Houston Texans vs. Cleveland Browns Matchup Preview (9/19/21): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)

Houston Texans vs. Cleveland Browns Matchup Preview (9/19/21)

Houston and Cleveland battle in this less-than-exciting Week 2 get-together.

Following their tight loss to Kansas City, the Browns have opened as considerable 12.5-point favorites. Meanwhile, Tyrod Taylor and the Texans are soaring after their Week 1 victory over Jacksonville, and surprisingly find themselves atop the AFC South standings.

So, will Cleveland bounce-back against this weak Texans squad in Week 2? Or does Houston have enough firepower in them to supersede expectations again?

Let’s dive into this Week 2 matchup and find the best betting angle.

Houston Texans vs. Cleveland Browns Betting Odds

Houston has covered in five straight games against the Browns, and Houston is 5-1 straight up in the last six meetings between these two.

However, I think there’s a good chance Houston is overvalued in this game.

Yes, the Texans demolished Jacksonville, but the Jaguars had no business being road favorites. Taylor and the offense looked great, but against the weakest defense in the NFL. Meanwhile, the defense caused havoc, but they only messed with the mind of a rookie quarterback making his first ever start.

The Browns are going to be a big wake up call for Houston, and Cleveland will be highly motivated in their home opener. Mayfield was uber efficient in his Week 1 matchup, and after he threw just eight interceptions in 2020, Houston’s defense shouldn’t expect to dominate the turnover battle.

I’m expecting Mayfield and Co. to rip through Houston’s secondary, easily covering the 12.5 points in a rout.

I’d also look to play the over in this game, which opened at 46 but was quickly bet up to 48 at the time of this writing. After Houston allowed so many passing yards to Lawrence, I’m expecting the same from Mayfield. However, the Browns defense largely disappointed in Week 1, and their advanced defensive metrics from last season are nothing to get excited about.

My predictions: Browns win 35-17, Browns cover -12.5, Over 48 points

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TV Schedule

Date: September 19, 2021
Time: 1:00 PM ET
Location: FirstEnergy Stadium – Cleveland, OH
TV Coverage: CBS

Houston Texans vs. Cleveland Browns Live Stream

Where can you watch Texans vs. Browns online? You can stream this game, and many other NFL games live online with Hulu. Hulu has a 7 Day free trial and is cheaper than cable options at $5.99/month. Watch Texans vs. Browns Free Online Now.

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Injuries

Houston Texans: Format = POS. Player Name (injury) STATUS i.e. DE Aaron Donald (ribs) Q
Cleveland Browns: Format = POS. Player Name (injury) STATUS i.e. DE Aaron Donald (ribs) Q

Houston Texans Analysis

It was a genuinely great performance for the Texans in Week 1, who dominated Jacksonville on both sides of the ball despite being three-point home underdogs.

On offense, the Texans controlled the ball (35 minutes of possession compared to 24 for Jacksonville) and ran it down the Jaguars throats (160 yards on 4.9 yards per carry). Plus, Tyrod was efficient when he did throw (21-for-33, 291 yards, 2 touchdowns).

On defense, the Texans held the Jaguars to just 3-for-11 conversion on third down with only one red zone possession. Plus, they kept Trevor Lawrence inefficient (54% completion) and picked him off three times, easily winning the turnover battle.

However, it’s uncertain whether their Week 1 victory says more about the Texans abilities, or the Jaguars inabilities.

Because the Texans are still a bad football team. The Jaguars still managed to put up 20 first downs and 395 total yards of offense, including 332 yards through the air. If they didn’t force the three interceptions – something that likely had more to do with the rookie quarterback rather than Lovie Smith’s scheme – this is a much-closer ballgame.

However, I do commend the Texans on their offensive approach. They were uber efficient both running and passing the ball, managing no turnovers while winning the penalty battle. Of course, this is against a Jacksonville defense that finished 31st in Defense DVOA last season.

The Texans pre-season win total was set at 3.5, so they’re already well on their way. However, the schedule gets a lot harder for them over the coming weeks, as they’ll face the Panthers, Bills, Patriots, Colts, Cardinals, Rams, and Dolphins all before their bye week.

Houston Texans Depth Chart

QB: Tyrod Taylor
RB1: Phillip Lindsay
RB2: David Johnson
WR1: Brandin Cooks
WR2: Chris Conley
WR3: Nico Collins
TE1: Jordan Akins

Cleveland Browns Analysis

Cleveland did everything right in the first half against the Reid-Mahomes regime.

The Browns ran the ball effectively (153 yards on 5.9 yards per carry), thus keeping the ball out of Mahomes hands. And they were aggressive in building up a big first-half lead, twice converting on fourth down in the red zone to score touchdowns rather than settle for field goals.

Meanwhile, Baker Mayfield was razor-sharp, completing 21 of his 28 passes. He led his team to a 12-point halftime lead, and a nine-point lead following the third quarter.

Yet, Cleveland still fell short.

It started with losing the turnover battle. To beat Kansas City, you must be perfect, and the Browns coughed up two fumbles and an interception in the second half.

For a team that claims to have an elite defensive unit, they didn’t do much in this one. The Chiefs finished with 400 yards of total offense while converting nine of 13 third downs. Kansas City ended up winning the time of possession battle, even while two touchdowns in 2:18 of game time after Cleveland muffed a punt.

But this is the Chiefs we’re talking about. Cleveland is a top-tier AFC team that came so close to a Week 1 road victory over the reigning AFC Champions, so what if they gave up yards to the transcendent talent that is Patrick Mahomes.

Luckily, things get easier for Cleveland from here. They host Houston this week and then Chicago the next week, so I’m expecting the Browns to be 2-1 by the time they travel to Minnesota in Week 4.

Cleveland Browns Depth Chart

QB: Baker Mayfield
RB1: Nick Chubb
RB2: Kareem Hunt
WR1: Jarvis Landry
WR2: Donovan Peoples-Jones
WR3: Rashard Higgins
TE1: Austin Hooper
TE2: David Njoku

Houston Texans vs. Cleveland Browns Daily Fantasy Picks

Any member of the Cleveland offense would suffice, but I’d focus on the passing attack.

Mayfield is going to absolutely light it up in this game. I’m predicting north of 400 yards and a couple of touchdowns for him.

The problem is targeting his receivers. Mayfield spread the ball around last week, hitting eight different receivers in the process. The Houston defense, meanwhile, is the worst in the league against every position.

I’d probably favor Jarvis Landry in this spot, especially with Odell Beckham Jr. still questionable. But don’t sleep on Rashard Higgins, who got seven targets himself in Week 1.

Week 2 Matchup Previews
Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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