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  • Writer's pictureAvoid the Vig

2023 Houston Texans Season Betting Preview

As part of our 2023 NFL Preseason Preview Series, we look at the current state of each team in an attempt to identify reasons for optimism and causes for concern and, most importantly, what can be exploited in the current betting marketplace.


The biggest reason for optimism in Houston is that former head coach Lovie Smith is gone. Smith was so horrendous. 2022 was Houston’s third straight season with four or fewer wins. Unfortunately, the Texans won in Week 18 to fall to the No. 2 overall draft selection. Houston selected CJ Stroud, who should be a major improvement from Davis Mills. Last season, Mills finished in the bottom of nearly every statistical category despite facing one of the easiest schedules of pass defenses. Whether or not Stroud can produce this year remains a mystery, but Mills certainly wasn’t the answer. Neither was Lovie Smith, who has been replaced by promising first-year coach Demeco Ryans. With a slew of incoming role players, the Texans shouldn’t bottom out this year, which is a major improvement over their previous seasons.


CJ Stroud may prove to be a good quarterback, but asking him to lead a 4-game improvement over last year is asking a lot. Stroud has difficulty maneuvering in and out of the pocket, and Houston’s offensive line isn’t exactly a strength. Although the Texans brought in several starting free agents, none are expected to be explosive or move the needle positively. Demeco Ryans is expected to be a good hire, but his defensive unit is a far cry from what he had in San Francisco. With a below-average defensive unit, a bottom-2 offensive unit in every major advanced statistical ranking, a rookie QB, and a first-year coach, the expectations are too high for this team. Houston never won a game last year by more than one score and only had one win against a team that finished with a winning record.


The Houston Texans have made moves in the right direction this offseason. There is a sincere reason for optimism, but those moves won’t result in success in 2023. Houston is taking the long-term approach in building a team, its horrendous trade for Will Anderson notwithstanding. Texans fans are clamoring for a team to root for, but they will have to wait a little longer. A new cast of starters and coaches will take time to gel, implement, and understand the scheme, which means we need to pivot towards the under. Much of the offseason has featured Houston money, pushing its win total from 5.5 to 6.5. That move is a bridge too far.

Best Bet: HOU Under 6.5 Wins (-130)

(Play to -145)


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