Houston Texans Are a Championship Threat
Tony Salinas: Houston Texans Are a Championship Threat
I remember talking about this last year. If anything, I believe even more strongly NOW that the Houston Texans are a true AFC and NFL Championship threat as a relatively healthy roster heads into a big TV game Sunday afternoon against the Denver Broncos.
Houston was dominating teams last season before suffering some very unfortunate injuries. They entered the playoffs with a third string quarterback. Had Matt Schaub been healthy, I personally think the Texans would have reached the Super Bowl. New England was very overrated (they were lucky to beat Baltimore and then couldn't beat the Wildcard NY Giants). Let me put it this way. There were some good teams in the AFC last year...but nobody was clearly better than Houston.
I still feel that way now. It's true that they've had an easy schedule so far. You can't ask for a cushier start to the season than playing Miami and Jacksonville on back to back weeks. Instead of looking at the victories, let's look at the Vegas spread. That's supposed to be an equalizer.
Houston (-13) beat Miami 30-10, covering the number by a TD while coasting through the whole second half. Miami may not end up being very good this year. But, the Dolphins did win their next game 35-13 over Oakland...which makes Houston's win look more impressive.
Houston (-7) beat Jacksonville 27-7, covering the number by two touchdowns as a road favorite. This is a Jacksonville team that should have beaten Minnesota on the road the week before...and who was tabbed by a few pundits as the upset of the week over the Texans last Sunday.
That's 57-17 on the scoreboard in two games, with a +40 margin that's doubled the combined Vegas spread of twenty.
The season basically starts "for real" Sunday for the Texans when they visit Denver. They're facing a great quarterback in Peyton Manning. And, they're playing a road game at altitude the week after playing on the road on the East Coast. This will be a true test. I'm not going to tell you here in a web article whether or not the Texans qualified as a Best Bet for me today. That's for my paying customers to find out. They only get the exact same games that I'm betting the biggest myself. I respect Manning as a guy who gets the money...and that Denver home field. Maybe I'm passing the game and looking elsewhere for value. (I will tell you...among the games I have my eye on...Tampa Bay/Dallas, Cincinnati/Washington, Philadelphia/Arizona, Atlanta/San Diego, and Pittsburgh/Oakland).
In terms of outlining the full season though...I can assure you I'll be watching that Houston/Denver game very closely on the big screen sportsbook TV's here in Vegas. Both teams are on a very short list of probable AFC champions.
HOUSTON: in the driver's seat to me if they can stay healthy
DENVER: a chance to gel in the second half of the season and really come on strong under Manning
NEW ENGLAND: continually overrated in terms of their ability to beat good teams
BALTIMORE: still unproven when it comes to big games, though this new offense looks like it will help them blow out bad ones.
PITTSBURGH: always a threat, but they're not a team that scares me at the moment from what I've seen on the TV screens. They lost by 12 points in Denver.
That's probably it, five real threats in the AFC. And, two of them play each other in the afternoon, before two of the others play each other in prime time on NBC. Big day!
You can purchase my biggest plays on this big day right here at this website with your credit card. Again, you only get the plays I'm betting the BIGGEST myself. I'm an action-heavy bettor with my own bankroll, and I couldn't ask clients to deal with that kind of exposure week to week. The cream of the crop. The true HIGH ROLLER games from the only man in the industry who's lived the life of a HIGH ROLLER in the gambling capital of the world for decades.
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