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NFL handicapper Jason Yamaguchi outlines his pick for Sunday's matchup between the Broncos and the Texans. How will these offenses fare in Week 2?

Denver Broncos vs. Houston Texans Prediction, Pick, and Odds: Can Russell Wilson, Broncos Bounce Back?

On Monday night, the Broncos went into Seattle with high expectations. They were favored by nearly a touchdown, with many anticipating a strong statement from the new, Russell Wilson-led offense. However, Denver was unable to execute on the final drive of the game, sacrificing a chance at advancing the ball to attempt a 64-yard field goal that ended up missing. The Seahawks got the better of their former franchise quarterback, securing a major upset victory in the process.

Meanwhile, the Texans turned in a surprisingly competent performance when they hosted the Colts last Sunday. Despite the fact that Houston's roster is devoid of talent, they managed to score 20 points against a strong Colts defense. Davis Mills was solid, and the rest of the team played well enough to grab a 20-20 tie.

This is one of the Week 2 matchups that carries a high level of uncertainty. We don't yet know whether the Texans' showing against the Colts was a fluke, nor do we know if the Broncos are better than they looked in Seattle. However, there is still a bet that I believe holds value. Here are our picks, predictions, and odds for Sunday's game between the Broncos and the Texans.

Broncos vs. Texans Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

  • Date: September 18, 2022
  • Game Time: 4:25 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: CBS

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Denver Broncos vs. Houston Texans Prediction

The Broncos only scored 16 points on Monday, but that total is highly misleading. The offense logged 433 total yards on eight drives, most of which came through the air. Russell Wilson completed 29 of 42 passes for 340 yards and a score. They converted eight of the 15 third downs that they faced for a conversation rate of 53.33%, which would have led the league if extrapolated out to the entirety of last season.

So, why did they fail to score more than 16 points? The answer is quite simple — Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon each fumbled inside the 1-yard line, and both fumbles were recovered by Seattle. Drives that reach the 1-yard line tend to result in touchdowns, meaning that the Broncos were close to scoring around 30 points (fallacy of the pre-determined outcome notwithstanding).

As a result, we shouldn't be too harsh on the Broncos following the debacle at the end of the fourth quarter. They made a horrendous decision that cost them a legitimate chance to win the game, yes, but this is still an offense with an exceedingly talented quarterback, a couple of capable running backs, and two explosive aerial weapons. Denver's offense will average a lot more than 16 points per game this season, and Sunday will provide a fantastic opportunity to produce a staggering point total.

This is because the Texans have arguably the worst defense in the entire NFL. They held the Colts to 20 points, but they also allowed over 500 yards of total offense. Jonathan Taylor exposed their inability to stop the run, rushing for 161 yards and a touchdown. Colts quarterback Matt Ryan struggled for much of the game, but he found his stride in the fourth quarter, leading Indianapolis to 17 unanswered points en route to erasing a 20-3 deficit. Top to bottom, Denver's offense is a lot more dangerous than Indy's. I expect a lot of scoring from Denver on Sunday.

Another surprise from Monday night was that the Broncos' defense struggled to contain Geno Smith early on in the game. Smith threw two first-half touchdown passes, both of which exploited defensive errors from Denver. The Broncos adjusted well in the second half, but it was still concerning to see an offense as lackluster as Seattle's move the ball with a reasonable degree of success.

Looking ahead to Sunday's game, I'd say that it's a matchup of comparable difficulty for the Broncos' defense. On offense, the Texans have a mediocre quarterback, a high-end wide receiver, and not much else, just as the Seahawks do. If Houston can produce a point total similar to what Seattle did on Monday, that should be enough — combined with a "get right" game from Denver's offense — to push us over this total.

Denver Broncos vs. Houston Texans Pick

Pick: Broncos/Texans Over 45 (-105) (Bet $105 to win $100)

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Article Author


Jason Yamaguchi is an avid New York sports fan. He has a proven record of providing +EV bets by combining traditional handicapping tactics with advanced statistics. You can follow him on Twitter @TopMoneyPicks to view all of his bets, including NFL, NHL, and MLB picks.


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