Buffalo Bills vs. Houston Texans – Wild Card NFL Betting Analysis
Buffalo Bills (10-6 9-5-2 ATS) at Houston Texans (10-6 7-8-1 ATS)
The Bills and Texans have identical 10-6 records and at home, the Texans are only a 2.5-point betting favorite over a Buffalo team that lost three of their last four games of the season. The total for this Wild Card game sits at 42.5.
The spread for this game has not changed since opening but the total has gone from 39.5 to 42.5, as of Wednesday.
The Bills did not end the season well losing two straight and three of four games wherein that span they only averaged 14.3 ppg.
The Texans lost their last game 35-14 to the Tennessee Titans but rested some key guys and QB Deshawn Watson was one of them.
This season the Texans are 5-3 at home and the Bills are 6-2 on the road.
These teams did not face off in the regular season and in the last four games between them, the favorite is 4-0 ATS.
Run and D
While Josh Allen was solid under center this season the keys to Buffalo winning this game is running the ball and playing good defense. They rank 8th in the league in rushing yards per game, and 26th in passing yards per game, and rank 3rd in overall defense.
The Bills lost to the New York Jets 13-6 in their last game when Allen had very limited action and the team’s leading rusher in Devin Singletary did not play.
Singletary only had 46 rushing yards in his last game and had run the ball well in his previous two games. Allen passed for nearly 3,100 yards on the season and he has a solid WR duo in John Brown and Cole Beasley, who combined for 1,838 receiving yards and 12 TD this season.
The Houston defense has had their issues on the season and only rank 29th in the NFL in pass defense and 25th in run defense. They may get a big boost in this game, as star J.J. Watt may be in action and Houston needs all the help they can get on the defensive side of the ball.
Watson Needs to Bounce Back
In the middle of the season, Deshawn Watson was an MVP candidate but he did not play great down the stretch. In his last three games, he was picked off five times and only had three TD. DeAndre Hopkins (1,165 yards 7 TD) is healthy but the 2nd and 3rd leading targets for Houston in Will Fuller V and Kenny Stills are both listed as questionable in the NFL injury report.
Carlos Hyde rushed for 1,070 yards on the season and he had limited action in the last game with only five carries. In his last full game, he only rushed for 27 yards while rushing for 177 in his two games before that.
Watson and Hyde will face a tough Buffalo D that ranks 4th in the NFL against the pass and 10th against the run.
The Bills are 5-0-2 ATS in their last seven games as a road underdog. On the other side of the coin, the Texans are 0-3-1 ATS in their last four games as a favorite. Still, going to buck those trends as Houston is the pick in this game.
Watson will play well leading a balanced offensive attack and the Bills’ offense will simply not be able to keep up. The Texans will win and cover at home in this Wild Card game only giving 2.5 points.
PICK: Texans -2.5
Two Key Releases Below
Bettorsword’s Picks – We are going to disagree with Jason on this one. The Bills were 6-2 on the road this year outscoring opponents by an average of 21-15. There offensive yards per point number in road games was a mediocre 15.8 however their defensive ypp number of 20.7 is fantastic.
The Texans were 5-3 at home and outscored by opponents 24-23. Their ypp numbers were very mediocre on both sides of ball at 15.3 and 15 off/def.
Our model predicts a low scoring nail biter, a 19-18 Texans win when using data from the entire season. When using data from just the last 7 games, we come up with a predicted final of 21-16 with the Bills on top.
Two plays for us here: Bills +3 -125 and UNDER 44 (Both 1* Key Releases)