Two teams expected to sit at the bottom of the AFC South this season face off in Week 1 of the regular season. It’s time to continue our NFL odds series and make a Jaguars-Texans prediction and pick.
The fact that the Jags are favored in this game on the road says a lot about how bad the Texans are expected to be this season. Both teams likely won't crack six wins this season, with Houston definitely not coming even close to that number.
While the Trevor Lawrence era begins in Jacksonville, the Texans quarterback situation is a mess and 2021 will be a gap year for the team in all senses. Assuming they get a top-five draft pick, Houston will have their eyes set on a new rookie quarterback for 2022. But for now, Tyrod Taylor is the starter and looks to keep this team from the first 0-17 season in league history.
Here’s how the bookmakers have set the Jaguars-Texans odds for Sunday's matchup.
NFL Odds: Jaguars-Texans Odds
Jacksonville Jaguars -3 (-105)
Houston Texans +3 (-115)
Over 44 1/2 points (-108)
Under 44 1/2 points (-112)
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Why The Jaguars Could Cover
Being a rookie in the NFL is never an easy job, but Trevor Lawrence may just be in luck by facing the Texans in the season opener. The Texans defense is slated to be one of the league's worst, with no real standout players, especially after losing J.J. Watt in the offseason. Lawrence is the most hyped-up NFL prospect since Andrew Luck and this is an ample opportunity to back up the hype right away. James Robinson and Marvin Jones Jr. are just some of the other exciting offensive players on this team, one that is young yet full of potential to put up points. Trevor Lawrence will throw for multiple touchdowns here and give Jaguar fans an early look at why he went first overall in the draft. While the Jacksonville defense is nothing too special, the unit should be improved after last season's 1-15 forgetful year. Against Taylor and the lowly Texans offense, expect Jacksonville's defense to look like one of the league's best, picking off Taylor at least once and forcing a fumble as well. By the end of this game, the Jags, despite their own issues as a team, can still win this game with ease, something like 27-10.
Why The Texans Could Cover
Tyrod Taylor has not been a consistent, full-time starter since 2017, but he's proven he can lead an offense. With Buffalo from 2015-2017, Taylor was a dynamic passer and rusher, throwing for at least 2,700 and rushing for at least 400 yards in all three of his seasons as a Bill. While he's now on his third team since then, he's experienced as a starter and should be more capable than most people think of leading a Texans team full of veterans. Mark Ingram and Brandin Cooks may be past their prime but still remain solid NFL offensive players. A defense that is expected to struggle most of this season can find life in this game facing the rookie Lawrence. As many rookie quarterbacks do, Lawrence can very well struggle as he gets adjusted to NFL football. If the Texans' defense can get to Lawrence early and force him into rushed throws, the Jags' offense will have trouble getting any points on the board. Not that the Texans' offense will be spectacular either, but for the Texans to cover, they'll have to do so in a low-scoring game. An inability by Lawrence to connect with his receivers in his first professional game can quickly turn this game into an ugly one. With Taylor finding some of his magic from his days in Buffalo, the Texans can win this game, barely. Look for something like a 13-7 Texans win if all goes right in H-Town.
Final Jaguars-Texans Prediction & Pick
Sports Illustrated predicted the Texans to go 1-16 this season. After Week 1, Houston will still be seeking that one victory. Trevor Lawrence begins to show us why he was selected first overall, James Robinson adds on a rushing touchdown as well, and an otherwise mediocre Jaguars defense puts on a dominant showing versus a laughable Texans offense. Jags win, 27-10.
FINAL PICK: Jaguars -3 (-105)