Betting the AFC Wildcard odds: Can Bills defense take down the Texans?

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Betting the AFC Wildcard odds: Can Bills defense take down the Texans?

Betting the AFC Wildcard odds: Can Bills defense take down the Texans? | News Article by

The AFC postseason kicks off Saturday with the first of two Wildcard Weekend games. The Buffalo Bills visit the Houston Texans for a 4:35 pm ET start, with oddsmakers setting the host Texans as field goal favorites.

If you’re betting the best online betting sites NFL odds for Bills at Texans, here are the edges and angles to factor into your handicapping.

Ground work
These two teams have contrasting makeups in their game plan, with Buffalo among the best stop units in the league and Houston relying more on its offense to overwhelm.

The Bills held 11 of their 16 regular season foes to less than 20 points and finished fourth in yards allowed per play at only 4.8. Buffalo was especially stingy against the pass, limiting opposing quarterbacks to an average passer rating of 78.8 and allowing only 15 total passing touchdowns all season.

Houston has a dynamic air attack, led by quarterback Deshaun Watson and receiver DeAndre Hopkins, but the core of this offense has become the rushing game. The Texans finished eighth in yards per carry (4.6) and have two potent running backs in Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson alongside the mobility of Watson.

If there is a weakness in this Buffalo defense it is against the run. The Bills gave up 4.2 yards per carry to opposing backs and were rolled on the ground in the majority of their losses, including allowing 143 yards to New England, 118 yards to Baltimore, 147 yards to Cleveland, and 218 yards rushing to Philadelphia.

Skills to pay the Bills
Buffalo’s offense doesn’t have the same explosiveness at Houston, picking up the bulk of its gains on the ground and sitting 24th in passing offense in the NFL. The Bills handed the ball of on almost 46% of their snaps and picked up 4.4 yards per attempt – not that far off their passing game production, which averages only 6.3 yards per pass attempt.

The Texans defense was terribly inconsistent this season, ranking near the bottom of the league in most categories. However, Houston’s stop unit did step up in big games – playing well in big games against New England, Tennessee and Tampa Bay.

The pass rush leaves a lot to be desired, with only 31 sacks on the season, but Houston is hoping to return star rusher JJ Watt for the postseason. Watt had 15 tackles and four sacks before injuring his pectoral in Week 8.

Total time
The Over/Under betting total for this AFC Wildcard game is set at 41.5 points. The Bills, given their makeup, were one of the best Under bets in the NFL in 2019, going 4-12 O/U on the season thanks to a strong defense and a weaker scoring attack.

Houston, on the other hand, finished the regular season with a 7-9 Over/Under record, including a 4-4 O/U record at home. While Buffalo and Houston didn’t play this season, they have gone Under in four of their previous five meetings going back to 2009.

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