NFL Betting: Are the Texans a Legitimate Threat to Win the AFC South?

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  • CJ Stroud has thrown for 2,270 yards and 14 touchdowns with just one interception
  • The Texans have the Cardinals, Broncos, Jets, Titans (twice), and Colts coming up on the schedule
  • Houston ranks twenty-seventh in the league with 87.0 rushing yards per game

The Texans are in the midst of one of their best seasons in recent memory. The long-struggling franchise has one of the best young rosters in football, promising a lot of winning in their future. However, their youth also makes them unpredictable this season, leaving bettors wondering if they are a legitimate pick to win the AFC South.

Below, we will break down how we view the Texans season playing out, giving you everything you need to bet confidentially on NFL betting sites for this year’s AFC South division.

What We Love About the Texans

You can’t talk about the Texans success without first mentioning quarterback CJ Stroud. The second-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft has been incredible. He has thrown for 2,270 yards and 14 touchdowns with just one interception. His completion percentage could be better, but that will improve with time. The most important thing is that he is not turning the ball over and avoiding mistakes normally seen from rookie quarterbacks.

While Stroud’s talent has led to his success, he has been supported by a promising young receiving corps. Nico Collins (631 YDS, 4 TD) has led the way, with Tank Dell (454 YDS, 4 RD) turning into a great second option. They are joined by a veteran tight end in Dalton Schultz (350 YDS, 4 TD). The trio didn’t take long to gel with Stroud, and it has led to a lot of success for the offense.

On top of the team’s playmakers, the Texans offensive line is also improved. While they haven’t been great when running the ball, they have done a great job protecting CJ Stroud. He has been sacked 18 times, which is below most other starting quarterbacks. Combine that extra time in the pocket with Stroud’s impressive decision making, and you have a recipe for a lot of points.

The Texans defense has been solid thanks to a pair of rookies in linebacker Henry To’oTo’o and defensive end Will Anderson Jr. To’oTo’o leads the team in tackles with 53. Anderson’s stats don’t jump off the page, but he is consistently generating pressure and breaking up big plays. The unit is far from perfect, but they are good enough to put their talented offense in a position to win.

One last reason we like the Texans chances to make a run is their schedule. They face the Cardinals, Broncos, Jets, Titans (twice), and Colts over the next nine weeks. The Texans will also have one more game against the Jags, giving them a chance at a season sweep and ownership of the tiebreaker.

What Concerns Us About the Texans

This Texans team has one glaring hole, which is their backfield. They are averaging just 87 rushing yards per game, the twenty-seventh fewest in the league. Second year running back Dameon Pierce has been bad, averaging just 3.0 yards per carry and gaining under 50 yards in five of his seven games. Pierce broke out in the second half of last season, but he has not shown any of that flash in 2023.

Backup Devin Singletary has been the better rusher, but he was completely shut down in his first start on Sunday. The 26-year-old is a better change of pace back than a full-time starter. That means the solution for the Texans running back problem may not be on the roster.

As good as Houston’s passing game has been, they will need their run game to step up if they want to win the division.

How Bookmakers See the Texans Chances

US Sportsbooks still see the Jacksonville Jaguars as a heavy favorite to win the division, but they have been bumping up the odds for the Texans. DraftKings Sportsbook has the Texans a +500 to win the division. That is a great price that will likely only drop as the Texans continue to add wins.

Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid. As an adult, Michael started picking games for a small sports betting site and has built it into a career. His experience allows him to provide tips and information to help other bettors improve their game. Michael cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams, the Arizona State Sun Devils (his alma mater), and the Ottawa Senators. He specializes in baseball betting but has extensive experience in football, basketball, and hockey. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children or hiking and enjoying the outdoors.