Jacksonville Jaguars (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. Houston Texans (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
NFL Week 1
Date/Time: Sunday, September 10th, 1:00pm
Where: NRG Stadium - Houston, TX
by Bob, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: JAX +4.5 / HOU -4.5
Over/Under Total: 39.5
In week one there is an AFC South divisional showdown right off the rip when the Jacksonville Jaguars head into NRG Stadium to take on the Houston Texans. Houston was a playoff team a year ago and hope to get back to the postseason while Jacksonville is struggling year after year just trying to become relevant again. To start 2017 1-0 against a division rival is always a great boost that can help a team down the stretch that is fighting for a playoff spot. These two teams play twice a season and the Houston Texans have won five straight. A win for the Jags would be a great boost for their franchise to start this year. For a week or so the question at hand was whether or not this game would be played in Houston due to the devastating floods. As of Tuesday it was reported the game would take place in NRG Stadium as planned. Regardless, we here send our best to everyone in the area of the floods.
At this time, the line has Houston as a 4.5 point favorite over the Jaguars and the total points are set at a pretty low 39.5 combined points. As of Wednesday morning, 66% of the action is on Houston to get the cover at home. As for the over/under, the betting is about even with 52% liking the over and 48% liking the under. In the last five games that Houston all won straight up, they have a record of 3-2 against the spread. This shows that the Jacksonville Jaguars can stay competitive, they just cannot finish the job in the fourth quarter and get the wins against the Texans.
It appears that the Houston Texans will be starting quarterback Tom Savage over rookie sensation, Deshaun Watson. Many of the Texans fans are excited to see what Watson can do but it will have to wait to see how things pan out with Savage under center. Last season, Houston finished with a record of 9-7, won the AFC South Division, and made it to the Divisional Round of the postseason before being defeated by the eventual Super Bowl Champion Patriots. Many however believe the playoff run was pure luck for Houston. The division was weak and in the Wild Card round of the playoffs they played an Oakland Raiders team who was without starting quarterback, Derek Carr. If Carr had played I feel Houston would have exited the playoffs after that one game. However, it appears that the AFC South is still a weak division. The Titans are on the rise, the Colts seem to be a mess, and Jacksonville is Jacksonville. This could again be a division that the winner only needs nine wins or so.
To get this win over Jacksonville, Houston just needs to play the stout defense they have always played. Defense was much of the reason for the success they had in 2016. Houston will want to force the Jaguars into three and outs and control the ball on offense. This could be a very boring game that ends up with a 17-10 type score…and that is exactly what Houston wants. Jacksonville is planning on Leonard Fournette carry the load to take some pressure off of Blake Bortles…If Houston can stop Fournette, then it could be a long day for the Jacksonville offense.
Jacksonville was supposed to make strides in 2016 and begin to improve as an organization yet they went 3-13 and again looked bad…really bad. There are those that are beginning to think it is time for Jacksonville to move on to a new quarterback and that Bortles is no longer the answer. If 2017 is anything like the last two seasons were for Jacksonville, then I can see the front office moving in a new direction. With that said, the more important issue is this game at Houston, not the entire season. Jacksonville must get some offense going in order to stay in this game and have a chance. I do not trust Houston to win a shootout against anyone, so therefore, if the Jaguars can get this game into the 20s I like their chances not only to cover the 4.5 but to get their first win over Houston since 2014.
This may be a very gutsy pick, but for some reason, I like the Jaguars to win this game. I feel a huge QB controversy on the horizon in Houston and that will become even more of a debate after Houston loses this game. I think the Jaguars pull a 23-16 upset this Sunday in Houston.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: TAKE THE JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS +4.5. Bet your Jags/Texans pick using your credit card at an online bookie where it WILL work for deposits and where you’ll receive a generous 100% signup bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $250! (Example: Deposit $250 and they’ll give you an extra $250 FREE!) Find this great offer at Bovada Sportsbook.