Bills-Texans Betting Preview: Should Houston Really Be Double-Digit Favorite?
Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) laughs at the line of scrimmage during the second half against the Dallas Cowboys at NRG Stadium.
Betting odds: Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans
- Spread: Texans -10
- Over/Under: 41
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- Channel: CBS
>> All odds as of Friday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets
Betting market: With Deshaun Watson’s status up in the air, this line didn’t open up until Wednesday.
Considering Houston hasn’t beaten any team by more than three points this season, early bettors had trouble locking in the Texans as such a large favorite and Houston is now getting fewer than 40% of bets (see live data here).
Nevertheless, the Texans have actually moved from -9.5 to -10 at a number of books. Given the low total of 41 — more than half of bettors have bet on the under — the Bills are implied to score a measly 15.5 points. — Mark Gallant
Trends to know: Can bettors trust the Texans as 10-point favorites? Since 2003, teams with a losing record favored by more than a touchdown have gone 60-74-1 (45%) against the spread (per our Bet Labs data). — John Ewing
Not only are teams with a losing record great bets to fade as a large favorite,
teams that open as a favorite of 9.5 points or more and did not make the playoffs the season prior are 86-120-3 ATS (41.7%), losing bettors 35.7 units since 2003. — Evan Abrams
Over the past season and a half, Houston has not exactly dominated the league, with a 6-15 record SU.
Did you know? Houston will be only the fifth team since 2003 that’s been under .500 and favored by more than a touchdown after winning four or fewer games the season prior.
- 2016 Titans (-7.5) vs. CLE (W, 28-26)
- 2011 Panthers (-9) vs. TB (W, 48-16)
- 2009 Seahawks (-11) vs. DET (W, 32-20)
- 2005 Dolphins (-8.5) vs. NYJ (W, 24-20) — Abrams
Which team is healthier? Bills
Stud cornerback Tre’Davious White (ankle) joins right guard John Miller (ankle) and safeties Rafael Bush (shoulder) and Micah Hyde (groin) as the only Bills at risk of missing Sunday’s game.
Meanwhile, the Texans are tentatively expected to have Watson (chest), although he failed to get in a full practice on Wednesday and Thursday.
The Texans’ wide receivers are all a bit banged up, but once again each is expected to play. Running back Lamar Miller (chest) should start after not playing last Sunday night.
Biggest mismatch: Bills quarterback Josh Allen vs. Texans defensive line
Allen has already been sacked a league-high 19 times this season, and now he takes on a Texans defensive line that ranks sixth in Football Outsiders’ adjusted sack rate.
The Bills O-line could have a tough time containing J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney, who’ve combined for 36 pressures and 8.5 sacks.
Allen has continually struggled under pressure this season. He’s been sacked on 29.7% of his dropbacks when he faces pressure (per PFF), the highest rate among Week 6 starting quarterbacks.
And when he doesn’t get sacked, he’s compiled a paltry 3.1 yards per attempt, 15.2% completion rate and passer rating of 2.1 under pressure. — Justin Bailey
DFS edge: Texans WR Keke Coutee will have the benefit of avoiding White, who doesn’t travel into the slot, according to Pro Football Focus data.
More encouraging are Coutee’s 22 targets over his past two games — the first two in which he’s been active.
Bet to watch: Under 41
We have possibly the NFL’s two worst offensive lines facing off against two excellent defenses. The Texans defensive line ranks sixth in adjusted sack rate while also being stout against the run — plus Watt is starting to round into old form.
The Bills are middle of the road in most metrics, but are outstanding at stuffing the run, which is something the Texans don’t do well.
Allen is a hot mess and Watson isn’t much better at the moment. Feels like a sloppy game where punts are more likely than first downs. — Geoff Schwartz
Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.