Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#283 Houston Texans vs.
#284 Denver Broncos
Sunday, September 18, 2022 at 4:25pm EDT
Sports Authority Field, Denver
Written by Dave Kovaleski

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The Denver Broncos will play their home opener on Sunday afternoon against the Houston Texans. The Broncos lost their season opener to fall to 0-1 while the Texans had a rare tie and are 0-0-1. Denver won the last meeting between these two teams in 2019, beating the Texans 38-24. The Broncos come in as a 10-point favorite. Is that too high?

Texans blow lead and wind up with tie

The Houston Texans looked pretty good last week in their season opener for about three quarters of the game. Then they did a very Texans thing -- they completely folded in the fourth quarter and wound up with a 20-20 tie with the Colts. I guess it could have been worse and they could have lost. But the Texans led 20-3 and looked like they might actually be a team to be reckoned with in 2022. But then the wheels came off in the fourth quarter as the Colts scored 17 unanswered points to finagle a tie. The Colts actually had a chance to win, but Rodrigo Blankenship missed a 42 yard field goal in the final minutes of overtime.

So, was it a case of a pretty good Colts team, with a new quarterback, a potential Hall of Famer, just taking time to click in the first game of the season? Maybe. The Colts rolled up 517 yards against just 299 for the Texans, and they won the time of possession, holding the ball for nearly 40 minutes to 30 for the Colts. The Colts also had a whopping 33-20 first down advantage. Davis Mills was okay, going 23 for 37 for 240 yards with two touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Brandin Cooks had 7 catches for 86 yards while OJ Howard caught two touchdown passes. But overall, the Texans gave up a lot of yards and didn't generate a ton of offense themselves. Maybe the Texans should feel lucky they got a tie.

Wilson and Broncos fall to Seahawks

The Russell Wilson era in Denver didn't get off to a great start, as the  Broncos lost their season opener to Wilson's former team, the Seattle Seahawks last Monday night 17-16. Brandon McManus attempted a 64 yard field goal with 20 seconds left to win it, but the kicked missed the mark. As for the Broncos' performance, it wasn't great, considering they were 6-point favorites and Wilson was facing his former team. Wilson himself had a pretty good game, going 29 for 42 for 340 yards and 1 touchdown with 0 interceptions. But ultimately, he struggled to get his team in the end zone against a team that many picked to be among the worst in the NFL.

But he does have some weapons, as Jerry Jeudy stepped up with one of his best games, catching 4 passes for 102 yards and a touchdown. Also, Javonte Williams was a stud, rushing for 43 yards while catching 11 passes for 65 yards. Courtland Sutton had a nice game with 4 receptions for 72 yards. So, there were some positives there. Also, the defense looked pretty good, holding the Seahawks to 253 total yards, including just 76 yards on the ground. But take that with a grain of salt as the Seahawks are projected to be one of the worst offenses in the NFL. So, a lot of question marks remain.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Both of these teams come into this game with a lot of question marks, as would be expected in the second week of the season. That's why I find it hard to believe that the Broncos are double-digit favorites in this one. The Broncos just lost to a team that no one expects to be very good. Also, it was a homecoming for Wilson, so you would think he'd want to come out and beat his former team, but that didn't happen. Meanwhile, the Texans let one slip away last week and after playing solid football for three quarters, they fell apart. Which team are they going to be? Obviously, they are a competitive team, performing well against what is expected to be a good Colts team. There are just way too many question marks to give the Texans that many points. Take the Texans here getting the points. But keep an eye on the line, I suspect it will come down.

Prediction: Houston +10

Full-Game Total Pick

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The total here is set fairly low at 45 but I still think it is too high. The Broncos moved the ball well last week against but couldn't convert those yards into touchdowns. I think the Broncos win this, but I don't expect them to score more than the low to mid-20s. Also, it is a short week for the Broncos as they played Monday night. While the Texans scored 20 points last week, I don't see them hitting that number on the road against a good Broncos defense, as the offense really didn't look that great last week. I see this ending somewhere in the range of 24-17 in favor of the Broncos, which would be below the total. Take the under here.

Prediction: Under 45
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Written By Dave Kovaleski , "Dave Kovaleski"

Dave has covered every major sport with passion and expertise for national sports publications and we are very happy to have him as a part of our team here at Winners & Whiners and StaSalt. In addition to being a sportswriter and sports bettor, Dave has also worked in the financial industry and brings a critical eye for numbers to his analysis of games. Dave thoroughly researches the statistics to spot the trends and break down the matchups to successfully find the winners in the NFL, NBA, MLB, college hoops, and other sports. You will not be disappointed in following Dave on a daily basis.