The Houston Texans promoted Lovie Smith to head coach after the team limped to a 4-13 finish in 2021. With quarterback Davis Mills in Year 2, expectations are for the Texans to take a step forward in their rebuild. Let’s examine the Texans’ current record prediction, projected win totals, any intriguing prop bets involving the franchise, and their odds to win the AFC South, AFC, and Super Bowl in 2023.
All odds are from Caesars Sportsbook unless otherwise stated and are correct as of Aug. 11 at 2:15 p.m. ET.
Houston Texans record prediction 2022
Following the release of the NFL schedule, Caesars has provided odds and spreads for 11 of the Texans’ 2022 regular-season matchups. Based on those numbers, Houston is projected as favorites in zero games and underdogs in 11. If their first 11 games of the season match those predictions, the Texans will have an 0-11 record following Week 12 of the 2022 campaign.
Not all is hopeless for the Texans despite the lack of optimism in terms of betting spreads. Four of the Texans’ betting odds feature spreads of 3.5 or fewer points. These are winnable games if Houston doesn’t beat themselves with mistakes. However, the Texans will need to see considerable improvement on both sides of the ball to be more than a bottom-feeder.
First-year head coach David Culley was unable to uplift arguably the worst roster in the NFL enough to keep his job. Two of Houston’s wins came against Jacksonville. The other two were against Tennessee and the Los Angeles Chargers.
At the end of the season, Houston ranked 30th in offense and 27th in defense. The Texans fired Culley and subsequently hired his defensive coordinator, Smith. This was truly a bizarre decision considering how poorly his side of the ball performed and his lack of success since coaching with the Chicago Bears from 2004-2012.
Houston heavily relied upon the draft for talent upgrades. Injecting some young playmakers will help their future outlook tremendously if they pan out. Free agent fliers like Marlon Mack, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Rasheem Green, and Fabian Moreau could unearth more valuable contributors with some luck.
But don’t expect outcomes to be significantly different in 2022 than 2021. Many of the same issues exist on the team, including questions at head coach.
Texans odds, picks, and props
Now we know the sportsbooks’ predictions for the Texans on a week-by-week basis. Let’s look at their season-long odds for win totals, the division, conference, and the Super Bowl.
- Texans win total: 4.5 (over +100, under -120)
- Texans to have fewest wins: +275
- Texans lowest scoring team: +550
- Texans to finish fourth in AFC South: -280
- AFC South winner: +3000
- AFC winner: +13000
- Super Bowl winner: +25000
Alongside the Atlanta Falcons with one of the lowest win totals in the NFL, we have the opportunity to bet against the Texans’ competence more than their ability to win. It makes sense. The Texans scored more than 25 points just three times last season, and two of those outbursts came against Jacksonville.
With so few upgrades on both sides of the ball, the Texans return an uninspiring roster of castoffs. Their win total is well-set, considering they have the ninth-hardest strength of schedule in the league. Even the team they beat up on in 2021, the Jaguars, added significant talent and a respected coaching staff after last season.
First-round cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. and guard Kenyon Green will solidify positions of major weakness from last year, but their surrounding pieces need to step up as well. Second-round safety Jalen Pitre was a nice addition to the unit. Moreau, Steven Nelson, and Tavierre Thomas should round out an interesting group of corners that can be good enough with a solid pass rush.
The front seven is not promising, though. Leading sack artist Jonathan Greenard went unnoticed in 2021 but had a quality season. The question is whether he’ll get any help from the random assortment of veterans and unproven rotational players Houston gathered. This unit looks like an expansion team in the trenches.
Texans MVP odds and player props
The Texans have some intriguing storylines for the season, including whether Mills can be a franchise signal-caller or if the team needs to address the position in the 2023 offseason. Chances are that Mills is an average or worse quarterback, and Houston should not marry the former third-round pick. But he looked decent enough as a rookie for them to give him another year.
While the individual awards on offense are incredibly unlikely, there are interesting Texans betting odds for us to consider. The Defensive Rookie of the Year Award and several individual prop lines have value. Let’s dive into the best options below.
Davis Mills +15000
- Offensive Rookie of the Year
Dameon Pierce +1800
- Defensive Rookie of the Year
Derek Stingley +1000
- Davis Mills regular-season passing yards
Over/Under 3,600.5 (over +100, under -120)
- Brandin Cooks regular-season receiving yards
Over/Under 950.5 (-115)
- Derek Stingley regular-season interceptions
Over/Under 1.5 (over +100, under -130)
Betting on any individual award or accolade from this offense would be foolish. In addition to seeing how Mills develops, the Texans must find out whether Nico Collins, Marlon Mack, and Dameon Pierce can be long-term assets for this unit. Everything doesn’t matter nearly as much.
Pierce is a tantalizing talent who can potentially start throughout his rookie contract. But he’s in a rotation with Mack and 31-year-old Rex Burkhead. He’s also playing behind an offensive line that has struggled even when healthy.
Stingley has a possible case for Defensive Rookie of the Year. This is not a great value at +1000 despite him being the third overall pick and fitting the mold as a playmaking cornerback. Corners rarely win the award since interceptions are an unpredictable stat and not necessarily reflective of pure talent or impact.
Texans 2022 picks
By design, the Texans will be one of the worst teams again in 2022. Armed with Cleveland’s 2023 first-round pick and their own, this season is more about building infrastructure than winning. Virtually every team around them has improved as well, making it more difficult to pick out more than a couple of wins.
Houston might be better in 2022 but win as many games as last year. Their schedule has few breaks. Only Chicago, the New York Giants, and Washington appear to be winnable games right now. They could steal more or benefit from injuries, so I’m avoiding this win line.
One injury to Mills would remove any hope of Houston winning more games. Backups Kyle Allen and Jeff Driskel are among the worst in the league. Starting either for any amount of time could clinch having a bottom-two record and offense.
It’s also possible that swapping their offensive-minded head coach for Smith could cause a slip into being the lowest-scoring team. They were 1.6 points per game away from being 32nd in 2021.
.5u: Texans lowest scoring team (+550)
1u: Texans fewest wins (+275)
1u: Texans to finish fourth in AFC South (-280)
Although it’s more likely the Texans will endure a long season filled with lows and few highs, their playmakers should have all the opportunities to produce. We’ve been given very reasonable lines on Mills, Cooks, and Stingley’s numbers. I like the over for each.
Mills averaged just 205 yards last year in his 13 games played but his total of 3,600.5 is only hitting 212 yards over 17 games. This is about the bare minimum for any starter in the league to hit. The Texans have a healthy line with Laremy Tunsil back, plus Green and A.J. Cann added.
Along with Cooks, Collins, and an overhauled backfield, Mills will hit the over on his passing yards prop. If he doesn’t, we’re sure to hit the negatively-skewed props in the above section. Oddsmakers put the minimum incredibly low.
Cooks is a sure thing to hit over 950.5 yards as well. The only possible impediment is an injury. Throughout Cooks’ eight-year career, he’s only failed to clear 1,037 yards or more in the seasons he missed time. Turning 29 in September, Cooks still has plenty to offer as the primary receiver in this offense.
The final individual prop I like is for Stingley to nab multiple interceptions. 1.5 is a low bar that could be cleared with the right bit of luck. These are the most difficult props to project in any year, but Stingley has eyes for the ball.
I’m betting he’ll sell out for more interceptions and give up some big plays since it’s not uncommon for his archetype of corner to make that trade-off earlier in their career.
1u: Mills over 3,600.5 passing yards (+100)
1u: Cooks over 950.5 receiving yards (-115)
1u: Stingley over 1.5 interceptions (+100)