With a handful of NFL preseason week 1 games left, the San Francisco 49ers travel to Houston to face the 3-point favorite Texans. The 49ers are a team in transition. The Texans were a sleeper pick to make a run at Super Bowl 50. That is until star RB Arian Foster suffered a groin injury and needed surgery. Houston needs him to return early in the regular season.
— ESPN Fantasy Sports (@ESPNFantasy) August 10, 2015
Last year the 49ers beat the Texans by score of 40-13 in their preseason tilt and then proceeded to go an underwhelming 8-8 during the regular season. They have a head-coach, two new coordinators and have undergone a mass roster overhaul. Will the changes be enough?
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) August 14, 2015
San Francisco 49ers Vs Houston Texans NFL Preseason Week 1 Betting Spread, Against The Spread Pick & Broadcast Info
San Francisco 49ers vs Houston Texans
Date: Saturday, August 15 2015
Start Time: 8:00 PM ET
Location: Houston, Texas
Stadium: NRG Stadium
Odds: Texans -3
Game Total: 35
Radio: San Francisco vs Houston
The 49ers missed the playoffs last season after appearing in three straight NFC Championship Games. The 49ers brain-trust decided to clean house. Gone are coach Jim Harbaugh, Frank Gore, Justin Smith, Patrick Willis, Chris Borland and Aldon Smith.
Management started by bringing in new coach Jim Tomsula and two new coordinators. The addition of veterans Torrey Smith and Reggie Bush will make the transition easier.
The 49ers are all in with QB Colin Kaepernick (3369 yards, 19 TDs & 10 INTs). He’s their best change to compete. Ex Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert is second on the depth chart and he will see the bulk of the work vs the Texans. I also expect to see rookie Dylan Thompson from South Carolina to see plenty of action the second half.
The 49ers backfield is the biggest change for San Fran. The departure of longtime stalwart Frank Gore gives way to highly touted rusher Carlos Hyde (83 att, 333 yards & 4 TDs). Throw in newly signed Reggie Bush and opposing defenses need to be careful. Tailbacks Kendall Hunter and Jarryd Hayne will see most of the reps during preseason.
Veteran WR Anquan Boldin (83 rec, 1062 yards & 5 TDs) will be the top wideout in the 49ers offense. With his experience and work ethic, he won’t play but a few series per game this preseason. That also goes for WR Torrey Smith (49 rec, 767 yards, 11 TDs) who came from Baltimore during the offseason. Receivers Jerome Simpson and Quinton Patton will get the lion’s share worth of the carries.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) August 13, 2015
Where the 49ers have regressed over the last few seasons is on defense. Once one of the top 3-4 units in the league, this group will be under heavy scrutiny to get the job done. The losses of LB Patrick Willis, defensive ends Chris Borland and Justin Smith to retirement left big holes. The kick in the gut came from OLB Aldon Smith for another off the field issue. He’s facing new charges of drunken driving. He’s been in trouble for allegedly firing a .45 in the air to break up a party. He’s been stabbed, arrested at an airport for allegedly making a bomb threat and convicted of possessing an assault rifle.
"And spent hours with him and hours with him," 49ers General Manager Trent Baalke told the Sacramento Bee . "And made sure we felt comfortable that he was in a place where we felt he was going to be OK.
"This isn’t about football. Everyone wants to make this about football. This has nothing to do with football right now. It has everything to do with a human being and a quality, quality person … there’s a lot of emotion. Players have it, we have it, we have it on the personnel side, coaches — everyone in this building. I mean, [Friday] was a tough day for a lot of people."
The Houston Texans open the season playing musical chairs under center again. Last season Houston played four different quarterbacks and still managed to win nine games. This year the season will open with a QB battle between a couple of Brady interns. Former Patriot and Brown Brian Hoyer (3326 yards, 12 TDs & 13 INTS) will compete with another former Patriot in Ryan Mallet (400 yards, 2 TDs & 2 INTs) for the starting job.
“Overall, their play was fairly consistent with all the different guys they were working with,” head coach Bill O’Brien said about his two quarterbacks, according to the Houston Chronicle . “They were going against a new defense and not really knowing what to expect from that defense.
Stud rusher Arian Foster (260 att, 1246 yards & 8 TDs) just went under the knife and could be sidelined for up to six weeks. Expect the Texans to give Alfred Blue, Jonathan Grimes, and rookie Kenny Hilliard plenty of playing time this preseason. There were rumors of signing Ray Rice, but owner Bob McNair declined.
Third year WR DeAndre Hopkins (76 rec, 1210 yards & 6 TDs) will be the top target down field for the Texans. Joining him are ex Jaguar Cecil Shorts III and rookie Jaelen Strong from Arizona State. Veteran WR Nate Washington will be the slot receiver.
Anchored by beast DE JJ Watt, the Texans bread and butter will be their defense this year. A healthy OLB Jadeveon Clowney and the addition of former Patriot NT Vince Wilfork will will make this front seven the scariest in the leauge. And don’t think I forgot about the under-rated Brian Cushing.
NFL Preseason Week 1 ATS Pick: 49ers 14-20 Texans
The 49ers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Saturday games and 0-5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall. The Texans are 5-11 ATS in their last 16 home games and 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
The 49ers are in turmoil and have been for a couple of seasons. The Texans are prepping for the season under the bright lights of HBO’s Hard Knocks.
This is as sure of a preseason bet as you can make. Bet the Texans.
How To Watch The San Francisco 49ers Vs Houston Texans NFL Preseason Week 1 Game.
|Ted Robinson, Tim Ryan
KPIX (CBS/5 – San Francisco)
KOVR (CBS/13 – Sacramento)
KION (CBS/46 – Monterey CA)
KSBY (NBC/6 – San Luis Obispo CA)
KFRE (CW/59 – Fresno)
KERO (ABC/23 – Bakersfield CA)
KLAS (CBS/8 – Las Vegas)
KOLO (ABC/8 – Reno NV)
KCVU (FOX/30 – Chico CA)
KBVU (FOX/29 – Eureka CA)
KMVU (FOX/26 – Medford OR)
KVAL (CBS/13 – Eugene OR)
KTVZ (NBC/21 – Bend OR)
KITV (ABC/4 – Honolulu)
|8:00 ET||Kevin Kugler, Spencer Tillman
KTRK (ABC/13 – Houston)
WOAI (NBC/4 – San Antonio)
KVUE (ABC/24 – Austin)
KFDM (CBS/6 – Beaumont TX)
KETK (NBC/56 – Tyler TX)
KCEN (NBC/6 – Waco TX)
KZTV (CBS/10 – Corpus Christi TX)
KGBT (CBS/4 – Harlingen TX)
KXVA (FOX/15 – Abilene TX)
KIDY (FOX/6 – San Angelo TX)
KPEJ (FOX/24 – Odessa TX)
KDBC (CBS/4 – El Paso)
WNTZ (FOX/49 – Alexandria LA)