NFL Betting – Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

The New Orleans Saints must feel jinxed after the way their last two seasons ended. They are strong enough to make the playoffs again and contend for a Super Bowl title, and they will rely on the aging arm of Drew Brees to accelerate the offense. The Saints have finished among the top-5 in scoring eight times since Brees and Sean Payton arrived together in 2006 and their 24 wins over the past two seasons matched a franchise record. New Orleans hasn’t won a season opener since 2013 and will look to end that streak against the Houston Texans.

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Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints

Date and Time: Monday, September 9, 2019, 7:10 p.m. ET

Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA

Opening NFL Odds: New Orleans -7.5, O/U 54

Texans at Saints TV Coverage: ESPN

Odds Analysis

Even with the Texans roster upheaval ahead of the new season the line didn’t move much. The Saints opened -7.5 on the look-ahead lines and the number dropped as low as -6 before action on the home team returned it to a touchdown. The line was stagnant for over a month before trickling down to New Orleans -6.5 over the past few days. The Saints were 10-6 against the spread last regular season, but they were just 3-6 ATS as a home favorite. There is a good chance we see points scored with two good offensive clubs, however the total was wagered down two-points to its current 52.

Houston Texans

We certainly can’t blame the Texans for being complacent. After going 11-5 last year and winning the AFC South, they made a slew of changes to the roster – some their own doing and others not. Though they did win the division, the Texans exited the playoffs with a whimper in a wild card loss to Indianapolis. And with the sudden retirement of Andrew Luck and the Jags being without Nick Foles for a while, the division is theirs for the taking.

The Texans realize how important Deshaun Watson is to their success and moves were made to upgrade the offensive line in order to protect him. They got a good one in tackle Laremy Tunsil, who came over along with Kenny Stills from the Dolphins for draft picks. Even with the addition of Tunsil the line was ranked 31st by Pro Football Focus. Giving up 62 sacks last year will do that.

With time to adjust the backfield following the loss of Lamar Miller, the Texans will use Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson to carry the football. This is Watson’s club and with receivers DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller and Stills, the passing game should be tough as long as the line cooperates. Can the Texans be as lethal on defense without Jadeveon Clowney? We’ll find out. The team unloaded the former first-round pick recently leaving a big hole on that side of the football.

New Orleans Saints

How do the Saints respond as they take the field for a meaningful game for the first time since that referee gaffe in last season’s NFC title game? That was such a blatant non-call that the league changed its rules during the offseason making pass interference a reviewable play. That certainly doesn’t help the Saints, who matched the Rams for the league’s best record last season at 13-3 only to lose in heartbreaking fashion for the second season in a row.

“It’s got to strengthen you and motivate you,” Brees said about the crushing loss. And it will be up to Brees to make sure the Saints offense continues to hum. There were some struggles down the stretch last season raising questions about Brees’ longevity. But make no mistake he’s back to give it another shot with the championship window still wide open. The passing numbers dipped, but that may have been by design. With Alvin Kamara chewing up yards, the Saints had a better ground game than passing attack.

A concern for the Saints on Monday night will be the defensive line. Sheldon Rankins and David Onyemata combined for 12.5 sacks last year and are both out. The Saints also were stout against the run and their absence could open up running lanes. It would behoove the Texans to establish the ground game since Watson was sacked an average of nearly four times per game in 2018.

Bet Texans at Saints at

There are issues on the defensive side for both clubs making the over an inviting bet. And with the Saints going just 1-5 SU and 0-6 ATS in their last six September home games they could be ripe for the picking. A lot of folks were scratching their head after Houston’s flurry of moves last week and getting everything in order in a short time span is difficult. The spread is steep, but go with the Saints as the visitors have a lot of moving parts.

NFL Score Prediction: New Orleans 30, Houston 20

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