We’re fast approaching what is scheduled to be the start of NFL training camp. While (reserved) optimism reigns supreme for many NFL fanbases, things are a bit bleaker in Houston. After two consecutive AFC South championships — and four in the last five years under head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien — a bunch of questionable personnel moves have the team projected to decline in 2020.
The best way to see this is in the betting markets, where the Texans are squarely predicted to finish in third place in the AFC South and below .500. Currently at FanDuel:
These odds vary at different spots, but the order remains the same. Furthermore, the most likely divisional outcome is one in which the Indianapolis Colts finish first, the Tennessee Titans place second, the Houston Texans take third and the Jacksonville Jaguars slot into last:
Houston ends up third in the division in the two most likely finishes, per FanDuel sportsbook, and is currently lined at 7.5 wins:
This number has declined precipitously since the beginning of the offseason, where you could have gotten Houston with eight wins in some spots. Now, it's not only 7.5, but it's shaded to the under. Houston is also less than even money to make the playoffs for the fifth time in six seasons, despite the fact the AFC will now be home to seven playoff teams, as opposed to the six it welcomed each year from 1990-2019: