Sean Pendergast

New Bryce Young Odds Indicate He Won't Be a Houston Texan

Bryce Young is a virtual lock to become a Carolina Panther.
Bryce Young is a virtual lock to become a Carolina Panther. Screen grab from YouTube
It didn't have to be this way. If the Houston Texans just could have done in Week 18 what they'd done for a vast majority of the rest of the 2022 NFL season, play LOSING football, and gone out and lost to the Indianapolis Colts in the final week of the season, then all those Texan fans dreaming of Bryce Young in a Texans uniform would have been happy, as the Texans could just pluck the Alabama signal caller with the first pick in the draft.

Alas, the Texans had to go win that game against the Colts, in the most infuriatingly improbable fashion one could imagine, and now here they sit with the No. 2 overall pick, in control of exactly zero Bryce Young-related elements of the draft. If we are to believe the oddsmakers, the sting of Young slipping away from the Texans, and into the hands of the Carolina Panthers, the owners of the first overall pick, will peak on draft night.

According to Pro Football Talk:
"Alabama quarterback Bryce Young has become an overwhelming favorite to be the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft. Young has been a slight favorite over Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud for weeks, but today sports books dramatically changed their odds. BetMGM moved Young from -350 to -2000, meaning that at this point you’d have to risk $2,000 just to make $100 betting on Young to go first overall."
This bit of odds making news coincides with the actual news that Young has canceled all future visits to any NFL teams. Young did visit the Texans late last week, and visited the Panthers earlier in the month, as well. This would seem to indicate that Young has assurances from one or both team that he WILL be their pick if he is available. Obviously, any questions in availability only applies to the Texans, as the Panthers have literally everyone available to them at one overall.

So that's disturbing for Texan fans rooting for Young in deep steel blue or battle red next season. Compounding the anxiety of the fan base was this other bit of odds movement news from Pro Football Talk:
In fact, the betting odds now see Stroud as a long shot to be the No. 2 overall pick. The odds at FanDuel currently list Alabama pass rusher Will Anderson as the favorite to go No. 2, at +190. Kentucky quarterback Will Levis is next at +270. Stroud is tied with Texas Tech pass rusher Tyree Wilson at +340.

That’s a dramatic shift, and it indicates that people in the know think the Texans just aren’t very high on Stroud, and that no other team is high enough on Stroud that they’ll bowl the Texans over with a trade offer to move up to No. 2.
This is where I begin to shudder at what the reaction will be at the Texans' draft party when they ultimately make their decision on whom to select with the second overall pick. On the one hand, fans are gung ho about drafting a quarterback. On the other hand, my sense is Will Levis is most assuredly NOT the quarterback they are losing for.

With a little over a week to go until the first night of the draft, it seems like questions about the Texans' direction are all over the place, and there seem to be far more bad answers than good ones.

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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts the morning drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the pre-game and post game shows for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast