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Houston Texans Likely Underdogs In Majority of Remaining Schedule

The two games against the Colts look pretty daunting for the Texans, all of a sudden.
The two games against the Colts look pretty daunting for the Texans, all of a sudden.
Photo by Eric Sauseda

The Houston Texans sit at 1-5 on the season, and even with the daunting early schedule that we all knew would be problematic, especially for an already poor defensive team that got WORSE in the offseason by letting D.J. Reader walk in free agency, 1-5 seemed like an absolute worst case scenario.

Well, here we are, at the worst case scenario, with the Texans having just a win over the Jags, and a plucky loss to the Titans on the road in overtime as the only real evidence to show that there is life in this franchise somewhere. Well, that and the O'Brien-ectomy that Cal McNair thankfully performed after the loss to the Vikings.

So now the question becomes, at 1-5, what are the Texans' prospects for the remainder of the season. There are no good reasons for even the most skeptical of Texans fans to root AGAINST them the rest of the way. O'Brien has been fired, and the Dolphins own the Texans' first and second round picks in the 2021 draft. There is zero incentive to lose games.

So what will the Texans' final record be? How many games will the Texans be favored in the rest of the way, if their 1-5 record is really indicative of who they are, and more importantly, who they're going to be? Let's go game by game, with the betting line on each game from before the season, and with my estimate for what

WEEK 7: vs GB
Preseason Line: PICK EM
Pendergast Estimated Line on 10/21: Texans +3.5
This is an actual line that is out already. The Packers, despite a blowout loss to the Bucs on Sunday, have escalated significantly compared to the Texans since the start of the season.

WEEK 8: BYE
I do think the Texans will avoid losing a game on their bye week. I am confident in that.

WEEK 9: at JAC
Preseason Line: Texans -3
Pendergast Estimated Line on 10/21: Texans -3.5
The Texans are safe here. The Jags seem to have thankfully turned back into the Jags, and this will likely be where the Texans get their second win of the season. Hopefully.

WEEK 10: at CLV
Preseason Line: Texans +2.5
Pendergast Estimated Line on 10/21: Texans +3.5
Cleveland is a weird team. They're 4-2, which is quite respectable. However, their two losses are to the Ravens and the Steelers by scores of 38-6 and 38-7. Winnable game for the Texans, but it will be on the road, in the cold, in November. Oh, and Cleveland CAN score.

WEEK 11: vs NE
Preseason Line: Texans -3
Pendergast Estimated Line on 10/21: Texans -1.5
The Patriots are 2-3, although one of those losses was with Brian Hoyer in at QB for a COVID-addled Cam Newton. The Texans grade out as the favorite here just based on being at home, but do we trust them to beat Belichick? I don't.

WEEK 12: at DET
Preseason Line: Texans +1
Pendergast Estimated Line on 10/21: Texans +3
This is a Thanksgiving Day game against a team that plays every season on Thanksgiving Day, and has a quarterback who can easily throw for 350 yards on the Texans.

WEEK 13: vs IND
Preseason Line: Texans -2
Pendergast Estimated Line on 10/21: Texans +1.5
Oh man, these two games against the Colts do NOT look fun. Philip Rivers has been inconsistent at quarterback, but the Colts have assembled an elite defense, by building through the draft and making some shrewd trades and signings. Basically, the opposite of everything Bill O'Brien did as GM for his defense.

WEEK 14: at CHI
Preseason Line: Texans +3.5
Pendergast Estimated Line on 10/21: Texans +5
This was a game I picked the Texans to lose before the season, because it was a cold weather, out-of-conference game sandwiched in between the two Colts games. I predicted a loss BEFORE the Bears started off the season 5-1! So now? Um, yeah.

WEEK 15: at IND
Preseason Line: Texans +4.5
Pendergast Estimated Line on 10/21: Texans +6.5
See above.

WEEK 16: vs CIN
Preseason Line: Texans -6.5
Pendergast Estimated Line on 10/21: Texans -6.5
The Bengals are 1-4-1, but rookie QB Joe Burrow has flashed some things that should get Bengals fans excited for the future. By Week 16, he is really not a rookie anymore. Also, like the Bears game, it's in that rough schedule spot sandwiched in between two division games. Not easy.

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WEEK 17: vs TEN
Preseason Line: Texans -1
Pendergast Estimated Line on 10/21: Texans +3
There's a good chance that the Titans are resting players in Week 17, if their season keeps going the way it is. That's the ONLY saving grace. The Texans might be 4-11 at this point.

I predicted a 10-6 record before the season started. They'll need to go 9-1 down the stretch for that to happen, and well, let's just say I'm skeptical.

FINAL RECORD PREDICTION (revised): 6-10

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.

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