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Chargers Host Texans in AFC Game on MNF in Week 1

Houston Texans vs. San Diego Chargers Week 1 Betting Preview

Kick-Off Time: Monday, September 9th 2013 at 10:20pm ET
Location: Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California
Network: Watch Live on ESPN

Houston Texans vs San Diego Chargers - Week 1To kick-off the regular season in style there is a doubleheader on Monday. The Eagles host the Redskins in G1 and afterwards on the west coast the Chargers host the Texans. On paper this looks to be a lop-sided match-up, but anything is possible on MNF.

Last season the Texans went 12-4 and they won the AFC South. In the playoffs the Texans beat the Bengals 19-13 (Wild Card Round) and lost to the Patriots 41-28 (Divisional Round). The Chargers were under .500 (7-9) and missed out on the NFL playoffs again.

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Texans vs. Chargers Latest Betting Lines

This line opened up at –3 points at most shops in favor of the Texans and the spread is now up to –4 at Bovada. The game total has seen a lot more movement, as it has gone from the opening over/under line of 46 points down to the current line of O/U 44.

Bovada Sportsbook Live Odds
Teams
Point Spread
Money Line
Game Total
Houston Texans
-4 (-110)
-190
Over 44 (-110)
San Diego Chargers
+4 (-110)
+165
Under 44 (-110)

Will the Regime Change in SD Catapult Them Into the Playoffs?

San Diego cleaned out office this off-season and I think they’ll improve, but not instantly. This team is in rebuild mode right now and it’s unlikely they have the talent and depth to compete for a playoff spot this season unless Rivers can turn things around 100%.

Last season Rivers was sacked 49X and turned the football over 22X, which isn’t going to cut it in the NFL. The offensive line still isn’t that strong on paper and Rivers also doesn’t have much help at the WR position. Ryan Matthews will have to bounce back as well.

Are the Texans Super Bowl Contenders or Pretenders in 2013?

Houston on the other hand is gearing up for a Super Bowl and you can bet this team will be ready for the big lights on Monday. This is a team that wants the spotlight. They have the star pieces in place including J.J Watt, Andre Johnson, Arian Foster and Ed Reed.

Signing Ed Reed was extremely important to shore up the defensive problems through the air last season. Houston struggled in the secondary last season and ranked 16th in pass defense. With the addition of Ed Reed this team should become a SB contender.

Why Houston Will Cover the Point Spread on MNF

San Diego was just 3-5 at home last season while the Texans were an impressive 6-2 on the road. Houston likes to wear teams down and last season they averaged 31.8 rushing attempts per game (4th) while averaging 4.2 yards per carry (14th).

When Arian Foster is healthy he can cut through any defense. San Diego was stout against the rush last season, as they only allowed 96.4 RYPG (6th). However, teams only rushed on the Chargers defense 25.4 times per game and they allowed 3.8 yards per carry.

I expect Houston to rush the football early and start to wear the Chargers front seven down. When the Chargers stack the box look for Matt Schaub to find one of his WR’s (Andre Johnson & DeAndre Hopkins) or TE Owen Daniels down the middle for a first down.

San Diego allowed 230.1 PYPG (18th), which was slightly worse than the Texans secondary (225.8 PYPG – 16th). Houston also went out and signed Ed Reed as I mentioned earlier, so you can bet that Houston will be much tougher against the pass this season.

Houston ranked just behind the Chargers in rushing defense (97.5 RYPG –7th). The big difference is that the Texans have a great rush attack on offense while the Chargers have question marks. There is no denying Ryan Matthews is talented, but he needs to step up.

The Chargers averaged 91.3 RYPG (27th) and 3.6 yards per carry (30th) last season offensively. That put a lot more pressure on Rivers and he turned into a turnover machine. San Diego only averaged 205.9 PYPG (24th) and they scored 21.9 PPG (20th).

Rivers doesn’t have a go-to receiver other than his TE Antonio Gates when healthy, but he’s getting older. Malcolm Floyd led SD with 814 receiving yards. He also had 5 TD’s. Danario Alexander (658 Yards & 7 TD’s) is no longer with SD and other WR’s need to step up.

If you look at the trends you’ll see the Chargers are 4-0 ATS in the L4 match-ups, but the last time these two played was in 2010 and the Chargers are much worse now. Houston has been poor under the bright lights (0-5 ATS on MNF), but expect that to change.

San Diego has a knack for starting the season slow and they’re just 1-4 ATS in season openers in the L5 years. I can’t say this will be a blow out because the Chargers defense isn’t horrible and they’re at home, but the Texans should win by over a TD.

ScottThis article was written by Scott

Scott is one of the original degenerates working for MobileSportsBetting.com. Although he's most successful betting on NFL football and international soccer, he's also active in UFC and NHL hockey betting. Follow Scott on Twitter


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