The good folks at the NFL and the betting experts are some of the brightest people around. In particular, the folks at sites like DraftKings and the other betting sites have analytics that make me look like I’m using an abacus. However, we also know that they don’t play the games on paper or on the computer screen. So, when we run down the Houston Texans 2023 schedule, where do we find those seven wins? Where are the experts wrong?
Game One: Houston Texans (+9) at Baltimore Ravens
As of right now, the week one matchup is the only game on Draft Kings with an actual betting line. The Ravens come in with an over/under of 8.5 wins. That makes them a .500 team according to the odds makers. The Texans are sitting at 6.5 wins according to DraftKings.
Prediction: Ravens 28, Texans 20
Game Two: Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans
Again, no line yet, but the Colts were slated with 6.5 wins. I see no way they get there unless they are sitting Anthony Richardson on the bench. Says here that ownership forces their hand and Richardson is not as ready as C.J. Stroud.
Prediction: Texans 31, Colts 14
Game Three: Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars are one of the few teams slated to win ten or more games. It makes perfect sense. Trevor Lawrence is on the come and they get Calvin Ridley to add to an already impressive receiving core. This one doesn’t look good.
Prediction: Jaguars 34, Texans 21
Game Four: Pittsburgh Steelers at Houston Texans
The Steelers are like everyone else in the AFC North. They are supposed to be good, but no one quite knows for sure. They are putting their eggs in the Kenny Pickett. Who is better between Pickett and Stroud?
Prediction: Steelers 24, Texans 21
Game Five: Houston Texans at Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons are sitting on 7.5 wins according to Draft Kings. I’m squinting pretty hard and I just can’t see it. I guess they think Desmond Ridder is going to be good. I think they’re barking up the wrong tree.
Prediction: Texans 28, Falcons 20
Game Six: New Orleans Saints at Houston Texans
Derek Carr isn’t great but he easily leads the Saints to a divisional championship in the worst division in football. They are at 9.5 wins, but that could be more considering they play six games in that division. They motorboat the Texans in this one. This prediction also preserves peace in my home, so I might not be clearheaded here.
Prediction: Saints 35, Texans 20
Game Seven: Houston Texans at Carolina Panthers
This is a nice matchup between Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud. It’s also a matchup between two coaching staffs that should make their team better. The Panthers will be favored (7.5 wins) but it really should be a pick em’ game.
Prediction: Panthers 28, Texans 27
Game Eight: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Houston Texans
Vegas has the Bucs winning 6.5 games. Who in the hell are they trying to kid? The Bucs are deep into the Caleb Williams sweepstakes by Week Nine. This could be the biggest Texans blowout of the season.
Prediction: Texans 38, Buccaneers 14
Game Nine: Houston Texans at Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals have been to the AFC Championship in back to back seasons. The Texans have never been there. The Bengals have always been a much better second half team. This was a bad time to catch them.
Prediction: Bengals 35, Texans 20
Game Ten: Arizona Cardinals at Houston Texans
The Cardinals are tied for projected wins (5.5). This one is a mixed bag. The Cardinals want to be bad. They also want the Texans to be bad. Selective tanking is a tight rope to walk. Habits die hard and Jonathan Gannon fails to buckle up.
Prediction: Texans 38, Cardinals 21
Game Eleven: Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans
Let’s assume the Jaguars are running away with the division. At this point they are playing for playoff positioning. Considering our record against the Glitter Kitties, they won’t take this one lightly.
Prediction: Jaguars 31, Texans 17
Game Twelve: Denver Broncos at Houston Texans
Vegas has the Broncos winning 8.5 games. This is quite the jump for a team that sucked last year and didn’t have a ton of draft capital. They seem to think a lot of Sean Payton because the Texans were roughly even with the Broncos and did a lot more in free agency and the draft.
Prediction: Texans 24, Broncos 21
Game Thirteen: Houston Texans at New York Jets
Vegas has the Jets winning 9.5 games. I have no idea and I doubt they do either. The Jets also brought in Brett Favre and they finished just 9-7 and he had one of his worst seasons as a pro. Let’s assume the Rodgers effect is underwhelming. They are still better than the Texans.
Prediction: Jets 24, Texans 17
Game Fourteen: Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans
The Will Levis era is well underway and there isn’t enough mayonnaise in the world that can stop a good tank when it’s running downhill. For the first time in four seasons the Texans are trying to win games. By this time, the Titans realize they backed the wrong horse again. This one eats bananas with the peel on.
Prediction: Texans 38, Titans 21
Game Fifteen: Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans
The Dave Mulagheta bowl is alive and well in Houston. Vegas has the Browns winning 9.5 games. This is a sucker bet as the Steelers, Ravens, and Bengals are all slated to be better. Let’s assume the best and say they finish 3-3 in the division. They have to hope there are seven other wins out there. If this isn’t one of them they are in serious trouble.
Prediction: Browns 28, Texans 24
Game Sixteen: Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans
The Titans wear their throwback Oiler jerseys for this one. No one in Nashville cares and Houston fans are bemused. Will Levis is pegged with empty mayonnaise bottles as the Titans slink out of town following another drubbing.
Prediction: Texans 45, Titans 10
Game Seventeen: Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts
This is simple. The Texans are trying to win. The Colts are not. I couldn’t tell you what the Colts’ record is at this point, but they ain’t a playoff team. So, the Texans win in a cake walk and finish the season on a high note.
Prediction: Texans 31, Colts 20
The Final Tally
I may not be a math whiz, but I am counting well over 6.5 victories. I am going 8-9 on the season. That puts the Texans in the middle of the pack and also likely puts them ahead of the Cleveland Browns. In other words, they made the right bet when it came to trading their pick to the Cardinals.