Opening Houston QB odds at BookMaker
Tom Savage -320
Deshaun Watson +280
Brandon Weeden +4000
This is perhaps the most intriguing quarterback battle in the NFL. The Texans are a contender in the AFC and with some productivity from the position they could very easily make a run at the Pats for supremacy in the conference. The team took a stab with Osweiler last season, giving him a boat load of cash to be the savior at the position.
It was a huge gamble on a guy that started just seven games in his four previous seasons, and we know how that worked out. Of course there was pressure on Osweiler to produce after signing the mega-bucks free agent deal, and when the numbers on the field didn’t match the numbers in his savings account, the end couldn’t come soon enough.
So the Texans are moving on. They traded up to get the 12th pick in this year’s draft and selected Watson after he guided Clemson to the College Football Playoff national championship game the past two seasons. The Tigers lost in 2015 and defeated Alabama last season for their first crown since 1981.
Against Bama’s No. 1 ranked defense, Watson was razor-sharp. He completed 36 of 56 passes for 420 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner late in the fourth quarter. During his last two seasons leading the Tigers, Watson threw for over 8,700 yards with 76 touchdowns and ran for an additional 1,734 yards and 21 scores. He played well against teams with defenses that rival some of those in the NFL and will eventually be the Texans’ quarterback. It just may not be at the start of the 2017 season.
That’s because coach Bill O’Brien doesn’t want to rush Watson. Tom Savage took over for Osweiler towards the end of last season and would have been the starter in the playoffs if not for a concussion sustained in the regular season finale. Savage played in only three games with two starts and didn’t throw a touchdown pass. But he was accurate with his throws and poised in the pocket, something Osweiler wasn’t.
Savage has been in the organization since being drafted in 2014 and saw action in two games his first year. He spent the 2015 season on the team’s practice squad and knows a little about O’Brien’s offense. And that will come in handy with the head coach taking over play-calling duties this season. Savage is the favorite at -320 to start the season and that will likely be the case. But if there’s a bet for who finishes as the starter, go with Watson.
More QB Match Ups
It’s either going to be Savage or Watson getting the nod for the opener and Weeden is a valuable commodity to have. Because teams can never have enough quarterbacks on the roster. You can ask the 2015 Dallas Cowboys about that. O’Brien doesn’t want to put more pressure on Watson to be the savior for a team that’s cycled through quarterbacks like O’Brien has gone through assistant coaches. Savage will get the start in the opener but Watson will get the call at some point during the year. And it might be sooner rather than later.
Bet on current QB Match up odds at BookMaker: Tom Savage -320