Texans vs Jaguars Week 15 Picks and Predictions: Jags Gonna Jag Even Without Meyer

Urban Meyer's ouster has led to some significant line movement in favor of the Jaguars, his now-former club. But, will his absence really result in major positive regression? We look at why it may be smart to back the Texans with our NFL betting picks.

Last Updated: Dec 17, 2021 7:14 PM ET Read Time: 5 min
James Robinson Jacksonville Jaguars NFL
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What a difference a few days can make. Urban Meyer has been removed as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars in what will go down as one of the worst hires in NFL history. 

Now the Jags face AFC South rivals the Houston Texans in a battle for one team to reach their third win of the season. Don’t miss our NFL picks and predictions for the Texans vs. Jaguars.

Texans vs Jaguars odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

The Urban Meyer effect has hit the lines hard with the Jaguars opening as 3-point favorites and moving to 4.5-point favorites after news of Meyer's ouster broke. The total points line has also moved from 41 down to just 39.5 total points.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until kickoff and be sure to check out the full NFL odds before placing your bets.

Texans vs Jaguars predictions

Predictions made on 12/16/2021 at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Texans vs Jaguars game info

Location: TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, FL
Date: Sunday, December 19, 2021
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET

Texans at Jaguars betting preview


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Key injuries

Texans: Rex Burkhead RB (Questionable), Kevin Pierre-Louis LB (Questionable), Justin Reid S (Out), Kamu Grugier-Hill LB (Out), Christian Kirksey LB (Out), Vincent Taylor DL (Out), Laremy Tunsil OL (Out), Marcus Cannon OL (Out), Deshaun Watson QB (Out).
Jaguars: Carlos Hyde RB (Out), Dan Arnold TE (Out), DJ Chark WR (Out), Travis Etienne Jr. RB (Out).
Find our latest NFL injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Jaguars are 1-5 ATS in their past six games as a home favorite. Find more NFL betting trends for Texans vs. Jaguars.

Texans vs Jaguars picks and predictions

Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.

Well, well, well, what a difference a week makes. Last Sunday, the Jaguars were humbled by the Titans, putting up a goose egg in the process. Now, after a shocking story emerged about Urban Meyer kicking former kicker Josh Lambo, they’ve finally given him the boot after just 13 games at the helm.

The red flags popped up almost immediately after the hire but it’s surprising just how quickly things fell apart and it’s been clear that his dictatorial style doesn’t work with grown men. 

There is a very appealing job for whoever succeeds him, with a blue-chip QB prospect and plenty of cap room. For now, they’re still not a great team. It’s understandable why the Meyer news moved the odds significantly - the feel-good factor is back - but are they that much better after simply removing their toxic HC? I’m not confident.

We know the Texans are terrible on offense. They’re dead last in offensive DVOA and have scored fewer points than any other team in the NFL, but it’s worth remembering the Jaguars are right behind them with only a field goal’s worth more points scored. Besides, sitting 29th in offensive DVOA means this isn’t a powerhouse in the making, even if there’s a chance that we could see an improvement. The Texans have handed the keys over to Davis Mills for the remainder of the season to see if there’s any hope of the rookie being their man going forward. The answer is likely no, but he threw for 331 yards and a touchdown last time out against the Seahawks and had a passer rating of 93.2, something Jags rookie Trevor Lawrence has only surpassed twice all season. 

The Texans have a far better defense than many realize. They're 15th in weighted defensive DVOA, 11 spots ahead of the Jaguars, with linebackers Zach Cunningham and Christian Kirksey having had great seasons. 

Neither team has trends going in their favor, but lines seem to have moved hugely after Meyer’s departure, which seems overblown for this one-off game. Fade the hype and back the Texans and their tough tackling defense to carry them to the cover. 

Prediction: Texans +5 (-110)

When these two teams met in the season opener the Texans won 37-21 in a game that was surprisingly high scoring. With that result in your memory, you could be forgiven for backing the Over here but don’t. 

When you look at recent scoring results, neither side seems capable of putting up massive scores, and the trends back that up. The Under is 5-0 in the Texans' last five games as a road underdog. They haven't scored more than 14 points in any game over the past three weeks.

The Jaguars, too, have been struggling to score. In their past four games, they’ve scored a combined 31 points, an average of just 7.75 per game. The Under is 4-0 in the Jags' last four on grass and 9-0 in their last nine games following an against-the-spread loss.

Prediction: Under 39.5 (-110)

One of the many, many faults of Meyer’s reign in Jacksonville was that he didn’t utilize running back James Robinson nearly enough. You can point to game script favoring passing over rushing, but to give Robinson just 14 carries over the last two games was criminal.

Lawrence largely played by the media handbook and didn’t go against Meyer, but he still found time recently to say that the Jaguars needed their best players on the field when discussing the former UDFA. 

Robinson was a stud last year and has largely performed well this year when trusted to carry the ball. It would be a shock if offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell didn’t use the former Illinois State man more. You can be confident about Robinson going Over on his rushing yards total this week.

Pick: James Robinson Over 85.5 rushing yards (-115)

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