Las Vegas Projected Win Totals for the Texans, Rest of the NFL. Matt Young. Chron.com
That sounds great except for one thing....one BIG thing....
The O/U numbers released by the bookmakers are NOT how many games the books are projecting the teams will win. Neither are point spreads Vegas telling you which team they think will win.
The reason for lines, the ONLY reason for lines, is to try and balance the dollars bet on both sides of the wager. In other words, Las Vegas doesn't necessarily think that the Texas are going to win 8.5 games. What it means is that they think 50% of bettors will bet that the Texans will win more than 8.5 games and 50% of bettors will bet that they win less.
THAT is what lines do and THAT is why they are set.
Could it be that the bookmaker in question thinks the Texans will win 7 games? Sure, or even 9, or 10, but that's not why the line is set where it is.
It's amazing how often members of the media, even so-called "betting experts" who give out betting tips (usually on talk radio) get this simple concept wrong.