Bills vs. Texans Picks with Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
How good were the six NFL head coaching hires ahead of the 2017 season? OK, Denver blew it by going with Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, who was canned after the 2018 season by team boss John Elway. Could be that both Jacksonville's Doug Marrone and the Los Angeles Chargers' Anthony Lynn are fired any day now.
However, the other three hires have worked out better than the teams likely could have hoped for in the Rams' Sean McVay, the 49ers' Kyle Shanahan and the Bills' Sean McDermott.
When McDermott arrived in Buffalo, the Bills hadn't made the playoffs since 1999, the longest drought in American professional sports. He got Buffalo into the Wild-Card game in 2017, which the Bills lost 10-3 to Marrone's Jaguars. The Bills took a mini-step back last year at 6-10 as they were letting then-rookie QB Josh Allen learn on the fly. Allen certainly improved in 2019 and Buffalo is back in the Wild-Card Game. The Bills are at AFC South champion Houston on Saturday, the first of four games on Wild-Card Weekend.
Is Buffalo a Super Bowl-caliber team? Probably not this year, but it's definitely a club on the rise as Allen is legit, the Bills have a very good rookie running back in Devin Singletary and McDermott's defense - he was previously a DC with the Carolina Panthers - is among the league's best. Houston, meanwhile, is one of four active franchises to never play in a Super Bowl. The other three - Cleveland, Jacksonville and Detroit - all missed the playoffs again.
Bills at Texans Betting Story Lines
Neither team had anything to play for in Week 17 as Buffalo was locked into its playoff seeding and Houston for all intents and purposes was locked into the fourth spot. To no surprise, both lost because they rested starters.
Buffalo was beaten 13-6 at home by the Jets. Allen played very briefly and Matt Barkley was awful in his stead, going 18 of 35 for 232 yards and two picks. Singletary, among the NFL leaders in yards per carry (5.1), didn't play at all. Cornerback Levi Wallace left the game with an ankle injury and his status is up in the air for this one. Right tackle Ty Nsekhe returned after missing five games due to injury but left in the third quarter with an ankle problem.
Houston basically gifted the Titans the AFC's final Wild-Card spot by resting all its key guys in Sunday's 35-14 home loss to Tennessee. Neither Deshaun Watson nor DeAndre Hopkins, for example, saw the field. AJ McCarron got the start under center. Cornerback Johnathan Joseph injured a hamstring in the first half and didn't return, but said after the game that he is fine. Receiver Will Fuller wasn't going to play regardless due to a groin injury and Coach Bill O'Brien said Fuller is "progressing and headed in the right direction" but that he wasn't sure if Fuller would be ready by Saturday.
The Texans' defense should get a huge boost Saturday with the return of defensive end JJ Watt, the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, from injury. Watt, who was on injured reserve with a torn pectoral muscle, practiced last week. Houston's run defense especially was vastly better when Watt was in the lineup.
Bills at Texans Betting Odds and Trends
At 5Dimes, Houston is a 2.5-point favorite (-135) with a total of 41.5. On the moneyline, the Texans are -160 and Bills +140. On the alternate lines, Houston is -3.5 (+115) and -3 (-110). The Bills are 6-1-1 against the spread on the road this season and 2-6 "over/under." The Texans are 2-6 ATS at home and 4-4 O/U.
Buffalo is 3-0-1 ATS in its past four on the road vs. teams with a winning home record. It is 5-1 ATS in its past six after a loss. The Texans are 7-1 ATS in their past eight following a double-digit home loss. They are 4-10 ATS in their past 14 vs. teams with a winning record. The under is 5-1 in Buffalo's past six. It's 7-2 in Houston's previous nine as a favorite. The favorite is 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings. The under is 4-1 in those.
Bills at Texans Betting Prediction
First-ever postseason meeting. Here's hoping this game is more entertaining than the last time these clubs met, a 20-13 Texans home win in Week 6 last year. Buffalo lost Allen in the third quarter to injury, and the infamous Nathan Peterman had an interception returned for the winning touchdown by Joseph with just over a minute left. Nate Pete then threw another on the next drive. Buffalo had 229 yards and Houston 216. Both turned it over three times overall.
Like Texans to win by a field goal, something like 20-17, so give the 2.5 points and go under the total.
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