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Jaguars vs. Texans 2021 Predictions: Back Lawrence for a winning start

Sunday is a big day for Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars
Sunday is a big day for Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars
By Neil Monnery

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The Jags 'won' the overall number one pick a year ago and they used that on Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence. He makes his professional debut on Sunday and Neil Monnery likes his chance to start with a win...

If you were to script the ideal first game for #1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence then facing off against the hapless Houston Texans would almost certainly be it. The only quibble you might have is that this game is in Texas rather than Florida.

For a rookie starting week one, he won’t be short of solid receivers to get the ball too down the field. DJ Chark, Marvin Jones and Laviska Shenault can all catch the ball and run pretty decent routes. Alas for Lawrence, he won’t have his former Clemson teammate Travis Etienne available as Jacksonville’s other first-round pick suffered a season-ending injury in preseason. Also the Tim Tebow experience didn’t exactly last long.

Houston fans have become all too accustomed to seeing their best players leave the franchise. DeAndre Hopkins was traded away a year ago and JJ Watt left this off-season. The question marks surrounding the availability of DeShaun Watson are more for sports writers to fill up column inches, the likelihood of the player being allowed to play this season by the NFL seems virtually nil.

This means that Tyrod Taylor will be in charge of the Houston offense. The journeyman QB, who lost his job in bizarre circumstances a year ago when a team doctor punctured his lung whilst administering a pain killing injection, isn’t a bad QB but with a lack of quality skill positions to get the ball to, it is hard to predict good things for that offense. It says something that not one - not one - Texans player was on my radar when doing my fantasy draft last weekend.

Mark Ingram and David Johnson might be serviceable Running Backs but that is all they are.

There likely won’t be many occasions during the season where the Jags go on the road and will be favored by the Sportsbooks. Do I think this favoritism is justified here? I do.

Spread:

The line has been set as Jacksonville-3 and whilst taking a rookie QB on his debut away from home feels like a misstep, I’m going to stick with it.

Straight-up/Moneyline:

Jags are -143 to win this match straight up and it says how little I think of Houston at this point that I think -143 is decent value.

Over/Under Points Totals:

44.5pts is a very competitive number. Houston’s offense is going to be challenged to score too many points this year and Lawrence will surely make an error or two. I like the under even though it feels like a low number.

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