Texans vs. Buccaneers Picks, Predictions & Betting Odds: How to Bet This Spread & Over/Under

Texans vs. Buccaneers Picks, Predictions & Betting Odds: How to Bet This Spread & Over/Under article feature image

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kenny Stills, Deshaun Watson

  • The updated betting odds for Saturday's NFL game between the Houston Texans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers make Houston a sight road favorite (spread: Texans -3) with the over/under at 50.5.
  • Should you bet betting on Deshaun Watson & Co. to cover the line? Our betting experts dig deep into the matchup and pick out their best bets for the spread and over/under.

Texans at Buccaneers Picks, Predictions & Betting Odds

  • Odds: Texans -3
  • Over/Under: 50.5
  • Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET on Saturday
  • TV Channel: NFL Network

Odds as of Thursday morning and via DraftKings, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.

The public is all over the Houston Texans against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with more than 80% of bettors backing Deshaun Watson and Co. to move them from 1-point underdogs to 3-point favorites.

Should you follow the public’s lead here?

Our experts preview Saturday’s game, featuring their picks and analysis.

Texans-Buccaneers Injury Report

Which team is healthier? Texans

DeAndre Hopkins was downgraded to no practice on Wednesday with an illness, so he should be monitored, but there haven’t been many occasions this season in which a player misses a game due to being sick. Carlos Hyde (ankle) was also downgraded on Wednesday after he was a limited participant on Tuesday, but so far, it appears that he’s expected to suit up.

It’s been a rough final stretch for the Bucs after they placed Mike Evans and Scotty Miller on injured reserve with hamstring injuries. Additionally, Chris Godwin (hamstring) hasn’t practiced this week. The Bucs sound pessimistic about his status and I wouldn’t expect him to play on Saturday. Justin Bailey

Note: Info as of Wednesday evening. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.

Biggest Mismatch

Texans Pass Offense vs. Bucs Pass Defense

What makes the Texans so lethal is not just the talent of DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller and Kenny Stills, but the fact that the trio can each line up anywhere on the field.

Kenny Stills-DeAndre Hopkins-Will Fuller
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kenny Stills, DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller

All three have played from the slot on at least 30% of their snaps, according to data from Pro Football Focus. Hopkins’ 2.22 yards per slot route ranks fifth among 74 qualifiers while Stills’ 2.04 ranks 14th. Fuller (0.94) hasn’t been quite as effective — due in part to dropping three of his 19 slot targets — but just his presence inside provides an added vertical dimension that defenses have to account for.

Having wideouts who can line up inside but still threaten the intermediate and deep area of the field puts the Texans in perfect position to exploit the Bucs’ biggest weaknesses in pass defense.

One is covering downfield: The Bucs rank 30th in schedule-adjusted efficiency on targets more than 15 yards downfield, per Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric. And whereas the Bucs have been getting strong play on the perimeter from cornerbacks Jamal Dean and Carlton Davis — who rank 12th and 34th, respectively, at the position in PFF’s coverage grades — they’ve been more vulnerable on the inside, where slot corner Sean Murphy-Bunting ranks just 64th. Chris Raybon

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

  • Projected Spread: Texans -2
  • Projected Total: 48

Jameis Winston is the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for back-to-back 450-yard games, but could be without both of his top wide receivers this week after Evans was placed on injured reserve and Godwin in doubt. The Bucs will have to rely on Breshad Perriman, O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate in this matchup against a struggling Texans defense.

Luckily, Winston should have a fairly clean pocket to work with as the Texans — who are sorely missing J.J. Watt — generate the second-worst pressure rate in the league at 18.2%. Winston owns a 45.5 QB rating against pressure that shoots up to 99.8 when kept clean, so can expect an above-average game from him this week.

49ers-buccaneers-betting-odds-picks-cheat sheet-nfl-week-1-2019
Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jameis Winston

The Buccaneers are a fairly underrated team right now given their brutal schedule — they had a seven-week stretch without a home game from Weeks 4-10. They also have a +2.1 edge over the Texans in expected Pythagorean win differential.

Weather could also be a factor, which means we’ll want to have more clarity on the forecast before pulling the trigger. We could see steady rain in Tampa Bay Saturday, which I feel would favor the Bucs and the under.

The Bucs are an extreme pass funnel defense as they possess the top-ranked run defense in DVOA vs. a 15th-ranked pass defense in DVOA. If both teams are forced to lean on the run game more, it will negatively impact the Texans. In fact, if the Bucs lean on the run game more, it could limit the potential for ill-advised throws from Winston that lead to turnovers.

I’m already showing value on the Bucs +3 and under 49.5 with my projected lines, but the matchup and potential weather considerations further enhance the outlook of both sides. Both are only leans until we have further confirmation on the forecast. Sean Koerner

Koerner is 158-119-2 (57%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.

Expert Pick

Raybon: Texans -3

While I usually don’t back the Texans as favorites because Bill O’Brien’s team tends to play down to the competition, I had to jump on them as a short favorite against the Bucs.

It looks like Godwin will be joining Evans on the sidelines for this one, or at the very least be limited on a short week. Losing Godwin is arguably a bigger blow than Evans for the uber-productive but uber-reckless Winston. Whereas Winston completed 56.2% of his passes with a 7.6% interception rate to Evans, he’s connected on 72.1% of attempts to Godwin with an interception rate of 5.7%.

Meanwhile, the Texans offense should be at full strength with Fuller another week removed from his own hamstring issue and Stills demanding more defensive attention after catching two touchdowns last week.

Winston had previously been profitable to back as an underdog, be he’s just 3-5 against the spread as an underdog this season, according to our Bet Labs data. With a healthier stable of talented skill players and the superior, less turnover-prone quarterback, I like the Texans chances to cover the short spread in a potential shootout.

I jumped on this early at -1, but I still like it as long as it’s not past the key number of -3.

Raybon is 183-138-10 (57%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.

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