Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1) at Houston Texans (0-1)
The season is only a week old, but the Jaguars are already pretty beat up. Their biggest injury is the loss of quarterback Nick Foles for a couple months with a broken collarbone. Sixth round rookie Gardner Minshew didn’t look bad last week in relief of Foles, but that was at home, against a Chiefs defense that was one of the worst in the league last season, and it largely came against a prevent defense in a game that wasn’t close most of the way. He’ll face a much tougher test on the road in Houston this week and the Texans will also be better prepared to face him than the Chiefs were, with close to a full game of tape to study and a week to prepare.
Foles’ injury might be the Jaguars’ biggest, but it’s far from their only serious injury situation. The Jaguars will also again be without blindside protector Cam Robinson after he suffered a setback in his recovery from a torn ACL last week and they’ll be without cornerback AJ Bouye and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, two of their best defensive players. This defense was already a far cry from their 2017 defense before those two injuries. Without those two, the Jaguars will have just four of their top-13 defensive players in terms of played in 2017 active in this game. In their current injury situation, this is one of the worst few teams in the league.
The Texans aren’t a great team, but I think we’re getting line value with them as 8.5 point favorites. We’re not getting a ton of line value, but I have this calculated at Houston -11 and the public seems to be underestimating the Jaguars’ injury situation. Minshew should struggle in his first career road start against a solid defense, while the Jaguars’ defense won’t be much resistance for Deshaun Watson and company. The Texans should win this with relative ease, by double digits. They’re worth a small bet.
Houston Texans 24 Jacksonville Jaguars 12
Pick against the spread: Houston -8.5