Houston Texans (9-8) at San Francisco 49ers (5-11)
|Date & Time||Sunday August 14, 2016, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: San Francisco 49ers -2.5 -- Over/Under: 35
|TV Channel||Stream live sports and ESPN originals on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Start your 7-day free trial today!|
The final game of week 1 of the NFL preseason sees the AFC South champion Houston Texans travel to Levi’s Stadium to take on the San Francisco 49ers.
The Houston Texans come into the 2016 as the defending AFC South champions after taking advantage of a lackluster season for the division as a whole to finish 9-7 before being shut out by the Kansas City Chiefs in the wild card round. The Texans made a huge splash by signing former Broncos QB Brock Osweiler to a multi-year contract. Osweiler was one of the key pieces of the Broncos journey to their third Super Bowl in franchise history, completing 61.8 percent of his passes, throwing 10 touchdowns and 6 interceptions in eight appearances for Denver. Fast forward to today, and Osweiler has been given the keys to the offense, with some power behind him, with notable names like DeAndre Hopkins, Cecil Shorts and Lamar Miller to name a few. With how Houston struggled at the quarterback spot last year, you can be assured Osweiler is a welcome sight in Houston. On the defensive side of the ball, Houston has lots to be excited about after finishing 3rd in total yardage allowed last season, but with studs like All-pro defensive end JJ watt, Jadeveon Clowney, Brian Cushing, and Vince Wilfork, it doesn’t really come as a surprise.
The 49ers started last season with the hopes of being the first team to play in the Super Bowl on their home field. Instead, the Niners finished an awful 2015 season with a record of 5-11, taking San Francisco from NFC Champion to the NFC west bottom feeders in a matter of only three years. Chip Kelly takes over the head coaching duties, replacing Jim Tomsula who was relieved just hours after the 49ers season finale against the Rams. Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick will both be looking to be “the guy” going into week 1 who will be leading the offense onto the field. Gabbert took over the starting duties in week 11 after Kaepernick was sidelined due to surgery on his non-throwing shoulder. Gabbert wasn’t terrible in his appearances in 2015, finishing with a 63.1 percent completion percentage to go along with 10 touchdowns and 7 picks. Kaepernick on the other hand completed only 59 percent of his passes with 6 touchdown and 5 interceptions in a season that also saw his rushing numbers decrease. On defense, the 49ers need to put forth a better effort if they don’t want a repeat performance of last season where San Fran gave up the fourth most total yards, however it shouldn’t be that difficult considering they have some talent on that side of the ball, in players such as Arik Armstead, NaVarro Bowman, Ahmad Brooke and Antoine Bethea.
Houston is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games on grass and 7-3ATS in their last 10 games overall while the under is 4-1 in their last 5 overall. San Francisco is 6-13 ATS in their last 19 games on grass, while the under is 6-1 in Houston’s last 7 on grass and 18-5 in their last 23 home games.
I might have to put the 49ers on auto fade before the season even starts. The only name anyone outside of San Francisco would probably recognize is Torrey Smith. Other than that? Nothing. And it’s not like Gabbert or Kaepernick can throw the ball to themselves. Well they could, but they won’t get very far. The Texans are looking to rebound after getting spanked in the wild card round last season, and I think Osweiler will get a little bit more time than expected to get used to this offense.
Give me the Texans and the free points, but I doubt we will even need them.