What needs to be communicated to BetOnline customers this week is that we have seen movement in the Vegas odds over the Houston Texans’ coaching change. Of course, maybe that is not a big surprise. But remember that usually bettors get a little adrenaline over things like this because they expect that players will come out fired up for some reason.
Sometimes that works. Who knows – that might be the case this week because the Texans, who have come out of the chute 0-4, have jettisoned Bill O’Brien, who held the dual titles of coach and general manager. He won four division titles. But he could be a very abrasive type. And seizing control of personnel matters did not seem like a success.
It really appears to be a strange and rather dysfunctional situation in Houston, going deeper than just the coach. In the front office there are shadowy figures, and apparently there was not a belief that Cal McNair, who inherited the club after his father died, would take control. Well, he did.
Well, after opening up as a 6.5-point favorite over the Jacksonville Jaguars (before the firing), they have dropped to 5.5, and there’s even some 5’s out there. Yes, they’ve lost betting support. Some people realize that even though they may have removed a harmful element in O’Brien (who had blowups with star JJ Watt), they have the rest of the coaching staff in place, including 73-year-old interim coach Romeo Crennel.
There has been some movement in the game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Washington Football Team (I can’t say that with a straight face) as well. This game opened with the Rams as a nine-point favorite in the Vegas odds, and then BetOnline patrons may have seen the announcement by coach Ron Rivera that QB Dwayne Haskins was going to be benched in favor of Kyle Allen.
Bettors had lost faith in Haskins, who just hasn’t developed as fast as the team wanted him to. The word was that if Rivera didn’t make a move, he was going to “lose the locker room.” Owner Daniel Snyder was the guy in favor of drafting Haskins, although he wasn’t going to be a fit in then-coach Jay Gruden’s west coast offense.
Allen is familiar with the system Rivera uses, since he spent last season with the Carolina Panthers and stepped in after Cam Newton got hurt. Washington got some support after the QB change, with the line going from 9 to 7.5. Some support came in for the Rams after that, so it can be seen at 8 and even 8.5 in some places.
The support for the Indianapolis Colts has kind of fluctuated. They had opened up as a one-point favorite over the Cleveland Browns. Then that number went up as high as three. At that point there was some “buy-back” on Cleveland. Some of this may be connected to clarification on the Browns’ running back situation, where Nick Chubb won’t play but Kareem Hunt seems ready to go. BetOnline customers should note that the Browns had 307 yards rushing against Dallas last week.
The Baltimore Ravens opened up as a 13.5-point favorite in the Vegas odds as they are hosting the Cincinnati Bengals this weekend. The price dropped, at some outlets down to 12, as there was some uncertainty about the status of reigning MVP Lamar Jackson, who sat out a practice with a knee injury. ESPN came with a stat indicating that Jackson had been hit 112 more times than any other quarterback since he took over as the starter in Baltimore.
As it looks as if Jackson’s injury is not very serious at all, the number rebounded back up to 13.