5 things to watch in the Texans preseason opener

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The Texans preseason begins tonight against Green Bay, and while the games are meaningless, there are a few things you can pick up. Don't expect to see stars like J.J. Watt or DeAndre Hopkins. Much of it will basically involve backups and the battle for those jobs, but here is a look at what to keep an eye out for:

1) How they handle the quarterbacks

Deshaun Watson should not play more than a series if at all. That means we will probably see a lot of Joe Webb, as A.J. McCarron, the presumed backup, is out, possible for the preseason. They signed Jordan Ta'amu, a rookie who was in their rookie camp. He may get snaps out of necessity tonight, even with one day's notice. Expect Webb to play the bulk of the offensive snaps.

2) How do the young linemen look?

First round pick Titus Howard and second round pick Max Scharping will likely see time at both guard and tackle. While they won't see any stunts or blitzes, it will be interesting to see how they fare against NFL players. Spend some time watching these players to see how they match up physically.

3) Running backs behind Lamar Miller

The Texans cut D'Onta Foreman earlier in the week, so the backup jobs are wide open involving a bunch of free agents and guys off the street. It will be interesting to see if any of them can be successful. They should all get ample opportunity, as there is no reason for Miller to play. Karan Higdon and Damarea Crockett are particularly intriguing.

The trade to acquire Duke Johnson means these players will be battling for the third spot and perhaps the practice squad, but some of them will be part of the roster.

4) Any promising young corners in the house?

This will be another position to keep an eye on. There is room for someone to emerge and help out on the back end, and like the running backs, they will get a lot of time. Jermaine Kelly, Xavier Crawford and second round pick Lonnie Johnson all bear watching.

5) Another pass rusher

With Jadeveon Clowney sitting out the preseason, there is room for someone to earn a spot as a pass rusher. Peter Kalambayi and Brennan Scarlett should be particularly interesting.

Bottom line

Otherwise, we aren't going to learn much. But that's OK. At least it is football. Sort of.

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The Houston Astros get their season started against the Chicago White Sox this Thursday night at Minute Maid Park.

So how will the Astros fare this season? Bovada already has some player props set for the season, so let's start with the ones that really caught our attention.

Framber Valdez's win total is set for 14.5. He recorded 17 wins last season for reference. Cristian Javier and Luis Garcia's win totals are 11.5. Taking the over on Javier seems like money in the bank.

What about the offense? Vegas clearly thinks Yordan Alvarez is poised for another big year with his home run total at 36.5. Hopefully his hand issues are a thing of the past.

Another number that really stood out involves new Astros first baseman Jose Abreu.

Abreu's home run total fell off a bit last year, with him only hitting 15. He's hit 30 home runs or more 5 times over the course of his career. Will playing at Minute Maid Park increase his power numbers this year?

Vegas believes that to be the case, as his home run total is at 23.5. A nice jump from last year for the new Astro.

At the end of the day, what is Vegas telling us? Most of the numbers set for the Astros are eerily similar to the stats Houston put up last year.

Does this mean the Astros are more likely than not to have another huge season statistically?

Check out the video above to find out!

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