Both teams lost in Week 1 but with different results. As the Jaguars were completely outmatched by one of the best teams in the NFL in the Kansas City Chiefs, the Texans nearly pulled out a victory over the New Orleans Saints — before Will Lutz’s game-winning 58-yard field goal with time expiring gave the Saints a narrow victory.
While the Texans certainly experienced heartbreak in the loss column, the Jaguars experienced heartbreak in a different manner — quarterback Nick Foles suffered a broken left clavicle that will sideline him for at least two months.
As the Jaguars turn to rookie sixth-round pick Gardner Minshew as the starting quarterback, should you place your money on Jacksonville to cover the spread?
Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1) at Houston Texans (0-1)
Sunday, September 15 at 1:00 PM ET
*All odds and betting info courtesy of OddsShark and originally posted by Intertops
- Jaguars vs. Texans (-8.5)
- Over/Under: 43
The Jaguars entered the 2019 season with optimism. After all, they are just two years removed from an AFC Championship Game appearance and they appeared to solve their one major issue — quarterback — by signing former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles.
However, after less than one quarter of work in the 2019 season, Foles suffered an injury — and there went the Jaguars’ optimism with it.
Although Jacksonville isn’t likely to contend for a Super Bowl this season, rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew put on heck of a performance in a 40-26 loss to the Chiefs. He went 22-of-25 passing, set a modern-day NFL record by starting his career with 13 completions and his 88 percent completion rate set a franchise record.
With all of that said, Minshew will have to prove his debut wasn’t a fluke — with the pass rusher in the league in J.J. Watt on the other end.
The Texans hung tough with one of the NFC’s best teams — away, no less. Heck, they vastly outplayed New Orleans for the majority of the game, racing out to a 14-3 lead. DeShaun Watson looked every bit a franchise quarterback, leading the Texans to three touchdowns on their first three drives.
Not only was he able to lead the Texans offense to sustained success, he also led what appeared to be the game-winning touchdown drive when he drove the Texans down the field 75 yards in just two plays in 13 seconds to take a 28-27 lead late in the fourth quarter.
However, a miracle field goal at the end washed away Watson’s impressive comeback drive.
The Texans have to make sure that Watson is protected. Despite the addition of left tackle Laremy Tunsil, Houston started wearing down towards the end of the game and allowed six total sacks on Watson.
Houston’s pass protection is definitely something worth watching for this Week 2 matchup.
Trends and Prediction
The Jacksonville Jaguars are:
- Jacksonville are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games.
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Jacksonville’s last 6 games.
- Jacksonville are 2-11 SU in their last 13 games.
- Jacksonville are 2-8 SU in their last 10 games against Houston.
- Jacksonville are 1-6 SU in their last 7 games on the road.
The Houston Texans are:
- Houston are 11-4 SU in their last 15 games.
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Houston’s last 5 games at home.
- Houston are 4-1 SU in their last 5 games when playing at home against Jacksonville.
- Houston are 9-2 SU in their last 11 games against an opponent in the AFC conference.
- Houston are 6-13-1 ATS in their last 20 games played on a Sunday.
The bottom line is this — the Texans are the superior team. They’re being led by a third-year quarterback who will break out this season and they outplayed arguably the NFC’s second-best team in the Saints on the road.
As far as the Jaguars are concerned, they’re placing their hopes on a sixth-round rookie quarterback who impressed — but overachieved — with his team trailing by multiple possessions for the entirety of the game.
With a full week of film on Minshew and the fact that they’re playing at home for the first time this season, the Texans should easily cover the spread.
Furthermore, bet the over on the over/under total as I fully expect Minshew and the Jaguars to score points in garbage time as they trail late in this game.
Pick: Texans (-8.5), Over (43)
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