- The Buffalo Bills and Houston Texans clash in the AFC Wild Card Playoffs Saturday (Jan. 4, 4:35 PM ET)
- Houston’s pass defense ranks 26th in DVOA, which sets up perfectly for John Brown
- Brown ranks top-10 in the NFL in 20+ yard targets with 27
The Buffalo Bills and Houston Texans clash in the AFC Wild Card Playoffs Saturday (Jan. 4, 4:35 PM ET) in a game prop bettors should be looking to attack.
The Texans’ pass defense has surrendered an average of 113.3 receiving yards to opposing number one wideouts over the past three weeks, and Buffalo just happens to possess one of the NFL’s premier big play threats.
Prop #1: John Brown Over/Under 61.5 Receiving Yards
All odds taken Jan. 3.
Prior to this season, John Brown was thought of as a volatile player. He’d pop up for a big game and then disappear for weeks. That hasn’t been the case this season, as Brown is enjoying the best year of his career and is fresh off roasting Stephon Gilmore for a 53-yard score.
— Christopher Reiss (@NFL_ChrisReiss) December 21, 2019
Brown has seen 24 targets in his last four games and has racked up 69 receiving yards or more in nine of 15 outings this season. He’s been especially productive against bottom-16 ranked pass defenses, which is notable since Houston allows the fourth most passing yards per game.
John Brown vs Bottom-16 Ranked Pass Defenses in 2019
Brown is averaging 89 receiving yards versus those defenses and the best part about his skillset is he can exceed this prop on one play. He has four career receptions of 65 yards or more, and ranks top-10 in the NFL in 20+ yard targets. The Texans meanwhile, have allowed the eighth most 20+ yard completions this season and haven’t generated a pass rush grade above 61.5 since Week 7 according to Pro Football Focus.
If Houston can’t pressure on Josh Allen, the lanky QB will have plenty of time sit back and wait for Brown’s deep routes to open up. I like Brown to follow in the recent footsteps of AJ Brown and Breshad Perriman and torch this Texans’ secondary.
Pick: Brown Over 61.5 receiving yards (-113)
Risk: 1 unit to win 0.88 units
Prop #2: DeAndre Hopkins Over/Under 5.5 Receptions
This almost feels too easy. Will Fuller isn’t expected to play and DeAndre Hopkins becomes an absolute target monster when Fuller sits. This season alone, he’s averaging over 12 targets a game without Houston’s number two option in the lineup, and he’s parlayed those targets into reception counts of 7, 7, 8, 11 and 9.
#Texans WR @DeAndreHopkins is just the third player in NFL history to post at least 600 receptions, 8,500 receiving yards & 50 rec. touchdowns in his first seven seasons, joining Marvin Harrison (1996-02) & Torry Holt (1999-05).
Hopkins owns 632 catches for 8,602 yards & 54 TDs. pic.twitter.com/hjLKFJcttl
— Texans PR (@TexansPR) December 31, 2019
Sure the matchup versus All-Pro Tre’Davious White is tough, but the Texans’ will surely scheme plenty of easy throws to Hopkins for Deshaun Watson. Over his career, Hopkins has fared well against shadow coverage, and just last year he caught 83% of his targets in a game matched up primarily versus White.
That contest featured just 25 attempts from Watson, but Saturday’s outing projects to be a close affair, as Houston is favored by only 2.5-points. If Watson approaches his projection of 33.5 pass attempts and we assign Hopkins a conservative 27% target share, he’s should see roughly nine passes thrown his way. Given that without Fuller, Hopkins target share has routinely exceeded 30%, he should have no problem eclipsing 5.5 catches.
Pick: Hopkins Over 5.5 receptions (-150)
Risk: 2 units to win 1.33 units
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