NFL Football Betting: Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints

Added August 30, 2015 by Levi Watkins

Week Three of the NFL preseason features a Sunday ‘regional rivalry’ game between the Houston Texans and New Orleans Saints at the Superdome. The Saints are winless in two preseason games while the Texans are 1-1 in exhibition play.

Earlier this preseason we’ve warned against blindly buying into ‘conventional wisdom’ when handicapping. One example we’ve given is the ‘conventional wisdom’ of the significance of Game Three as a ‘dress rehearsal’ game. Another concept is assuming that coaches are motivated to avoid a winless pre-season. While we stand by the fact that preseasons wins aren’t a big deal to every coach that concept might work in today’s game. In recent years, the Saints have been a very good preseason team winning 16 of their last 22 exhibition games. In addition, Saints’ coach Sean Payton has a track record of winning and covering in this spot–he’s 7-1 SU/ATS in the third preseason game since coming to New Orleans.

This is the first road game of the preseason for Houston and they haven’t done well when matched up against New Orleans losing four of the last five SU/ATS. Both teams’ starting quarterbacks should see more playing time today and that’s a huge advantage to the Saints who’ll have Drew Brees against the Texans’ Brian Hoyer. Hoyer isn’t a bad quarterback, but Brees is simply on another level. Payton’s Saints have won/covered 11 of their last 12 spots against an opponent off a loss.

New Orleans’ quarterback rotation behind Brees isn’t spectacular but fairly serviceable, especially assuming that they’ll see limited action today. Luke McCown and Ryan Griffin are both veterans and decent in their role with this team. Houston’s quarterbacks may have more upside with Ryan Mallett and Tom Savage but with Hoyer a tenuous ‘No.1’ the fluidity in the depth chart could actually work against the Texans here. Without a solid incumbent starter there’s a real risk of both Mallett and Savage ‘trying to do to much’ which could create mistakes and short field opportunities for New Orleans.

Ultimately, this is a technical play where we’ll be on the Saints. We’re typically disdainful of laying points in the preseason but this looks like a good spot to do so.


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