Jaguars vs. Texans Prediction
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, Houston is favored at home in this game, as the Texans are getting odds of -5.5 points against the Jaguars. The over/under total for the contest has been set at 39.5 points. Houston has won its last six meetings with Jacksonville, going 4-2 against the spread in those six wins. Sunday’s game will be held from NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas and air live on CBS.
Houston will enter this game with a lot of emotion as the town continues to recover from Hurricane Harvey. Their Texans are coming off a 9-7 record in 2016 that saw them win the AFC South despite injury issues and quarterback problems in 2016. Houston averaged just 17.4 points per game last season as it struggled with Brock Osweiler under center and that ultimately led them to a 7-10-1 record against the spread. He is long gone and Tom Savage is now the starter after limited time a year ago. Rookie Deshaun Watson waiting in the wings as well after leading Clemson to a national title in 2016. Houston still has a steady back in Lamar Miller, who had 1,073 yards a year ago. They also have receiver DeAndre Hopkins who put up 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015. Houston’s defense gave up just 20.5 points per game last season despite the loss of J.J. Watt for most of the year. Watt appeared in just three games, but his absence led to the development of others like Jadeveon Clowney, who had six sacks and 52 tackles in 2016.
The Jaguars are coming off a really disappointing 2016 in which they were 3-13 despite buzz of a potential division title to start the season. The Jags managed to go 8-8 against the spread, but that was no thanks to a defense that allowed 25 points per game. Jacksonville is hoping Dante Fowler Jr. can improve that unit after missing his rookie season with a knee injury. However, he is questionable this week with a knee injury as well. The Jacksonville offense put up less than 20 points per game in 2016 as Blake Bortles took a step backwards. He threw 16 interceptions with 3,905 yards and 23 touchdowns while also fumbling twice in 2016. The team opened a QB competition to start camp, but he beat out Chad Henne and will be the starter. Jacksonville is hoping rookie Leonard Fournette can be what they need in the backfield. The Jags rushed for only 1,631 yards last season as a team.
Jacksonville has some talent on both sides of the ball, but the Jaguars can’t seem to get the puzzle pieces to fit right. They step into a really tough situation on Sunday, facing the Texans who will be welcomed like heroes following the hurricane. Watt has helped raise over $20 million for the city and is returning after nearly a year off. I expect a monster game from him and the defense while the offense will make enough plays to cover against Jacksonville.
NFL WEEK 1 PREDICTION: HOUSTON TEXANS -5.5