HOUSTON -- The Houston Texans (2-4) don't think they've played to their potential and they certainly haven't played up to the high expectations placed on the team before the season.
How do you quantify underachieving?
It's difficult. But Las Vegas betting spreads can offer a clue.
The Texans are the only team in the NFL to be winless against the spread this season, according to the website StatFox.com. Meanwhile, the Kansas City Chiefs (6-0), who the Texans will play this weekend on the road, are 5-1 against the spread. They are tied with the Dallas Cowboys for the best record against the spread.
The Texans were favored to beat the San Diego Chargers by 4.5 points, but they only won by three. they were favored to beat the Tennessee Titans by nine and only won by six. The Texans were favored against the Baltimore Ravens and St. Louis Rams and lost both. They were underdogs against both the Seahawks and the 49ers, but by smaller margins than they lost.
Beating the spread means winning by a bigger margin or losing by a smaller margin than the oddsmakers expected. On the other hand, if a team is constantly on the wrong end of the spread, it means the oddsmakers expected them to be much better than they were.
On that, Vegas has company when it comes to the Texans.
Sunday's game in Kansas City will feature one team overachieving relative to what is expected of it week to week and another underachieving relative to what is expected of it week to week. What looked preseason like an easy game on the Texans schedule doesn't appear to be anymore.