Houston Texans (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. San Diego Chargers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
NFL Week 1
Date and Time: MNF, September 9th, 2014, 10:20 pm EST
Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, Calif.
by Badger, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Hou -3/SD +3
Over/Under Total: 44
The final game in the NFLs regular season kickoff weekend should be as
good as the first one, when the Houston Texans travel to
the West Coast to take on the San Diego Chargers in Qualcomm Stadium in
game two of ESPNs Monday Night Football doubleheader.
The Texans shot out of the gates last season and were easily the best team in football in September and October, but the end of the season finished the same for the Texans with an AFC playoff loss, and getting over that late-season hump is the goal for the Texans in 2013.
What the Texans can expect from San Diego in the opener is anybodys guess, mainly because they are the uber-inconsistant Chargers, but also because they bring in a new head coach and staff in Mike McCoy. McCoy is best known for making Tim Tebow a winning NFL quarterback, so the folks in San Diego are excited to see what he can turn Philip Rivers into this season.
Surprisingly, the betting odds for week ones final game have been steady for months, opening with Houston as 3-point favorites on the road. Youll still find the number sitting right at minus -3 at most online sportsbooks, but there are a few 3.5s creeping up as more public money comes in on the Texans.
The over/under total opened as high as 47 at a few offshore sportsbooks, but its fallen steadily since its release in the summer and its down to 44 or 44.5 at most of the books currently.
Houston is one of the few offenses in the NFL that run the ball no matter what, and when you have a power back like Arian Foster why wouldnt you run it. The big question for the Texans this year is the health of Foster, who sat out the entire preseason with a bad back. Without Foster, QB Matt Schaub and the Texans offense just might not be dynamic enough to take advantage of a young Chargers defense that has issues in the secondary.
What the Chargers offense will look like this season is anybodys guess, because when youre talking about an offensive coach like McCoy you never know what hell do. McCoy is a master at adapting his scheme to his talent, so with Rivers and the Chargers already having issues at wideout (Danario Alexander already out for year, Malcom Floyd questionable) it will be interesting to see if the Chargers rely on running the ball more then they ever have during Rivers tenure as the QB. San Diego will have to find a way to block J.J. Watt, but overall the Texans defense should be able to limit the Chargers in the opener.
Houston has a history of playing well for bettors in close games (8-0 ATS in L8 with a point spread from -3 to +3), and early in the year (6-1 ATS in L7 in Sept.), but they are only a meager 1-5 ATS on Monday Night Football. San Diego is just 5-11 ATS in their last 16 home games, but they do seem to play the AFC South strong with a 19-4 SU and 20-3 ATS record against the teams in that division over the years.
Badger’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I’m not real thrilled with what the Chargers did (or didn’t do!) in the offseason. I hate laying -3 on the road but in this case, I’m going to as I figured the opening line on this game would be around 6.