Kyle goes through the season bets you will want to lock in prior to kickoff Thursday, and some interesting pro Texans bets for Week 1 against the Kansas City Chiefs
Texans Bets- Season Bets, and Week 1 Bets
Thanks to everyone who sent feedback on last week's column/podcast (both positive and constructive!). It seems like there's enough enthusiasm to continue with this format. We are going to add one weekly feature, by request, for Patreon supporters only: the Patreon Parlay. For current Tier 3 Patreon supporters of Texans Unfiltered, this will drop right into your Patreon inbox. For those of you who want access to this juicy nugget and/or want to support the fastest growing regional NFL podcast in the US and be part of it's insider community, you can join here: https://www.patreon.com/TexansUnfiltered.
If you are joining mid-stream, the idea for this is simple: every week we're going to post a column and podcast with a few of the best pro-Texans bets I can find after scouring all the mainstream sportsbooks. For those of you curious about my bona fides to make bet recommendations...I don't really have any other than I've likely spent a collective three years of my life placing, taking, and sometimes winning sports bets. (I introduce myself more properly in the first installment of Texans Bets if you're interested.)
This week I'll cover both Season Team Futures (betting on the results of the entire season) as well as the Week 1 matchup at the Kansas City Chiefs. So, with the excitement of opening day in the air, here we go!
Season Team Futures
We covered season player props last week, so now we examine the season team bets. There's a lot of temptation here, given how underrated the Texans are by Vegas (a trend that continues after several years). Looking at the last three years, about 60% of the Texans team "overs" have hit, meaning Vegas has been under-valuing Houston's projected season performance quite a bit (the books are looking to balance bets on over/unders to ~50/50 to even out their payouts on either side...they make money by charging a small fee on every bet called the "vig.")
That doesn't make every season bet a no-brainer, however. Consider the odds for Houston to win the AFC South at +325 ($100 bet wins $325 plus the $100 wager back). On its face, this looks exciting; even trying to keep our fandom in check, many of us think the Texans have a legitimate chance to take the AFC South with stability on the O-line, upgraded receivers for Watson, and little obvious back-slide on defence. BUT...if you take a closer look at that +325 line, it implies a 23.5% probability of winning (math!). If the probability of winning the division was completely random, the Texans would have a 25% chance of winning. However, this is a team that most people have finishing 3rd in the division, so the payout would probably need to be at least +500 (16.7% probability) to make it interesting enough to bet given the relatively low likelihood (at least according to Vegas) that they could finish ahead of both the Titans and the Colts. So, I'm not saying the Texans won't take the AFC South, but I don't think +325 is a juicy enough line to jump at the bet. Instead, I recommend:
Texans Over 7.5 wins (-120) Looking at the schedule, there are five games that Houston should be able to win: Jax (x2), Cin, Pit, GB (@ Hou). If you think Houston can split the series with Ind and Ten like they have the past two years, that adds another 2 games, leaving just one more win to hit the over. Between Min or NE at Hou, or the away games vs Chi, Cle, or Det, that seems entirely doable. Bet: $100 returns $183.30 (win $83.30 plus original $100 bet back)
Week 1 Matchup at Kansas City Chiefs
Houston +9 (-110) parlayed with Under 54.5 (-110) This bet says that the Texans can either win outright or lose by as many as 8 points AND that the scoring totals for both teams combined will be 54 points or fewer. On the Texans part of the bet, the line started at a whopping +10.5, which was just ridiculous given lines that big are usually reserved for the likes of the Dolphins against top teams. We all know the Chiefs are good (Duh!), but +10.5 is some serious disrespect. Bettors obviously felt the same way, because the line has come down 1.5 points to +9. But even there I think it's a good value (I might start to wince at +6.5). On the under, my thinking is pretty basic: a review of Thursday night games in general and especially Thursday night season openers over the past several years suggests anemic scoring, hence the under. Bet: $25 returns $90
Houston moneyline +350 I'm going to bet the above parlay AND bet the Texans to win outright (which is what betting the moneyline means). You might accuse me of hedging (and I am, at least partially). But, recall that last October the Texans marched up to KC and beat the Chiefs 31-24. Factor in the weirdness of this offseason with the coronavirus pandemic, no pre-season games, and a really attractive +350 line and I say screw it...Texans have a really good chance of starting the season 1-0, so you might as well profit. Bet: $25 returns $112.50