In one of the more anticipated matchups of Week 1, the New England Patriots will host the Houston Texans. Kickoff is set for 1:00 EST on Sunday at Gillette Stadium  and will be televised locally on CBS.

Taking a look at the Week 1 NFL odds, the books currently have the Patriots listed as a 6-point home favorite with the total set at 51 points.

Vegas Game Odds & Betting Preview: Texans vs Patriots

It’s not very often you have a team that finished 4-12 go into the next season viewed as one of the top Super Bowl contenders. It’s definitely the case with the Texans. That’s because they appear to have struck gold with last year’s first round pick of quarterback Deshaun Watson. Had he not suffered a season-ending injury in Week 8, the record would have been a lot different.

Not to mention two of their best defensive players, J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus suited up for a mere 5-games. All 3 are back healthy and ready to roll, plus the Texans added in another difference-maker on defense in safety Tyrann Mathieu.

The Patriots came up one game short of another title in 2018, as they fell 33-41 to the Eagles in Super Bowl 52. While all the attention will be on how New England didn’t win the big game, they have now participated in the Super Bowl 3 of the last 4 years and have been to 7 straight AFC Championship Games.

With Bill Belichick still the head coach and Tom Brady still the starting quarterback, it’s no surprise that the Patriots are the odds on favorites to win the Super Bowl this season. While the two center-pieces of this incredible run are back, there’s a lot of new faces in town and some key pieces that were let go. Regardless of all the changes, it’s hard to doubt New England no matter what the circumstances are.

NFL Free Pick & Betting Predictions: Texans +6.5

As much as I hate betting the Patriots, especially at home, I would have to lean towards taking the Texans at this price. Oddsmakers know how much the public loves to back New England and while Houston is a team I think the public will be on this season, they will have a tough time backing them here.

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I just think there’s a lot more question marks with the Patriots going into Week 1 than there is with the Texans. New England lost wide outs Danny Amendola and Brandin Cooks, who combined for 126 catches, 1,741 yards and 9 touchdowns. They also lost leading rusher Dion Lewis, who accounted for 1,110 yards and 9 scores, and starting left tackle Nate Soldier.

While they get back their best wide out in Julian Edelman, he’s suspended the first 4 games. They also lost rookie left tackle Isaiah Wynn, who they took in the first round, to a season-ending injury.

As good as Brady is, I just don’t know that the supporting cast is good enough to blowout a team like the Texans, who are a top tier team. Let’s also not forget, the Patriots have struggled out of the gate numerous times, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them struggle to put away Houston and maybe even lose outright. Backing this up is their 1-4 ATS record over their last 5 season openers.

You also can’t ignore what Watson and the Texans’ offense did in last year’s meeting between these two teams in New England. Watson completed 22 of 31 attempts for 2 touchdowns, while also rushing for 41 yards. The Texans put up 33 in a crushing 3-point loss. Keep in mind that was Watson’s second career start.I think the offense will be just as good this time around. Give me Houston plus the points.