Houston Texans a Team to Watch

Tony Salinas: Houston Texans a Team to Watch

When you watch the Houston Texans take on the New Orleans Saints Saturday Night on CBS, you just might be seeing the next AFC entrant in the Super Bowl. Sorry New England, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and any of the rest of you with delusions of grandeur. This might be the breakthrough year for a Texans team that was Super Bowl caliber last year before quarterback Matt Schaub got hurt.

Let's review some numbers.

Defensive Yards-Per-Play
1...Pittsburgh 4.5
2...Baltimore 4.6
3...Houston 4.8

Oh, those are the rankings for the whole NFL by the way, not just the AFC. Pittsburgh had the best per-play defense in the NFL last year, but was ravaged by injuries at the worst possible time late in the season. Baltimore just missed going to the Super Bowl, losing a heartbreaker at New England when they missed a short late field goal that would have forced overtime. Houston was right there with those powers defensively. That had been their weakness for so many years. Defense wins championships. Houston now has a defense that can help them win a championship.

Starting Record with #1 Quarterback
Houston 7-3

The Texans won 70% of their games last year with Schaub at quarterback, with one of the losses being a thriller on the road at 13-3 New Orleans, and another being on the road at 12-4 Baltimore. They were on the short list of Super Bowl threats when Schaub went down. They went 3-3 without him, losing the last three games of the regular season to Carolina, Indianapolis, and Tennessee when they had to use a green QB who was in over his head. If Schaub stayed healthy, we're looking at 12-4 at worst, maybe 13-3.

And, folks, that's what you should be thinking about in terms of THIS YEAR for the Houston Texans.

  • They play in the weak AFC South, which means they have a great chance to go 6-0 against Tennessee, Jacksonville, and Indianapolis. They currently are favored to win all six of those games.

  • They get to play the AFC East this year, which means likely wins over Miami and Buffalo (both home games), and a possible road win at the NY Jets too as bad as they've looked so far. You can't pencil in a road win at New England (though it wouldn't shock me). So, we're looking at 8-2 or 9-1 so far.

  • They do get a tough draw from the NFC, having to face the North. They're favored to beat Minnesota at home, and will have a shot to knock off Green Bay in a big TV home game too. Road games at Detroit and Chicago will provide a challenge. We'll have to see how Houston's playing when these testers show up on the schedule. I think 2-2 is a reasonable guess for the non-conference games, which has us at 10-4 or 11-3 to this point.

The last two games are at Denver and home vs. Baltimore. Those games are currently estimated to be lined near pick-em pending future developments. Call it a coin flip...and we're at 11-5 or 12-4 without any sort of lucky breaks falling Houston's way. This franchise is so long overdue for some good breaks that it's not even funny. Houston, if they can stay healthy, will be in position to make their own luck, and to benefit from any good fortune that falls their way.

Does that mean I'm on them Saturday Night vs. New Orleans? Well, a lot of factors go into Preseason handicapping that don't really apply to the regular season. I have to protect information for my clients, so I'm not going to talk specifically about tonight...other than to say that I do have something special for you on the card...and that my clients always get the exact same plays that I'm betting the biggest myself!

You can purchase tonight's top plays right here at the website with your credit card. And, there's still time to sign up for my full season. Remember that we have two more NFL dress rehearsal games on Sunday...and then the college football regular season begins the following Thursday Night.  If you have any questions, call my office at 1-888-536-8880. I probably won't be able to talk to you personally because I'll either be at one of my favorite sportsbooks (usually Caesar's Palace or the Wynn), or I'll be rounding up some sports betting money at the poker tables. One of my representatives will be happy to help you out.

I think Houston has a great chance to win a championship this year. And, I know a little something about winning championships. Stop taking the worst of it with your own Las Vegas bets. Make sure you're GETTING THE BEST OF IT with TONY SALINAS!


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