New Orleans Saints (0-0) vs. Houston Texans (0-0)
August 13, 2022 8:00 pm EDT
The Line: Houston Texans +100 / New Orleans Saints -120; Over/Under: -33.5
(Click here for latest betting odds)
The Houston Texans and New Orleans Saints square off Saturday in week 1 NFL preseason action from NRG Stadium. New Orleans is coming off a 9-8 run last year, finishing second in the NFC South. As for Houston, they went just 4-13 in 2021, landing in third place in the AFC South. Check back all season long for free NFL picks at Sports Chat Place.
New Orleans played their 15th and final season under head coach Sean Payton in 2021, jumping out to a promising 5-2 start. The Saints’ luck changed quickly after a torn ACL on starting QB Jameis Wiston however, and the team skidded to a 9-8 finish—excluded from the playoffs.
The Saints had some issues on offense last year (ranking bottom five in total), so that will be a point of concern for new head coach Dennis Allen and company. The good news is that Winston’s surgically-repaired knee is back to full strength, and he’ll be without limitations.
Over on the Texans’ side, they had another rough year in 2021. Houston skidded to a 4-13 overall record and a third-place finish in the division (ahead of only the Jaguars). After winning the season opener versus Jacksonville, Houston hit an eight-game losing streak and things didn’t get much better from there.
Houston enters the 2022 campaign with new head coach Lovie Smith. The team will also move forward without troubled quarterback Deshaun Watson, who was traded to Cleveland. Granted, it’s going to be a tough road ahead, but there are indications that the Texans have turned a proverbial corner.
PICK: I’m staying with the Saints. This should be an interesting matchup, as it’s our first opportunity to get a good look at both new head coaches. New Orleans will likely be careful with their star players here, so don’t expect a long look at any notable names. That said, we should get some significant minutes for the role-players and depth additions in this preseason opener. As for Houston, this one should be an audition game for a good chunk of their squad as the new staff works things out.