Texans vs. 49ers Point Spread: Sunday Night Football

Ricky Rothstein | Updated Aug 10, 2016

49ers vs texans nfl preseason sunday night football

Thanks to the cancellation of last week’s Hall of Fame Game, the first Sunday NFL matchup of the 2016 preseason is this week — and it’s the only NFL action of the day. The rebuilding San Francisco 49ers, in Chip Kelly’s head coaching debut with the team, host the Houston Texans. Houston has legitimate hopes of becoming the first team to ever play in a Super Bowl in its own stadium this February. The Niners are 3-point favourites on Sports Interaction NFL preseason odds with a total of 36.5. You won’t see big spreads or totals in any preseason games.

Houston Texans vs. San Francisco 49ers

Point Spread: 49ers -3 Over/under: 36.5 Date: Sunday, Aug. 14, 7 p.m. ET Location:Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif.

Houston Texans vs. San Francisco 49ers betting odds

San Francisco 49ers

There are three quarterback battles going on in the NFL right now. The Denver Broncos have veteran Mark Sanchez and second-year Trevor Siemian competing to replace future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning, whose final game was the Super Bowl 50 upset of Carolina back on Feb. 7 at Levi’s Stadium. With the Los Angeles Rams, veteran journeyman Case Keenum is trying to hold off the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Jared Goff. San Francisco are currently the -165 favorites.

Blaine Gabbert Vs. Colin Kaepernick For 49ers’ QB Job

Then there are the 49ers, where Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick are locked in a duel. Not that long ago, Kaepernick looked like the NFL’s next superstar and he got a huge contract to go with that. But Kaepernick has regressed in a big way since 2013. Last year, he struggled early in the season, was eventually benched and had season-ending surgery. Gabbert, a former first-round bust with Jacksonville, replaced Kaepernick and saved his career by playing relatively well. But the 49ers weren’t a good team, finishing 5-11 and firing head coach Jim Tomsula.

Kelly was fired by the Philadelphia Eagles after a Week 16 loss last year that eliminated Philly from the playoffs. Kelly did have a solid 26-21 record in his three seasons, so the 49ers pounced. He has given no indication who is leading the quarterback derby, although Gabbert had an advantage in OTAs because he was able to practice and learn the system and Kaepernick couldn’t as he was recovering from surgery. You can expect both to play a similar amount of snaps Sunday. Most believe Gabbert will win the job eventually.

Not much is expected from San Francisco this year as it has a wins total of 5.5 on NFL odds, with the under a slight favorite. On paper, the 49ers look like the NFC’s worst team.

Houston Texans

Houston, meanwhile, is the defending AFC South champion. But the Texans knew they had to make a change at quarterback following their wild-card round 30-0 wipeout at home against Kansas City. Houston QB Brian Hoyer had perhaps the worst playoff game of a signal-caller in NFL history by going 15-for-34 for 136 yards, four interceptions and a lost fumble. Hoyer is now a backup in Chicago.

2016 Debut Of Texans’ Brock Osweiler

The Texans targeted Denver backup Brock Osweiler from the get-go and were able to lure him in free agency on a four-year, $72 million deal. Osweiler did play well at times last year in a handful of starts while Manning was out injured. The Broncos benched Osweiler in Week 17 against the Chargers and he never saw the field again. Some believe Osweiler still held a grudge over that and it’s why he didn’t re-sign with Denver. He should make his Houston debut Sunday but likely not play too much. This should also be the debut of starting running back Lamar Miller, who signed as a free agent from Miami.

One Houston player you won’t see at all this preseason is three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt. He had surgery to repair a herniated disc a few weeks ago and his status for Week 1 of the regular season is in question.

The Texans have a wins total of 8.5 for 2016 in NFL betting, with the over a -131 favourite.

Texans vs. 49ers Prediction

This is the fifth time these teams have met in the preseason and third year in a row. San Francisco lost in Houston 23-10 in last year’s exhibition opener. But I like the 49ers here because Gabbert and Kaepernick should see plenty of action and the key Houston guys won’t. Go under that total.

NFL Preseason Week 1 Betting and Odds