Sometimes as I lay awake at night, waiting for the sleep paralysis demons to come get me, I’ll think about how sudden the change came for the Houston Texans. For years, we’ve been slogging through some of the worst football ever to be put on television. The change was supposed to be slow, plodding, and, as with everything we’ve come to expect from the Texans, conservative.
So to see the expectations from the wider football world for the Texans go from “they might get six wins but no way they smell the playoffs” to “yeah, they could get to the playoffs, but...” in the span of, essentially, a few games, is enough to cause whiplash in even the stoutest of necks. Especially for a fanbase that isn’t used to having good things happen to their team.
And nowhere is that change more clear than in these opening odds posts. Consider previously that the Texans being three point underdogs at home would’ve been the closest thing to optimism we could expect in a given season. Now, the bigger the spread, the less likely it is to be against the Texans.
This week is not that week, though. The Texans are again an underdog, but only barely, just one point, this time at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
This game could go a long way toward determining the fate of the AFC South and whether the Texans can complete the worst to first turnaround or if they’ll need one more year to get to the promised land.
Here are the opening lines for the Texans, from DraftKings Sportsbook.
Opening Odds for Week 12
FAVORED: Jacksonville Jaguars (-1)
UNDERDOG: Houston Texans (+1)
Note: For those of you who aren’t aware of the meaning, the points are a handicap system. So in this case, imagine the game and before the kickoff even happens, someone has spotted the Texans one point.
So basically a point line, in this case, is giving the Texans a 1-0 head start. And the Texans have to win by at least one point to beat the spread. If they beat them by less than one point, the Texans win the bet. Since the spread is a whole number, if the Texans lose by one point in the game, the bet would end with a push (or draw).
Note: This one is pretty straightforward. You decide whether you think the total combined score will be more or less than 45 points.
Houston Texans (+100)
Arizona Cardinals (-120)
Note: This one is a little more complicated. The best way to imagine it is if you have $100 to bet initially. If you bet your $100 on the Texans and they win the game, you get $200 (your initial $100, plus the $100 from the win). If you take the Jaguars moneyline, you have to bet $120 to win $100 for a total of $220 ($120 initial bet, plus the $100 you get from the win).
For entertainment purposes only. Please do not take financial advice from a football blog.