Bills vs. Texans Predictions for NFL Props Wagering
Buffalo Bills @ Houston Texans; NRG Stadium, 4:35 p.m. EST. Jan 4, 2020.
After waiting over 17 years to get back into the playoffs, the Buffalo Bills find themselves in the postseason for the second time in three seasons after putting together a solid 10-6 campaign that earned them the first wild-card spot. The Bills had their chances at claiming the division but lost both games to the New England Patriots, which was ultimately their undoing. From a statistical perspective, the Bills are winning games in spite of their offense, which ranks 24th in total yards, 26th in passing yards, 23 rd in points per game and 24th in third-down percentage. The Bills are indeed led by their highly talented defense, which ranks third in total yards allowed, fourth in passing yards allowed, 10th in rushing yards, second in points allowed and seventh in third-down percentage. If the Bills want to get by the Texans, they are going to need their defense to be on the top of their game in order to contain the likes of Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins.
Speaking of the Texans, they know all about the postseason as they've won two straight division titles, four titles in five seasons and six titles in nine. For all of that regular season success, the Texans have yet to make the AFC Championship Game, while losing three times in the divisional round. The Texans needed to win four of their last six games (they rested everyone in the season finale) in order to snatch the AFC South away from the Titans, but they did so on the strength of an opportunistic defense and an offense that did just enough to produce. If we look at the Texans from a pure stats perspective, they do not rate out that well on either side of the ball, as they are 13th in total yards, 15th in passing yards, ninth in rushing yards, 14th in points and eighth in third-down percentage. Middling numbers at best, but much better than the defense, which ranks 28th in total yards, 29th in passing yards, 25th in rushing yards, 19th in points allowed and 31st in third-down percentage.
So with that said, Vegas has still pegged the Texans as 2.5-point favorites, with the total sitting at 43.5. Given the fact that the home team is given three points for home-field advantage, it wouldn't shock me to see Buffalo pull out the mini upset here. However, instead of giving you a point-spread prediction, I've found some great prop bets available to us that I feel give us a very good chance to make some money.
Team Total Points: Houston Texans "Under" 21.5 points (-110)
The Buffalo defense is no joke. They've held their opponents to 20 or fewer points in 12 of their 16 regular season games. And in the games they did give up 20+ points, it was to Philadelphia, Baltimore and New England (Miami put up 21 in a loss). From what I've seen all season long, those aren't exactly the worst teams to give up points to. The Texans offense has been so-so of late, scoring over 24 or more points just twice in their last six games. And based on this line, they'll have to score 24 because teams very rarely finish with 22 or 23 points in NFL games. For me, this prop bet is going to be directly tied to the Buffalo offense, as they should be able to run the ball effectively, which will bleed the clock and keep the Texans offense on the field. I don't believe the Texans will get a defensive or special teams' touchdown to help their cause. And outside of doubling DeAndre Hopkins on defense, the Bills should have an easy time containing a hobbled Will Fuller and putting pressure on Watson thanks to a leaky offensive line. Take the under here.
Race to 10 Points - Buffalo Bills +100
We've been impressed with the Buffalo offense this season despite not measuring up well in the statistical categories. However, in a game where the Bills will want to take the crowd out of the game as early as possible, we envision the Bills coming out aggressive and pushing the ball downfield against a poor Texans defense. We also believe more in Sean McDermott than we do Bill O'Brien, so you can almost chalk that coaching advantage up to a point or two difference with regards to play calling and effectively utilizing the strengths of his players.
Player Total Props - Josh Allen "Over" 215.5 Passing Yards (-120)
Sticking with the narrative that the Bills are going to come out and be aggressive and attack the weak secondary of the Texans, we like Josh Allen to have a big game throwing the football and putting the team on his back. Allen, not known for his passing abilities, has taken serious strides forward this year, and we expect him to be the catalyst to get the Bills over the hump. This number is relatively low based on past performances, but he's thrown for more than 215 yards against teams like Dallas, Miami, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Tennessee, and both New York teams. The common theme that these teams have is that they have a bad secondary, much like Houston. Allen should be able to exploit the matches and find the likes of Cole Beasley and John Brown for not only easy completions but big chunk plays downfield.
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