- One prominent sportsbook reports 70 percent of sharp money is backing the Houston Texans over the Buffalo Bills in their AFC Wild Card game
- The Texans are 2.5-point favorites
- 69 percent of sharp money is playing the over on the total
Based on the sharp wagers being placed at one prominent sportsbook, the smart money believes it’s the Buffalo Bills, and not the Houston Texans who have a problem.
The sportsbook reports that 70 percent of money from “sharps”, aka professional sports bettors, is on Houston in Saturday’s AFC Wild Card game against the Bills.
Overall, 51 percent of the betting handle is backing the Texans but 52 percent of wagers are being played on the Bills. The line opened with Houston as a three-point favorites but that’s since been reduced to 2.5 points.
Buffalo Bills vs Houston Texans AFC Wild Card Odds
|Buffalo Bills||+125||+2.5 (-102)||Over 44.0 (-110)|
|Houston Texans||-145||-2.5 (-118)||Under 44.0 (-110)|
Odds taken Jan. 2nd.
Buffalo is 6-0-2 against the spread on the road this season.
Head to Head Favors Texans
Overall, Houston is 5-4 against the Bills but the Texans have won four of the past five meetings. Buffalo is 2-2 straight up at Houston but the Texans have won the past two games. Buffalo’s last win at Houston was in 2006.
The Bills are 7-1-1 ATS in their last nine road games. Meanwhile, Houston is a dismal 1-6 ATS in its last seven home contests.
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) January 2, 2020
Buffalo is 0-4 straight up in its last four road playoffs games. The Bills haven’t won an away game in the postseason since 1992.
Buffalo is also 3-8 ATS as a road underdog in the team’s last 11 playoff games.
A Total Surprise
Buffalo is 4-12 on the over/under this season. The total has gone under in five of Buffalo’s last six games. The under has also come through in 12 of the Bills’ last 15 road contests.
Yet surprisingly, 69 percent of sharp wagers are playing the over to come in on this game. Factoring in public betting, both the handle (68 percent) and number of wagers (54 percent) on the total are placed on the under.
The @BuffaloBills allowed 25+ points in a game only once this season (fewest such games in the NFL).
That ties several teams for the fewest such games in a season in the last 80 years, one of which was the 1964 Bills, who went 12-2 and won the AFL Championship.#Bills
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) December 29, 2019
Four of the last five Bills-Texans games have also gone under.
Houston is 7-9 on the total this season. Lately, though, six of the Texans’ last nine games went under. The under was also the winning play in seven of the last nine games in which Houston was favored.
Keys To Bills Victory
Houston is the NFL’s worst red-zone defense this season. The Texans have allowed 71.43 percent of opposition red zone possessions to end in a touchdown.
The Texans also permitted 48.5 percent of third-down plays to be converted during the regular season. That’s the second-most allowed by an NFL defense.
To add to Sal's great stat: The Bills are 6-2 on the road this season and a huge reason is because they are averaging 123 yards rushing in those games. This season, the Texans are ranked 25th in rushing yards allowed per game. https://t.co/76wszq5szV
— Josh Reed (@4JoshReed) January 2, 2020
The Texans were 29th in the NFL at defending the pass (267.2 yards per game) and 25th at stopping the run (121.1 ppg). It’s the latter stat the could really play into Buffalo’s hands.
If Bills running back Devin Singletary (5.1 yards per carry) and QB Josh Allen (4.7 ypc) can move the chains, Buffalo can control time of possession and keep the ball out of the hands of Houston QB Deshaun Watson.
Dining On Sack Lunches
Houston’s offensive line wasn’t as turnstile-like as last season but the Texans still didn’t protect Watson all that well. He was sacked 49 times this season – down from the 64 allowed in 2018 but still not very good.
Duke Johnson on the Bills coverage: "The biggest thing with a defense is trust, and when you watch Buffalo they trust that each guy is going to do their job. We just have to go out there and do ours a little better than theirs." pic.twitter.com/mound4HTlv
— Rivers McCown (@riversmccown) January 2, 2020
Buffalo’s defense is #3 in the NFL (298.2 ypg) and can get after a QB. Jordan Phillips (9.5 sacks), Shaq Lawson (6.5), Ed Oliver (5.0), Trent Murphy (5.0) and Jerry Hughes (4.5) are all capable pass rushes. Lawson (hamstring) is a questionable starter, though.
Keys To Texans Victory
Can Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins get the better of Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White? According to Pro Football Focus, White hasn’t allowed a TD in coverage all season.
— Bradley Gelber (@BradleyGelber) January 1, 2020
Hopkins is a playmaker but Houston deep threat Will Fuller (groin) is questionable. That means White figures to get lots of help dealing with Hopkins.
Will Watson Step Up?
Watson is the most talented player on either team, and he’ll need every ounce of his ability to overcome Buffalo’s stifling defense. But he’s shown a knack for coming up big when needed.
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) January 2, 2020
Watson beat the New England Patriots, something Allen failed to do in two opportunities.
Pick: Texans (-145), Bills (+2.5), Under 44 (-110).
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