Texans 2020 Betting Record
Point Spread: 6-10
Total: Over-Under: 8-8
After a second straight AFC South title in 2019, the Texans lost WR DeAndre Hopkins in the offseason as they traded him to the Cardinals for RB David Johnson and a pair of draft picks. Soon after, the Texans acquired WR Brandin Cooks from the Rams to try to replace Hopkins’s monstrous production.
Houston was a good NFL betting pick to fade in 2020 as the Texans won just six of their sixteen games against the spread and posted just a 4-12 SU record. After a rough start to the season, the Texans fired Bill O’Brien, who ended his Texans career as their most successful coach, with four division titles.
At the conclusion of the season, the Texans wasted no time in naming Nick Caserio, who spent 18 years in the Patriots organization, their new GM. Caserio hired former Ravens assistant David Culley to be the Texans new head coach as they enter a pivotal moment for the franchise. Already this offseason, Houston has parted ways with DE J.J. Watt and star QB Deshaun Watson requested a trade.
To be fair, Houston had to play one of the toughest non-divisional schedules in the league. The combined record of the Texans four first quarter opponents was 44-20. While it was a heavily disappointing start, retrospectively, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that the Texans started the season 0-4.
Deshaun Watson took some time to find his form as he threw an interception in the first three games of the season. The run game and new addition David Johnson struggled during this stretch, in particular, as Houston averaged just 73 rushing yards in its first four games.
The Texans were underdogs in their first three games, which were against the Chiefs, Ravens, and Steelers, respectively. They failed to cover the spread in any of them and the last straw was a Week 4 loss to the Vikings as a favorite. Houston fired O’Brien after the game and named Romeo Crennel their interim head coach.
Point Spread: 0-4
Total: Over-Under: 3-1
The Texans responded to O’Brien’s firing by winning their next game, against a woeful Jaguars team. Johnson managed 96 yards on 17 carries and the Texans defense held strong in a 30-14 win. They took a tough Titans team to overtime in Week 6 but it was a dreadful defensive performance as the Texans allowed 603 total yards, 269 of which were on the ground.
They came into the bye week at 1-6, after a 35-20 defeat to the Packers. Houston didn’t show any kind of consistency throughout the first half of the season. The only constant was beating the Jaguars, as the Texans beat them for the second time in four games in Week 9.
Point Spread: 1-3
Total: Over-Under: 2-2
Point Spread: 3-1
Total: Over-Under: 1-3
At this point, Houston was 1-7 ATS, with its only win coming in Week 4 against the Jags. That changed as the Texans lost 10-7, but covered the spread in a windy game in Cleveland against the Browns. The Texans run defense was once again a problem as they allowed Cleveland to gain 231 yards on the ground.
The ATS streak extended to three as Houston beat the Patriots and Lions in consecutive weeks. Those games marked the Texans first and only non-Jacksonville wins of the season. Houston’s best performance of the season came in the 41-25 win against the Lions as Watson threw four touchdown passes and the defense forced three turnovers. Curiously, the ATS win streak came as Johnson was out with a concussion. Upon Johnson’s return, in Week 13, the Texans lost 26-20 as 3½ point underdogs. Even so, this was by far the best stretch of the season for Houston, which isn’t saying much.
The Texans were embarrassingly defeated by the Bears 36-7 in Week 14. Perhaps Cooks and Johnson’s absences were a big catalyst as the offense couldn’t get anything going. Giving up 36 points to a team as offensively challenged as the Bears were in 2020 is certainly a lowlight, in a season full of them.
The Texans covered in two of their last four games but they were all SU losses. Cooks removed all doubt whether he could be the Texans number-one guy, as he totaled 307 receiving yards in the last two games. But, this Texans team had serious issues. They forced just ten turnovers all season, which was dead last in the NFL.
Houston also gave up the most rushing yards in the league and third most total yards. Despite totaling the fourth-most passing yards in the NFL, behind Watson’s 4823 yards and 33 touchdowns, the Texans managed the second-fewest rushing yards in the league. Overall, this Texans season was a resounding disappointment and it never quite got on the right track.
Point Spread: 2-2
Total: Over-Under: 2-2
Divisional Record: 2-4
Conference Record: 3-9
Full Season Grade: D
Looking Ahead to Next Season
The Texans need a sense of stability. With their best defensive player in franchise history, J.J. Watt leaving and Watson almost certainly on his way out, if he’s even playing this season, this team figures to have an identity crisis. New GM Nick Caserio made a bunch of free agent signings and trades for some solid veterans, including QB Tyrod Taylor, RB Phillip Lindsay, and LB Christian Kirksey but there doesn’t appear to be much in the way of leadership. Perhaps that will come in time.
If nothing else, Caserio made sure this team will have depth. He definitely wasn’t interested in making this Houston rebuild a long one. While there weren’t any home run signings, Caserio added a bunch of quality guys on mostly short contracts who should give the Texans a lower floor than they had in 2020. It’ll be interesting to see if the experiment works, but the Texans don’t exactly figure to be a good team in 2021.
If Johnson can bounce back in 2021 and Lindsay can regain the form from his first two seasons, the run game should be a lot better but probably not great. Brandin Cooks is a great wideout but the Texans don’t have other standouts. It’s hard to say what the Texans will do well in 2021 with so many changes on their hands.
Houston is currently tied for the longest Super Bowl Odds of +15000 and I can’t say I’m surprised. David Culley has a tough job on his hands, but perhaps all of the organizational change will be a long term positive.