While the Houston Texans won 11 games in 2018 and have one of the best young quarterbacks in the game today, the AFC South residents largely failed to live up to last season’s billing as one of the top Super Bowl favorites in the AFC last season. Now, as they get set for the upcoming 2019 campaign, Houston seemingly has as many question marks as answers despite having plenty of talent on both sides of the ball, starting with Watson and fellow stars, J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney.
Whether the Texans take off this coming season to challenge for the AFC Championship or whether they come up short again of their postseason goals remains to be seen, but there are a bunch of things that NFL betting enthusiasts everywhere need to know about the Houston Texans before they take to the gridiron for the 2019 NFL regular season. Let’s find out what those things are.
Houston Texans 2019 NFL Season Betting Guide
- ATS: 11-5 (W-L) / 7-8-1 (ATS) / 4-4-0 (Home) / 3-4-1 (Away) / 2-3-0 (Grass) / 5-5-1 (Turf)
- O/U: 7-9-0 (W-L) / 3-5-0 (Home) / 4-4-0 (Away) / 2-3-0 (Grass) / 5-6-0 (Turf) / 44.9 (Total)
Houston was impressive in winning 11 games after getting off to a slow, 0-3 start, but they fell twice in their last four regular season games before getting smacked around in their stunning 21-7 home wild card loss to division rival Indianapolis.
The Texans covered the chalk just seven times in 2018 while doing so four times at home and three more times on the road. Houston’s combination of so-so offense and lockdown defense led to them playing Under the O/U total nine times a year ago, including five times at NRG Stadium.
- Total Yards: 362.6 / Rank 15
- Passing Yards: 236.3 / Rank 17
- Rushing Yards: 126.3 /Rank 8
- Points Scored: 25.1 / Rank 11
- Field Goal %: 88.1 / Rank 12
Houston finished the 2018 regular season ranked a solid eighth in rushing, but just 17th in passing as Watson faced constant pressure because of the Texans’ inept offensive line performances while throwing mostly being limited to throwing to one target in superstar wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Houston did still finish 11th in scoring (25.1 ppg), mostly because of Watson’s eye-opening performances, even if he didn’t get the same attention last season as some other young quarterbacks like Baker Mayfield.
To address their needs on the offensive side of the ball, Houston signed veteran tight end Darren Fells (Cleveland) and former Raiders backup quarterback A.J. McCarron in free agency. The Texans drafted Alabama State offensive lineman Tytus Howard with the 23rd overall pick in the draft before adding Northern Illinois offensive tackle Max Scharping in the second round and San Diego State tight end Kahale Warring in the third round.
- Total Yards: 343.1 / Rank 12
- Passing Yards: 260.4 / Rank 28
- Rushing Yards: 82.7 /Rank 3
- Points Allowed: 19.8 / Rank 4
- Field Goal %: 88.5 / Rank 21
Defensively, the Texans were expected to be elite last season, but never quite reached that plateau despite ranking 12t in total offense, third against the run and fourth in points allowed (19.8 ppg). You see, opponents had their way when throwing the ball against the Texans as the AFC South resident finished an awful 28th against the pass despite having a pair of elite pass rushers in Watt and Clowney.
To address their offseason needs on the defensive side of the ball, which mostly are in the secondary, the Texans signed former Jaguars safety Tashaun Gipson, former Broncos cornerback Bradley Roby and former Browns cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun while drafting Kentucky cornerback Lonnie Johnson with the 22nd pick of the second round.
- Touchdowns: DeAndre Hopkins (11)
- Rushing: Lamar Miller (973)
- Passing: Deshaun Watson (4165)
- Receiving: DeAndre Hopkins (1572)
- Sacks: J.J. Watt (16)
- Interceptions: Andre Hal (3)
Despite their offensive line woes, Houston got 973 rushing yards from veteran running back Lamar Miller in 14 games while Watson added another 551 rushing yards while mostly avoiding severe pressure. Superstar wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins had a fantastic season by hauling in 11 TD passes and 1,572 receiving yards despite facing constant double teams all season long.
When it came to the passing attack, Deshaun Watson had a stellar season by completing a blistering 68.3 percent of his passes while throwing 26 touchdowns and just nine interceptions. The problem for the Texans was the fact that they never quite found another pass-catcher to take pressure off of Hopkins with Will Fuller being Houston’s second-leading receiver with just 503 yards.
Pro Bowl defensive end J.J. Watt managed to record a team-high 16 sacks while playing in all 16 games while Jadeveon Clowney added a decent nine sacks. Safeties Andre Hal and Justin Reid both recorded a team-high three interceptions in their fifth and first years respectively.
While I absolutely love Deshaun Watson and several other Texans like Lamar Miller, J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney, I feel completely the opposite about head coach Bill O’Brien and I believe we could be in the final year of his era if the Texans don’t make an extended playoff run this season. Having said that, I’m not sure if the Texans addressed their offensive line or wide receiver problems well enough this offseason and that’s a sign the front office is clueless.
In addition to six super difficult matchups against their AFC South division rivals, Houston also non-division road games against New Orleans, the L.A. Chargers, Kansas City and Baltimore, not to mention, non-division home dates against Carolina, Atlanta and New England.
Personally, I believe Bill O’Brien is holding this team backwards with some mediocre coaching and I’m not sure if the Texans will ever reach their full potential under the former Patriots offensive coordinator and Penn State head coach. Houston could finish around 8-8 or with as many as 10 wins, depending on the kind of protection Watson gets and whether or not the Texans have improved their pass defense. I’m going to say that 2019 will be the last year of the Bill O’Brien era and that Houston should give Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley a blank check to become their new head coach in 2020.