There are many reasons to be down Houston this season:
- they traded away De’Andre Hopkins, one of the league’s best wide receivers
- they allowed 7 more points than they scored in 2019, as a 8-3 record in one score games helped them to a 10-6 regular season record
- they start the season at Kansas City and at home vs Baltimore, the two best teams in the NFL
But they do have a key asset: Deshaun Watson. The quarterback is one of the most mobile and accurate in the NFL. Houston recently signed him to a long term deal with $110 million guaranteed.
In addition, my quarterback research revealed even more to like about Watson. Over the past 3 years, he has had an interception rate of 2.3%, just below the NFL average of 2.4%.
But looking forward, my research shows how bad ball rate, or interceptions plus passes defended per pass attempt, is the best way to predict interceptions. Watson has a sparkling bad ball rate of 8.9% compared to the NFL average of 11.3%. This suggests that Houston could be better in the turnover department this season.
Deshaun Watson sets a high floor for Houston as long as he can stay healthy. Houston’s defense isn’t great, but they’re better than Seattle’s last year. Seattle and Russell Wilson had a market win total of 8.5 heading into 2019.
Also, the defense has some upside if JJ Watt can stay healthy and return to his former production.
I like Houston over 7.5 wins.
To learn more about bad ball rate and how it’s predictive of interceptions, check out The Pick Report by clicking on “Download.”Download