Lavishly gifted with every player he’d ever ask or want from the offseason and guided by one of the best coaches in the NFL, Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler should not have any more excuses for underperforming in upcoming season, as he’s done too many times over the past several seasons. In Week 1 of the 2016 season, Cutler and Bears will be tested on the road against a Houston Texans team that is equally armed with some of the best offseason upgrades. Which of these two teams with high postseason hopes will show the will to succeed right from the onset of the season? Follow us as we take you through a brief sportsbooks betting preview of this clash, complete with free NFL Week 1 picks.
Bears At Texans 2016 Week 1 NFL Winning Predictions
Where: NRG Stadium, Houston
When: Sunday, September 11, 1:00 PM ET
NFL Lines: Chicago (+4), Houston (-4), OVER/UNDER 44
Why Bet on Chicago
So much can be said about Chicago Bears’ excellent offseason investments in the offense and the above-average personnel added to improve the defense, but much of the Bears’ success in this game will largely depend on Cutler. When on song, Cutler can be very dangerous, especially in the aerial game, and should he be able to take advantage of talents like Kevin White in this game, Chicago will be tough to beat. Meanwhile, having defensive maestro and Houston head coach John Fox patrolling the touchline and giving instructions to the defense should be able to keep the Bears in check, or at least contained-enough against the not-so-explosive Houston offense. Combine that with the motivation the Bears will have after starting the 2015 season on a splendid 5-0 run, the visitors shouldn’t be overlooked in this match that has seen the public euphoria exaggerate the value of Houston’s offseason.
Why Bet on Houston
Fresh off a AFC South-winning 9-7 year and arguably the most enterprising offseason in the NFL this season, the Texans have their sights set on a big year, one better than their Wild Card elimination in last season’s playoffs. To do so, the Texans will be looking up to their prized offseason Brock Osweiler for guidance, alongside the likes of free agent RB Lamar Miller and rookie draftee WR Will Fuller for a new source of inspiration. On paper, Houston’s offense should be better with these guys, while the defense should still be able to play up to its disruptive strength, whether or not defensive star J.J. Watt is available to start in Week 1. Throw in the extra-motivation of Houston being undefeated in its history against Chicago (3-0 SU, 3-0 ATS), you get strong Bill O’Brien-led coached that should be able to take care of business at home in this Week 1 clash.
Expert NFL Predictions and Picks
If you watched him in Denver, you’d agree with me that Osweiler was more of a game-manager than a let’s-give-them-a-beatdown quarterback, and if he continues to play that conservative game, it could easily play into Chicago’s hands, as Cutler and the Bears can be very explosive in the offense. And with Watt likely to miss this game, or not fully fit to hound Cutler in a maximum way, the Texans could be in for a rude shock here. So while I’m in full agreement that Houston (with its improved offense) sounds like the smart pick here, I wouldn’t be surprised if Chicago takes advantage of the Watt issue to deliver an upset.