Final score update: The Texans won an insane game to open the 2020 NFL Playoffs. Houston trailed 16-0 but stormed back to take a 19-16 lead in the fourth quarter. The Bills tied it up on a field goal in the closing seconds and we went into overtime. The two teams exchanged punts and then DeShaun Watson drove the team 73 yards to set up the game-winning field. Houston won 22-19, which covered the 2.5-point line and keep the game under the point total, which ranged from 42.5 to 44 points depending on when you get it.
The Houston Texans host the Buffalo Bills in one of the two AFC Wild Card games to open the 2020 NFL Playoffs. The Texans opened as a three-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook, but the line has slipped slightly to 2.5 points. The winner’s Divisional round opponent will depend on the outcome of the Titans-Patriots Wild Card game.
The Bills were unable to unseat the Patriots for the AFC East, but were still able to earn the fifth seed in the AFC as a wild card. They won 10 games and finished the regular season with a +55 point differential. The strength of this team is on defense, where they rank sixth in Football Outsiders DVOA, including being ranked fifth against the pass. Only the 49ers and Patriots have allowed less adjusted net yards per pass attempt this season than the Bills.
Their offense is a different story, ranking 22nd in DVOA, but it is worth noting that quarterback Josh Allen has been measurably better than he was as a rookie. He improved in 2019 in completion percentage, touchdown rate, and interception rate. Allen’s mobility may also be a big edge in this matchup. The Texans were thrashed on the ground by Lamar Jackson this season, allowing him to run for 7.9 yards per attempt, a full yard higher than his season average. If Allen can similarly leverage his rushing ability, it could be a good afternoon for the Bills.
Houston won 10 games as well, but enter the playoffs as the only team with a negative point differential. Of course, a big reason for that is their 35-14 drubbing at the hands of the Titans in Week 17 while resting their starters. With that said, this Texans team is clearly not a dominant force. They are just 17th in offensive DVOA and 26th in defensive DVOA. With that said, quarterback Deshaun Watson is a proven gamer capable of winning any major contest. The Texans this year faced five different playoff teams.
They were clearly no match for Baltimore, the AFC’s top seed, but are battle-tested with tight games in the other four matchups.
Bills at Texans
Point Spread: Bills +3
Total Points: 41.5
Money Line: Texans -159; Bills +140
Overall: Bills 10-6; Texans 10-6
ATS: Bills 9-5-2; Texans 7-8-1
O/U: Bills 4-12; Texans 7-9
Questionable: CB Levi Wallace (ankle), DE Shaq Lawson (hamstring), T Ty Nsekhe (ankle), WR Andre Roberts (foot)
Questionable: S Jahleel Addae (Achilles’), TE Jordan Akins (hamstring), WR Will Fuller (groin), CB Johnathan Joseph (hamstring), CB Bradley Roby (hamstring)
- The Bills have won each of their last four games as road underdogs following a home loss.
- The Bills have covered the spread in seven of their last eight games as underdogs against AFC South opponents.
- Twelve of the Bills’ last 15 road games have gone UNDER the total points line.
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