The Houston Texans were close to having the worst record in the league in 2022. But a win in the final game forced Houston to settle for the second overall pick. In hindsight, missing out on the first overall pick might not have changed the Texans NFL odds in the upcoming season.
There are still a lot of questions on the roster, with first-time head coach DeMeco Ryans taking over. That leads to Houston having the longest odds, +8000, to win the Super Bowl in the AFC.
Houston Texans, Yay or Nay?
After a 3-13-1 record last season, there isn’t much hope that the Texans will make a quick turnaround. Sure, Houston theoretically did get better this offseason, deciding to hire Ryans as the head coach and drafting the second and third overall picks.
On top of rebuilding through the draft, the Texans attempted to revamp the roster in free agency, being active. They did not go after big names, keeping them from overspending, but still added reliable veterans.
However, that has not changed the bettor’s mind about the team for NFL picks. The Texans still have the worst odds to win the AFC South, +800, and seem like a lock to miss the playoffs, with the line set at -700 to do so. There is a 12.12% chance Houston wins the division and 17.4% to make the playoffs.
Three Players to Watch
On draft night, the Texans tried to make a clear bet on their future. They drafted quarterback C.J. Stroud second overall, quickly followed by trading up to select pass rusher Will Anderson Jr with the third pick. Both must have solid rookie campaigns to change the team’s NFL lines.
Houston Texans Headcoach DeMeco Ryans has named CJ Stroud QB1 ahead of PreSeason game 1.
— CJ Anderson SzN 💫 (@AyooTexanNation) August 9, 2023
After a solid career at Ohio State, Stroud is on the verge of becoming the Texans’ franchise quarterback. Everything is trending toward him starting Week 1, getting NFL experience right away, in a season where he doesn’t have to win right away. That will allow Stroud to make mistakes, hopefully learning from them, furthering his growth.
There is less pressure to perform for Anderson, but still enough. Last season the Texans had one of the worst defenses, and now with a former defensive coordinator being the head coach, that side of the ball is expected to improve. Anderson was one of the best pass rushers in College, and now he has to prove that in the NFL.
Safety Jimmie Ward is another player to watch this season. He signed with the Texans after being a vital member of the San Francisco 49ers defense, the team Ryans was defensive coordinator for last season. Ward will play a big part in shifting the environment in the locker room and leading the defense on the field, in the way Ryans will envision.
The exceptions are not high for the Texans going into the season. Most NFL betting believes the team will struggle, and will likely be the worst team in the league.
Houston will have another high draft pick in 2024, despite some improvements made to the team. For the Texans, 2023 is about rebuilding the path back towards the playoffs, and bettors should treat it that way.