Guessing the Lines on the Texans Remaining Games in 2018

The Triple Threat
November 06, 2018 - 12:00 pm

It’s really amazing how the perception of a team, of a season, can change on one swing of the leg. Prior to the Texans’ road win over the Broncos this past weekend, I asked Twitter (which, of course, is the bastion of truth and rational thinking) the following poll question — 

So 59 percent of people voting (presumably most of them being Texan fans) thought that this was still a train on its normal path to O’Brien-ville, where 9-7 lives, man! 41 percent were more optimistic. 

Now, fast forward to Tuesday morning. We’ve had 48 hours to digest the magnitude of Brandon McManus’ 51 yard missed field goal, the gifts from yet another opposing head coach (add Vance Joseph to the fruit basket gift list!), and just where eactly this team might be headed after the bye week.

So, I asked the same question again — 11-5 or 9-7? Pick one. (Not 10-6, not 12-4, not 8-8. I did this for a reason!) Here is how that poll went...

One game that, frankly, the Texans may not have deserved to win, but a solid road win nonetheless, has flipped the script on the perception of, and maybe even the enthusiasm for, this season. So let’s examine which one is a better prognostication — 11-5 or 9-7? When I do this, I like to look at it through the Vegas prism the BEST prism for anything in life) — in other words, in how many games will the Texans be favored, and in how many will they be underdogs?

So let’s do a quick run through, and I’ll try to predict the lines on each of these games, as of the perception here in Week 10:


WEEK 11: at WASHINGTON, Sun 11/18, Noon


Vegas has the Redskins as a three-point underdog to the Bucs in Tampa Bay, which means they are essentially equal teams on a neutral field. I’d like to think the Texans are better than the Bucs, and therefore, better than the Redskins. Home field gives the Skins a slight betting edge. 


WEEK 12: vs TENNESSEE, Mon 11/26, 7:15 p.m.


Good spot for the Texans here, with the Titans coming off of New England and Indianapolis the previous two weeks, and the Texans with revenge on their minds after Week 2 this season. 


WEEK 13: vs CLEVELAND, Sun 12/2, Noon


This line was probably 3 or 4 points shorter a few weeks ago, before Cleveland imploded. The Texans defense against an interim head coach and a rookie QB, good recipe for victory. Sandwiched in between two division games is a bit concerning, but it helps that the Texans will be snug in the middle of a three-game homestand. 


WEEK 14: vs INDIANAPOLIS, Sun 12/9, Noon


Maybe the most fun game on the schedule the rest of the season. Colts have three winnable home games (JAC, TEN MIA) and a road trip to Jacksonville before this game. Four division games in five weeks for the Colts is a dynamic that benefits the Texans here. That’s taxing. 


WEEK 15: at NY JETS, Sat 12/15, 3:30 p.m.


There’s a good chance this line will be more than a field goal by then, but for now, this feels like a good line. Weather and a short week as the road team are the concerns here. 


WEEK 16: at PHILADELPHIA, Sun 12/23, Noon


The Eagles schedule between now and then has four division games (three at home) and road trips to the two best teams in the NFC (NOLA, LAR). Here’s the order — vs DAL, @ NOLA, vs NYG, vs WAS, @ DAL, @ LAR. The Texans over that same time will have a bye, and then play @ WAS, vs TEN, vs CLV, vs IND, and @ NYJ. Which team will be more spent? Fair question. A counterpoint to that, the Eagles, who are 4-4 right now, might be fighting for their playoff lives in this matchup. Should be fun. 


WEEK 17: vs JACKSONVILLE, Sun 12/30, Noon


It’s Week 17, so who the hell knows what the motivation will be for each of these teams. The Jags are one loss away from falling into the abyss. (They may already be in the abyss, full disclosure.) Who knows, if the Texans are embedded into a certain seed already, we could see Brandon Weeden here! (I know I just jinxed EVERYTHING by typing that, but I must analyze, people!)


So there you go. If you’re in the 11-5 camp, just know that the Texans should be 5-2, if they handle their business and stay relatively healthy. You 9-7 people…. well, I get the skepticism. Maybe this season, 9-7 truly ceases being the bar!

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