HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 02: Houston Texans Cheerleaders perform during a football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on September 2 2010 in Houston Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Houston fancies itself a Super Bowl contender and bettors certainly are giving them plenty of respect right out of the gate this season.
A week ago, the Texans were 6.5-point favorites against the visiting Miami Dolphins, but some shops have seen that number skyrocket to -13.5 in a week. Many others have them in the -11 range, according to SB Nation odds provider OddsShark.com, and that is the number being used in the NFL Bankroll contest as well.
It’s by far the biggest line move of the week, where many of the spreads have been set for several weeks and therefore fairly stable with action on both sides of the games.
"We now have about 10 times the bets on the Texans as on the Dolphins, even after moving the line to -11.5," said Top Bet spokesman Scott Winstone.
"Big line moves like this early in the week are usually because of adjusting to market prices by early bets by sharps or movement because of injury, but in this case, I'm not 100 percent sure why."
On Wednesday, for example, betting is split almost evenly in the Giants vs Cowboys season opener. The spread is sitting around 3.5 points in favor of the defending champions and the total was right around 45.
The line has moved only a half point here in a matchup that has seen New York dominate against the spread.
Elsewhere, Week 1 opening odds saw more large favorites than any year in recent memory. The Browns and Titans each opened as huge home underdogs, with Philly favored at Cleveland and the Patriots laying the points at Tennessee.
Meanwhile, four teams (the Texans, Bears, Saints and Lions) all opened as double-digit home chalk. Betting against the Saints and Lions has forced the spread lower in those games.
The home-favorite angle (where the home team is -9 or bigger) is a terrific bet since 1991, but only when you bet against them. Underdogs are 14-4 ATS in 18 games in that situation.
"So much for parity in the NFL," said OddsShark.com handicapper Jack Randall. "You open the season with 16 games and nearly half of them are one-sided point spreads."
Wed - Dallas at N.Y. Giants (-4) (8:30pm ET)
Sun - Philadelphia at Cleveland (+9) (1:00pm ET)
Sun - Washington at New Orleans (-10) (1:00pm ET)
Sun - Atlanta at Kansas City (+1) (1:00pm ET)
Sun - St. Louis at Detroit (-9) (1:00pm ET)
Sun - Indianapolis at Chicago (-11) (1:00pm ET)
Sun - Jacksonville at Minnesota (-4.5) (1:00pm ET)
Sun - New England at Tennessee (+7) (1:00pm ET)
Sun - Miami at Houston (-12) (1:00pm ET)
Sun - Buffalo at N.Y. Jets (-2.5) (1:00pm ET)
Sun - Seattle at Arizona (+1.5) (4:25pm ET)
Sun - Carolina at Tampa Bay (+1) (4:25pm ET)
Sun - San Francisco at Green Bay (-5) (4:25pm ET)
Sun - Pittsburgh at Denver (pick) (8:20pm ET)
Mon - Cincinnati at Baltimore (-6) (7:00pm ET)
Mon - San Diego at Oakland (pick) (10:15pm ET)