Kyle goes through Week 3 bets you will want to lock in before kickoff as the Houston Texans face the Pittsburgh Steelers for a shot of redemption.
Houston Texans: Week 3 Bets versus Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 2 Recap
Hello, Houston Texans Bettors!
Another week against a top tier NFL team is in the books and another loss for fans and gamblers alike. Our bet last week of the over 51.5 fell short with the Texans-Ravens matchup registering a total of 49 points.
Even if you snagged the line at 49.5, which is where it landed just before kickoff, the over still couldn't quite make it. (It should be noted that both Week 1 and Week 2 over/under lines were just .5 off from the actual scores. Another reminder that the quants in Vegas are great at their jobs.)
Looking to Week 3's Opponent
Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans have a tall task ahead of them against Pittsburgh and they will have to win this game if they hope to avoid going 0-3 for the second time in three seasons.
This week we're going to go hunting for some value (and try our hardest to find you a winner) by diving into the world of alternative spread lines. All online bookies (and most casinos) have a list of alternative spreads if you click on the "other bets" in the grid of the game you're interested in.
There you'll find a grid/list of spreads of all kinds (both adding to and subtracting from the primary spread). As a reminder, the "spread" refers to the points that a team must win by if they're the favorite or the points an underdog can lose by and still win the bet.
So let's begin: the current spread as of Tuesday 9/22 is Houston +3.5, meaning they could win outright or lose by as many as 3 points to win the bet. It's tough to judge Houston and Pittsburgh since Houston has played the top 2 AFC teams so far, and Pittsburgh has played two subpar teams in the New York Giants and Denver Broncos (Denver with Drew Lock healthy may not fall under the subpar category).
Pittsburgh is getting the customary ~3 pt home field advantage here, so Vegas is calling these teams as mostly equals. That said, it may be wise to err on the side of caution and assume that it may be challenging for the Houston Texans to beat +3.5
Here is where we go for an alternate point spread that would pay out less than the primary spread, but may be more likely to hit. At the alternative spread of +8.5, the odds are -210 vs. -110 for the original +3.5 line. So, for example, a $20 bet would return $29.52 rather than the potential $38.18 (both including getting the original $20 bets back).
Ultimately, this comes down to your assessment of the chances Houston will cover the two different lines. -110 (the payout on the +3.5 spread) implies a 52.4% probability (essentially a coin flip), and -210 for +8.5 indicates a 67.7% probability.
If you think that the +3.5 line is probably close to a coin flip but that Houston probably has a 75%+ chance of covering the +8.5; you would want to take the +8.5 line since it is giving you better odds than what you think the actual likelihood is (-210 vs. the -300 that a 75% probability translates to). Bet: Texans alternative +8.5pt spread (-210); $50 returns $73.80.
And listen, we're fans, and we're not going to be happy with the Texans losing by 8 points, so do yourself a favor and bet a little on the Texans to win outright on the moneyline (+165); $10 returns $26.50.
If Houston loses, but only by 8 points or fewer, you're still going to walk away with $63.80 (the $73.80 above minus the moneyline $10 bet). And if they win, you're coming home with $100.30 on $60 worth of bets.
Although, if they lose by nine or more, you're out $60, of course, that's nothing compared to the terrible price of our collective disappointment.