When the Bills (10-6) travel to Houston to take on the Texans (10-6) in Saturday’s AFC wild-card playoff game (4:35 p.m. ET, ESPN and ABC), it will be about two teams trying to shake off recent first-round disappointments.
After the 2017 season, the Bills lost to the AFC South champion Jaguars 10-3 as a wild card. After the 2018 season, the AFC South champion Texans lost at home to the wild-card Colts, 21-7.
Here’s everything to know about betting on Bills vs. Texans in the NFL playoffs, including updated odds, trends and our prediction for the AFC wild-card game.
Bills vs. Texans odds for NFL playoffs 2020
- Spread: Texans by 2.5
- Point total: 44
- Odds: Bills -101, Texans -119
The Texans opened as slight favorites and the line has failed to push up to a field goal. On a neutral field, this means the Bills would be half-point favorites. In Buffalo, they would be 3.5-point favorites.
Bills vs. Texans all-time series
Since the Texans entered the league in 2002, they hold a 5-4 advantage over 9 games. The teams didn’t play in the 2019 regular season. The Texans have won four of the past five, including 20-13 in Houston in October of ’18.
Three trends to know
— The Bills were 9-5-2 against the spread during the regular season. The Texans were only 7-9.
— Only 4 of 16 Bills games went over the point total. The Texans saw 7 of 16 games go over.
— The Bills are 1-3 straight up and have covered only once in their past four games. The Texans also have covered only once in their past four games.
Three things to watch
J.J. Watt’s energy
Watt is returning from his pectoral injury to help the Texans’ struggling defense. He’s been a playoff beast before, most notably taking over wild-card games in Houston against the Bengals. The Texans could use him to disrupt Bills second-year quarterback Josh Allen, who’s getting his first taste of the playoffs in a hostile road environment.
Tre’Davious White vs. DeAndre Hopkins
White, the Bills’ shutdown cornerback is bound to be covering Hopkins, the Texans’ go-to wide receiver for Deshaun Watson, for most of the evening. Although it may not be a complete shadow, Hopkins can expect tight coverage when he’s working outside. Watson needs to buy extra time against the Bills’ good pass rush to extend plays so Hopkins can use his savvy to get open late in routes downfield.
Allen and Watson are expected to feel the heat and won’t always see things available to them downfield. They also might get limited help from the traditional running games. So making good decisions to pick spots to take off and run can be huge for both offenses when plays break down. The QB who makes most game-changing plays off-script will be on the winning side.
Stat that matters
The Bills have the No. 8 rushing offense in the NFL, averaging 128.4 yards per game and 4.4 yards per attempt, with Allen being a big part of the production. The Texans have fallen to the No. 25 run defense, allowing on average 121.1 yards per game at 4.8 yards per attempt. Rookie running back Devin Singletary, well rested after being made inactive for Week 17, should be fed often by the Bills to exploit this weakness.
Bills vs. Texans prediction
The Bills are the better overall team because of their physical play and stout defense to back a versatile offense that can control the clock well with the run but also get big plays from the passing game from Allen to John Brown and others. Watt will have minimal impact. Watson will try to save the day, but with Hopkins contained and the rest of his receiving corps banged up, Houston won’t have enough juice to hold serve, losing a second straight wild-card game at home.
Bills 24, Texans 17