High Hopes for Texans and Saints as 2019 NFL Season Starts
The Houston Texans and the New Orleans Saints will meet in the early game on Monday Night Football. The season opening battle will take place at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints have seen each of their last two seasons come to an end with heartbreaking losses. Especially last year with a galling setback in January with the team knocking on the door of the Super Bowl. With Drew Brees returning for his 19th season, the Saints open their bid for a third straight NFC South title as they host the Houston Texans.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Saints -7. O/U: 52
New Orleans finished with 13 wins and the top overall seed in the conference last season. They fell in overtime to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC title game. They lost due to a non-call on pass interference that led to a rule change by the league in the offseason. Surprisingly, New Orleans has dropped five straight season openers. Tonight they draw a tough matchup in the Texans.
Houston captured the AFC South in 2018 and revamped their roster with a series of notable moves on cut-down weekend. That included trading away former No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney. “You’ve got two teams that are starting off the season with high hopes and two teams that have a lot of great players on both sides of the ball and on special teams,” Houston coach Bill O’Brien said. “It’s going to be a great game.”
This, That, and a Dart Throw
The Texans were 11-5 in 2018 and captured the AFC South title. Houston will rely heavily on third-year quarterback Deshaun Watson. He is the first player to throw for at least 4,000 yards and 25 touchdowns while rushing for 500 yards and five scores in a season. Watson has perhaps the league’s top wideout in DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins rang up 115 receptions and 11 TDs last season. Questions remain about the ground game after Lamar Miller tore his ACL in the preseason. The Texans brought in running backs Duke Johnson and Carlos Hyde in separate trades to try to alleviate the problem. They also bolstered the offensive line with the acquisition of tackle Laremy Tunsil. Star defensive end J.J. Watt returned from a pair of injury-ravaged seasons to record an AFC-high 16.0 sacks in 2018.
The Saints were 13-3 in 2018 and were NFC South Champions again. The 40 year old Brees earned his 12th Pro Bowl berth after throwing for 32 touchdowns against five interceptions last season. He only needs 20 scoring passes to surpass Peyton Manning (539) for No. 1 on the all-time list. Michael Thomas led the NFL with 125 catches and set a franchise record with 1,405 yards. He became the third player in history to start his career with three straight seasons of at least 1,100 yards. Tight end Jared Cook is coming off a career year in Oakland and will augment the passing game. Do-everything back Alvin Kamara heads the ground game after piling up 18 touchdowns and nearly 1,600 yards from scrimmage. The defense ranked No. 2 against the run (80.2 yards) last season.
The Dart Throw: Saints 31, Texans 27
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New Orleans Saints Trends
- Trend Over is 10-1-1 in Saints last 12 games as a home underdog. Hit % 90.90% (12) O/U 10|1 Push 1 W/L
- Over is 8-1 in Saints last 9 games as a home favorite of 10.5 or greater. 88.90% (9) 8|1 0
- Over is 8-3 in Saints last 11 games as a favorite of 0.5-3.0. 72.70% (11) 8|3 0
- Under is 7-2 in Saints last 9 games as a favorite. 77.80% (9) 2|7 0
Houston Texans Trends
- Trend Over is 8-2 in Texans last 10 games as a road favorite. Hit % 80.00% (10) O/U 8|2 Push 0 W/L
- Over is 4-1 in Texans last 5 games as an underdog of 10.5 or greater. 80.00% (5) 4|1 0
- Over is 4-1 in Texans last 5 games as a road underdog of 10.5 or greater. 80.00% (5) 4|1 0
- Over is 5-0 in Texans last 5 games as a road favorite of 0.5-3.0. 100.00% (5) 5|0 0
Texans vs Saints Meeting Trends
- Trend Favorite is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings. Hit % 100.00% (4) O/U Push 0 W/L 4|0
- Home team is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings. 100.00% (4) 0 4|0
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Houston home to Jacksonville Sunday, September 15
New Orleans at Los Angeles Sunday, September 15
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