Houston Texans NFL Gambling Odds & 2015 Handicapping Preview

2015 Houston Predictions

The 2014 Houston Texans were a very quiet 9-7 team. A winning season and a +65 point differential might suggest that this team isn’t far off from returning to their 2011 and 2012 form when they won the AFC South back to back years, going 22-10 over that stretch.

NFL Handicapping Insight

***2015 BONUSES***
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NFL Futures

Houston Texans
2014 record: 9-7
Texans Odds to win 2015 AFC Conference: 20/1
Texans Odds to win 2015 Super Bowl: 50/1

The Texans have fallen out of the race in the South with the Colts becoming a powerhouse, but with two awful teams in the basement of the division, Houston remains the only team that can push Indy for the top spot.

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What must be mentioned when speaking of the Texans’ winning record a season ago is that they played in arguably the easiest division in the AFC, with two of the NFL’s worst teams, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans.

Last year’s Texans racked up seven of their nine wins against the Titans(2), Jaguars(2), Raiders, Redskins, and Browns. Not one of those teams had a winning record. A week 16 victory over the Ravens stands as really the only marquee win that Houston recorded last season.

It will definitely be a bit weird to see the Texans without longtime franchise wide receiver Andre Johnson, but the offense shouldn’t dip too severely as they completely overhauled their receiver core. Cecil Shorts III and Nate Washington both joined the team via free agency, and drafted Jaelen Strong in the third round. DeAndre Hopkins will likely be the number one target in this offense, rounding out a very solid group of receivers.

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QB is a massive question mark at this point, which is likely why the Texans have gone so receiver heavy in the offseason, in an effort to provide as many options as possible for whoever is taking snaps. Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer will battle it out for the role of number one QB and neither is really a game breaker. Hoyer showed some flashes of strong play last year with Cleveland, but at other times was absolutely terrible, and lost his job to Johnny Manziel, who was just as bad, if not worse.

Running back, no surprises here, it’ll be Arian Foster as long as he’s actually healthy. The 28-year old was very solid last year, averaging nearly 100 yards on the ground per game, while finding the endzone eight times in 13 games. Injuries have been a bit of an issue however, as Foster has played just 21 games in his last two seasons.

Where this team will undoubtedly stand out is on defense. With the departure of Andre Johnson, the Texans truly are J.J. Watt’s teams (if they weren’t already). Watt is the face of this franchise and with good reason; the pro bowl defensive end did absolutely everything for Houston last year and he’s got some support coming this year. Watt recorded 20.5 sacks, a pick six, four forced fumbles and a safety…Oh and he also caught three TD passes on offense.

Watt will be joined by veteran Vince Wilfork who came over from New England. A healthy Jadaveon Clowney at linebacker would also be a huge boost to this defense. Clowney is recovering from microfracture surgery on his knee, but the word out of Texans camp is that he looks great in his rehab.

The secondary got a boost as well with the addition of Rahim Moore to a group that already Johnathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson. Top to bottom this defense is very well rounded and with Watt, Wilfork and a healthy Clowney, they will be a nightmare for opposing QB’s.

Texans Betting Outlook:

The Texans have a very realistic shot at 10 wins and a potential wildcard spot this season. QB is a huge question mark as mentioned, but with the defense this team can field, they’re going to force their share of turnovers and give the offense a lot of good field position. If possible, the Texans’ schedule could be easier than it was a year ago when they pounded a bunch of last place teams.

Houston gets their usual four games against Tennessee and Jacksonville, but also have the Jets, and the fairly weak NFC South as their crossover (Saints, Panthers, Falcons, Bucs).

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If you figure three of their four NFC games are wins, that puts the team at eight wins already and they would just need to pull off wins against two of the following: Dolphins, Chiefs, Bills, Bengals and get a season split with the Colts, for a 10 win season. Last year there was just one team with 10 wins or more that didn’t make the post season (Philadelphia).

Houston 2015 Prediction

10 wins is manageable, this defense will keep them in plenty of games and whoever is taking snaps has a pretty nice selection of receivers to spread the ball around to.

I don’t buy into the idea of defense wins championships, but I do believe that a good enough defense can put you in position to win games, though at some point your offense has to win you football games.

If this team is healthy and clicking on defense come playoff time, they’re going to be a wildcard team that nobody wants to play. I’d have no qualms with putting some money on this team to make the post season and possibly win a first round game.

The 2015 NFL futures betting season is right around the corner! If you like to bet on the NFL, you are in the best possible place for online betting. has NFL odds up on a ton of futures, and you will also find NFL lines up for early games as well.

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By Matt Durnan

A (self-proclaimed) fantasy sports guru since 2004 and a journalist since 2007. He has been offering unsolicited sports gambling advice to his circle of friends for years and has now put himself at the mercy of online readers everywhere. "It's not whether you win or lose, it's how much fun you have"... His hockey coach told him that when he was 7. His team lost every game that year.