Don’t be an idiot! Bet the spread, not the moneyline in Texans-Cowboys

Must read

Image for article titled Don’t be an idiot! Bet the spread, not the moneyline in Texans-Cowboys

Image: Getty Images

There’s no better feeling in the world than risking very little money and winning a boatload of cash. It’s why parlays have become so popular in the last few years. Why make $100 on a $100 bet, when you could make $10,000 just by picking six more games correctly, right?!

That hope that big money could come from around the corner at any moment is what makes some of us occasionally put money on the most insane outcomes. This week, it’s the Houston Texans. Despite being a 17-point underdog, 60 percent of bets placed on the moneyline of their upcoming game against the Dallas Cowboys have gone in favor of Houston. According to OddsChecker US, the Cowboys have a 92.6 percent chance of winning this game, yet bettors seem inclined to reach for the massive Houston +1125 odds, meaning a $100 bet would earn the bettor an additional $1125 on top of their original investment.

Now, from strictly a historic standpoint, this doesn’t appear to be a bad bet on the surface. Houston won its last meeting against Dallas. The Cowboys have never beaten the Texans in Dallas, and just last year, the Texans won two games where they were double-digit underdogs. Furthermore, the Texans have only lost one game by more than 17 all year — Week 7 at the Las Vegas Raiders. Houston had five such games in 2021, and although their record isn’t as good through 13 weeks, they have had far more “close” games (if you consider two touchdowns and a field goal close) in 2022.

So, with that said, don’t you think it’d be smart to bet the spread instead of the moneyline? Huh? It’s just a thought. The Texans couldn’t beat the Broncos, Bears, or Colts (yeah, that was a tie), so what makes you think they could beat arguably the most complete team in the NFC? “Oh, well it’s just a prayer,” says the delusional bettor with money burning a hole in their pocket. Yeah, and me praying for a boat has about the same chance of coming true. Obviously, that’s an exaggeration, but it’s not too far off.

The last time a team was favored by 17 or more points and lost was 2020, when the Sam Darnold-led New York Jets took down the Los Angeles Rams 23-20, but even those Jets were given better odds for victory (+1100) than the Texans (+1125). Prior to that game, teams favored by 17 or more were 101-10 straight up, and the percentage hasn’t gotten much better since that 11th loss.

I’m not saying it’s impossible for the Texans to win, but it’s highly, highly unlikely. Since 2005, only the 2020 Jets and 2019 Dolphins have won after being 17-point underdogs or worse. Every other underdog of that magnitude in that span is 0-27, but altogether, those 29 teams are 14-14-1 against the spread.


Despite the recent trend of 17-point underdogs overcoming the odds to take down Goliath, history is not on their side. If you really believe the Texans have a shot at winning but are worried about putting serious money on it, maybe consider proposing an alternate line to your bookie. Maybe Texans +10.5 or +7. That’ll still give you a good payout if it happens, and it’s far more likely than QB Davis Mills, who just got retook his starting job from Kyle Allen, taking down one of the best defenses in the league.

That said, the Cowboys have won four games this year by more than 17 points, and those were much better teams than Houston. If any team can come out of the tunnel and suddenly decide they want to decimate their opponents, it’s Dallas. While I admire the boldness to bet on such a huge underdog in an effort to win big money quickly, the Texans are huge underdogs for a reason. Barring a miracle, people will once again see why the Texans suck tomorrow at 1 pm ET.

More articles

Latest article