Thirty teams will get the chance to start their 2013 campaigns before the Houston Texans and the San Diego Chargers kick it off at Qualcomm Stadium in the second Monday Night Football game of Week 1. Houston is hoping to continue its success after back-to-back AFC South titles, but the Bolts are hoping that the start of the Mike McCoy era is a good one against a postseason contender.
It’s tough to back road favorites early in the season, but the Texans are one of the favorites (-3) that could fit the bill. The total posted is 45, which strangely is one of the lowest numbers on the Week 1 NFL odds.
TEXANS – CHARGERS MNF WEEK 1 BETTING LINE:
OPEN: TEXANS -3.5 | CURRENT: TEXANS -4 | O/U: 44
1. Why The Texans will cover the spread: The offense went flat for the Texans over the course of the last several games of the season last year, but there is plenty of reason to believe that the problems are now gone. RB Arian Foster could be set for a rushing title this year, and everything could open up with WR Andre Johnson and WR DeAndre Hopkins on the outside. Houston had a dominating defense at the start of last season before LB Brian Cushing tore his ACL, but this will be his first regular season game back in the fold.
2. Why The Chargers will cover the spread: If the Chargers really have just been an underachieving team over the course of the last several years under Norv Turner, a lot of games are winnable this season. LB Manti Te’o could spark the revival of a defense that has been suspect at best over the years, and this could be the opportunity to shine on a national stage. QB Philip Rivers has a secondary with some holes in it to face, and that could be the difference as well.
3. Total Talk: The Chargers closed out the year with ‘over’ contests in five of their last eight games in 2012. Houston had major problems scoring as we stated earlier, and that’s why the last three games in the regular season and the opening round win over the Cincinnati Bengals all stayed beneath the closing number. The only thing that kept the Texans going with an ‘over’ game to end the season was the fact that the New England Patriots dropped 41 on them in their final postseason game of last year.
4. Betting Trends for Texans/Chargers: When you look at what the Texans have historically done against non-playoff teams, you have to be impressed. Last year, the team went 9-0 SU and 7-2 ATS versus teams that didn’t qualify for the second season, and this figures to be another one of those games that fits that bill. The Chargers meanwhile, went 0-5 SU and 1-4 ATS in 2012 against postseason teams, including getting blasted badly in some of those games. Houston has never beaten San Diego, going 0-4 SU and ATS in this series all-time, but this might be its lucky night.
Houston 23 – San Diego 14