Buffalo (10-6) is back in the playoffs for the second time in the last three seasons. Rookie running back Devin Singletary is ranked fifth in the NFL with 5.1 yards per carry. John Brown led the team with 72 receptions for 1,060 yards and his six touchdowns were tied with Cole Beasley. The Bills’ real strength is on the defensive side of the ball with the second-best scoring defense in the league allowing just 16.2 points per game. Buffalo is also third in total yardage allowed (298.2). Pro Bowl cornerback Tre’Davious White leads the league with six interceptions and will most likely draw the unenvious task of guarding Deandre Hopkins.
Houston (10-6) enters the postseason as AFC South champs for the fourth time in the last five years but have just one playoff win during that stretch. The Texans are getting J.J. Watt back for this game but it is unsure how much playing time the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year will get. Wide receiver Will Fuller V was back at practice this week after injuring his groin in Week 16. While Hopkins is the star, Fuller has been a key contributor as Houston holds an 8-3 record and is averaging 26.3 points in games which Fuller has played this season, as opposed to a 2-3 mark with a 19.6 point average when he has been out of the lineup.
We break down the matchup and offer our best prop bets and analysis for Saturday’s AFC Wild Card showdown between the Bills and Texans.
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Bills vs. Texans Game Details
Date: Saturday, January 4
Time: 4:35 pm
Location: NRG Stadium (Houston, Texas)
Spread: Texans -2.5
Analysis & Picks
Quarterbacks making their first career playoff start have not fared well ATS in previous years, and I fear the same fate could fall on Josh Allen this Saturday. Allen has played one career game in Houston and did not fare well, throwing for just 84 passing yards in a 20-13 setback last season. I think Allen has evolved with his game since then, especially his ability to run the football. After toting 89 carries last season, Allen carried the ball 109 times in 2019, with a similar success rate, averaging almost 32 rush yards per game. I believe Allen will use his legs again on Saturday, which is why I’m playing over his rushing total of 34.5 yards on FanDuel.
PICK: Josh Allen over 34.5 rushing yards (-112)
Watson and Allen are in similar situations here, except Watson has one year of experience in the postseason. Deshaun rushed for 76 yards in Houston’s playoff loss last year to the Colts. I don’t see any reason why Watson won’t put together another solid ground performance considering the circumstances. When the game is on the line, Watson isn’t afraid to rely on his legs to make a play. He will sail over his rushing total of 26.5 yards on FanDuel.
PICK: Deshaun Watson over 26.5 rushing yards (-112)
Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith