Yesterday our week 3 preseason pick proved why betting on exhibition games often comes down to some fluky occurrence. First, we got fortunate by getting a blocked punt to set up an easy touchdown for the Broncos to give them a 7 point lead, and then backup quarterback Brock Osweiler fumbled the ball away on 3rd down on the Broncos own 5 yard line with minutes remaining. The Rams capitalized on the scoreboard, scoring, and ultimately losing 27-26 because of a failed 2-point conversion. Nevertheless, there are trends and numbers that can be followed in the preseason to turn a profit. Even with the loss, we are in the positive for the NFL preseason. Let’s try and improve our profits in one of the last games of week 3 of the 2013 preseason.
Saints vs. Texans Betting Odds:
New Orleans Saints +3 (-115)
@Houston Texans -3 (-105)
Over 43.5 (-110)
Under 43.5 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Saints vs. Texans Pick:
The New Orleans Saints are in the process of putting last season behind them and moving forward towards bigger and better things. The Saints were clearly discombobulated without Sean Payton, who was absent for the entire season due to his suspension from the bounty gate scandal. The Saints should look much more like themselves this season, as they still possess plenty of firepower that could do some damage against opposing defenses this year. While the offense wasn’t bad at all, they weren’t up to their own standards. However, it was the Saints’ putrid defense that sunk their season and only hopes at earning a playoff spot.
The Saints opponents, Houston Texans, were a much more functional bunch a season ago, as many appointed them the most rounded team in football. The Texans started the year off 5-0, before they finished an impressive 12-4 on the season. They eventually ended up getting stomped on against the Patriots in the playoffs, 41-28. However, with the talent at the Texans’ disposal, they have a good as anyone at making it the Super Bowl. Their offense is spearheaded by a dynamic trio: Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson, and Arian Foster. It’s important to note that Foster will not be present for this contest. Johnson will make a start, but I do not see him sticking around with the starters for very long. No matter who has been in at quarterback for the Texans, they have had success moving the ball. They are 2-0 after knocking the Vikings off, 27-13, and the Dolphins, 24-17. I expect the starter Schaub to play for the first half, perhaps a little into the second, before T.J. Yates and Case Keenum get some time. Yates and Keenum have both been potent this preseason, tallying up plenty of points against backup defenses.
Like the Texans, the Saints have enjoyed a positive preseason as well. They are also 2-0, defeating the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders. Not exactly the stiffest competition for Brees and the Saints’ backups, so they’ll get a better look here against the Texans. Similar to the rotation other teams have been using, Brees and the starters should play the entire first half and take a seat for the majority, if not all the second half. The Saints added talented wide receiver out of Oklahoma, Kenny Stills, to add to an already potent passing attack. Stills provides Brees with another downfield option that has the ability to burn defenses. He is worth keeping a close eye on in this contest. Following on the field will be Luke McCown. While McCown lacks much experience as a starter, McCown has been a lifetime backup in the NFL dating back to 2004 with the Browns. These backups that have been around for quite a while usually shine in the preseason where they can take advantage against young opposing defenses.
These two teams met last year in the same spot, 3rd game of the preseason. The game actually turned into an entertaining matchup, as the New Orleans Saints defeated the Texans 34-27 at the Super Dome. I foresee this one being a little bit of a repeat of last year’s game to a certain extent. With the quarterback options that will be present throughout this game, I think we’ll be able to score some points. I have also noticed that the Saints are not shy at all with opening things up in the preseason, most notably the third game. Consider the fact they scored 34 last year and then 40 against the Raiders in the prior year. I don’t know if they hit those numbers, but I think the Texans will gladly help this one get over the number, too.
PICK: OVER 43.5 (-110)