Emerging as the Super Bowl favorite around Halloween before hitting a tailspin and sputtering out in the divisional round each of the past two years, it it seems like the public has lost some interest in the Houston Texans and the bookmakers are not dismissing these poor finishes.
(The first number is from Aug. 23; the second in parenthesis from roughly three months ago.)
Super Bowl Odds: 18-to-1 (18-to-1)
Division Title Odds: -250 (-250)
Season Win Total Line: 10.5 (10.5)
Late-May Snapshot: “A team that finished as the AFC’s No. 3 seed last season is now receiving the third-highest Super Bowl odds out of the conference at 18-to-1, significantly behind the Denver Broncos at 6-to-1 and New England Patriots at 7-to-1. It’s fitting that they inhabit their own tier with the Pittsburgh Steelers way back at 32-to-1; always the fringe team never the champ. Houston has topped the division two years running and now possesses the highest division title odds at -250, good for second-best division title odds in the league behind the Broncos and Patriots at -500,” I wrote earlier this offseason.
Unlike the other team odds I’ve been revisiting in this series, the Texans have literally stayed in the exact same regard across the board. The Indianapolis Colts have fluctuated a bit yet remained in a distant second in AFC South title odds, while Houston sit right there at -250. I wondered if the Patriots and Broncos’ turbulent, damaging offseasons would hoist the Texans further up or at least drag Denver and Denver down to close to Houston’s level, but it seems the bookmakers (and probably the public as an extension) just aren’t biting.
Houston must gain some steam in December and January before that goodwill comes back.