The Jacksonville Jaguars will travel to Houston to take on the Texans on Sunday during the 1 pm ET slate. The Jaguars are just 1-3 on the season with their lone win coming in week 1.
The Texans are 0-4 on the young season, but there is a reason for optimism in the locker room after the firing of head coach Bill O’Brien. Romeo Crennel will take over on an interim basis. Crennel has been around the block a time or two.
His coaching career started in 1970 when he was the defensive coach for Western Kentucky. He has been coaching in the NFL since 1981, twice as a head coach. Crennel led the Chiefs in 2011 and 2012, and the Browns from 2005 to 2008. His career record is 28-55.
This matchup is seeing some action as the spread has shrunk from Houston, -9 to -5.5, as 86% of the money is currently on the Jaguars. The total has moved from 50.5 to 54.
A Perfect Time to Pounce?
There are two schools of thought when there is a coaching change, and both of them are legit in my eyes. Either the team will be infused with energy and optimistic about the new direction, or moral will be in free fall because your team is so bad that a coaching change was required.
Of course, while the Texans aren’t very good, there is a reason that the Jaguars are 1-3 and losers of three in a row. Jacksonville simply cannot stop anyone on defense, ranking 24th in the league against the pass and 25th in the league against the run.
To compound their struggles on defense, they rank 22nd in the league on the ground on offense and rank 23rd in the league in offensive points scored while also ranking 23rd in the league in points allowed.
The Jags are 0-2 on the road straight up this season and 1-1 in those games against the spread. They are 4-8 ATS in their last twelve games overall and just 3-9 SU in those games. The total has gone over in three of their four games this season.
Revitalized or Ruined?
It is so dicey to try and predict how a team will perform after a coaching change. Crennel has been there and done, though, so the transition may be seamless. It would make a ton of sense for Houston to keep it simple and just run David Johnson right down the Jaguars throats.
Houston is an ugly 0-5 against the spread overall in their last five games, but they are 5-1 straight up in the last six games of this matchup. The total has gone over in four of the Texans’ last five games.
This is a really tough game to pick, but something that sticks out to me is that Houston ranks 32nd in the league against the run, and James Robinson is averaging nearly five yards to per carry so far on the season. I think he is in line for a huge day.
Not only do I think that Jacksonville is going to cover the 5.5, but I am going to by-pass the juice on the cover and go straight for the gold at Jacksonville’s moneyline at +210. I am playing the over with two very porous defenses.