Texans-Jaguars Betting Preview: Should You Buy Jacksonville off a Loss?
USA Today Sports. Pictured: DeAndre Hopkins, Jalen Ramsey
Betting odds: Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars
- Spread: Jaguars -4.5
- Over/Under: 41.5
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- TV channel: CBS
>> All odds as of Friday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets
Betting market: Spread bets are split, but a 60/40 money percentage differential in favor of Jacksonville has moved the Jaguars from -3.5 to -4.5 since opening.
Weather report: Wind is projected to be a factor in Jacksonville. The Jaguars are 1-3 straight up and against the spread in Blake Bortles’ four career games with wind speeds of 10 mph or higher.
More importantly, Bortles has been inaccurate and inefficient in those games with 82-of-162 (50.6%) passing, five touchdowns, nine interceptions and an average 213.3 passing yards per game. — Evan Abrams
Trends to know: The Jaguars failed to cover the spread by 36 points against the Cowboys last week, which is the fourth-largest ATS margin of defeat this season.
Since 2003, teams that failed to cover the spread by 30 or more points have gone 74-46-4 (62%) ATS in their next game (per Bet Labs). — John Ewing
Did you know? The 3-3 Texans are an NFL-worst 1-5 ATS, losing bettors 4.1 units. They’ve won two straight games — against the Cowboys and Bills — but failed to cover in either game.
Since 2003, only 19 teams have won two consecutive games SU, lost both ATS and been listed as an underdog in their next game. Those teams are 5-13-1 ATS, including 0-3 ATS since 2017. — Abrams
Biggest mismatch: Jaguars pass defense vs. Texans wide receiver Keke Coutee
Even though the Jags got destroyed by the Cowboys in Week 6, they have still limited wide receivers to a league-low 131.5 yards per game.
Outside cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye are still yet to allow a touchdown this season, but the Jags have been without starting slot corner D.J. Hayden (toe) since the middle of Week 2, and have since been routinely exploited by pass catchers in the middle of the field: Chris Hogan (3-42-2), Quincy Enunwa (4-66-0), Travis Kelce (5-100-0) and Cole Beasley (9-101-2).
Backup slot cornerback Tyler Patmon is a liability in coverage with a 53.7 Pro Football Focus coverage grade, and when safeties Tashaun Gipson and Barry Church and linebackers Telvin Smith and Myles Jack have been matched up with slot receivers or move tight ends in the slot, they have allowed four touchdowns.
While Ramsey and Bouye might be able to limit DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller, the Texans should still be able to attack the Jags aerially between the numbers.
Since rookie slot receiver Coutee entered the starting lineup three weeks ago, he’s been a close second on the team with 27 targets and 20 receptions, accumulating 193 yards and a touchdown. He has above-average agility (6.93-second three-cone drill) and was one of the top slot receivers in the nation as a junior at Texas Tech last season with his 1,429 yards and 10 touchdowns receiving.
Given how weak the Jags have been recently against slot receivers, Coutee could be the key to the Texans’ passing game in Week 7. — Matthew Freedman
Which team is healthier? Jaguars
Neither team is anything close to 100%, but the Jaguars are expected to have back most of their banged-up players with the exception of running back Leonard Fournette (hamstring), Hayden (toe) and potentially tight end James O’Shaughnessy (hip).
Things aren’t quite as clear for the Texans, as Hopkins (foot) and starting corners Johnathan Joseph (shoulder) and Shareece Wright (shoulder/hand/groin) were downgraded in Thursday’s practice.
The eventual statuses of center Zach Fulton (ankle), cornerback Aaron Colvin (ankle) and linebacker Brian Peters (ankle) should also be monitored.
DFS edge: The Jaguars boast the highest sack projection (3.3) among defenses on the main slate as Deshaun Watson has been under pressure all season with the Texans’ offensive line ranked 30th in Football Outsiders’ Adjusted Sack Rate.
Overall, the Jags should be a high-floor option this week considering that Watson has been sacked 25 times this season and has been under pressure on a league-high 46.8% of his dropbacks. Their median projection leads all defenses in the FantasyLabs Player Models. — Justin Bailey
Bet to watch: Jaguars -4.5
No team has looked worse over the past two weeks than Jacksonville, losing by 16 points at Kansas City then getting absolutely throttled in the national late-afternoon game in Dallas, 40-7.
The Texans, meanwhile, might have salvaged their season with three straight wins entering Sunday’s game with a division rival.
I’ll play against both of these opinions here.
Despite Houston’s three-game winning streak, the Texans turned the ball over in each of those games, including three times against the Bills. And while Jacksonville’s defense has been missing big plays, there’s too much talent to assume a slump like that lasts the whole season.
I think the Jaguars get right here. — Ken Barkley
Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.