pressure on Mahomes. I think they can control the line of scrimmage and force some big turnovers with that pressure.
As for as the Foles injury is concerned, that’s a tough blow for this team. However, I watched that entire game and I was really impressed with what I saw from Gardner Minshew in relief. If wasn’t against a Chiefs defense that no one thinks highly of, I think people would be raving about how well this kid played in his first NFL action. I don’t care who it’s against, you are doing something right if you complete 22 of 25 for 275 against a defense that knows you have to throw playing from behind.
I get the Saints are great offensive team, but at the same time, this not as talented a defense without Clowney in the front seven. Not only did Brees carve them up for 370 yards and 2 scores, New Orleans averaged 7.0 yards/carry on the ground.
Best part about all of this is we don’t need the Jaguars to win. All they have to do is lose by single-digits and I think they do that without any problem.