Jaguars vs. Texans Total Pick
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, Houston is favored at home in this game, as the Texans are getting odds of -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, and the two have hit the over in four of their last five encounters. Today’s game will be held from NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas and air live on CBS.
The Jaguars are coming off a 2016 season that saw them go just 3-13 overall while managing a 10-6 record with the over, but that was due to a defense that allowed 25 points per game. The Jags had a lot of young talent on the defense last year and it’s uncertain if they will show improvement this season. 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. Still, the team is sticking with their former first-round pick and hoping rookie running back Leonard Fournette can be what they need in the backfield. The Jags rushed for only 1,631 yards last season as a team.
The Texans are coming off a 9-7 record in 2016 that saw them win the AFC South. The Texans were 10-8 with the under last season as their offense struggled to an average of just 17.4 points per game. Tom Savage took over the starting quarterback role late last season and now steps into this season as the man, but rookie Deshaun Watson could be a factor at some point this year. 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 last season. He should be heavily amped up for this game after raising over $20 million for Houston as part of Hurricane Harvey relief. Watt will receive a massive ovation before the game.
I expect the Houston defense to be dominant in this game. The Texans as a team should be able to ride a massive wave of momentum of playing in front of the Houston crowd after the natural disaster. The defense, especially, which is led by Watt. I don’t know that Houston’s offense has the talent to light up Jacksonville, but it won’t need to do much today anyway. I expect this game to be low scoring behind Houston’s defense and the Texans playing ball-control on offense.
NFL WEEK 1 PREDICTION: JAGUARS/TEXANS UNDER 39.5