Game: Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans
Date & Time: Saturday January 4th, 2020, 4:35 (EST)
Location: NRG Stadium, Houston, TX
The Line: Houston Texans -2.5, O/U 44
TV Channel: ESPN
Somethings gotta give. The Bills travel to Houston looking to win their first playoff game since 1995.
NFL Season Record: 60-50-3
NFL Playoff Record: 0-0
Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans Preview
In what is becoming a yearly tradition, the Houston Texans will once again play in the first game of the playoffs. Unlike in years past, this may be one of the most interesting games of the weekend.
Houston finished the season 10-6 while winning the AFC South for the 4th time in 5 seasons. They did it with Deshaun Watson working behind a very average offensive line, and having to fight through injuries to his receiving corps. The one man who was a stalwart for him was DeAndre Hopkins, who was once again among the league leaders in receiving yards with 1,165.
The Buffalo Bills have not won a playoff game since 1995, and they are looking to break this dubious streak on Saturday. Lead by 2nd year Quarterback Josh Allen, the Bills employed a tough-nosed offense who will run the ball down your throat, and look to take you over the top a couple times a game.
For the first time in years, the Bills had some weapons on offense. Free-agent signing Cole Beasley had one of his best seasons, finishing with 67 receptions, 778 yards, and 6 TDS. Beasley has become Allen’s security blanket on big plays throughout the season. Opposite of Beasley is John Brown, who had his best season as a pro, finishing with 72 receptions, 1,060 yards, and 6 TDS.
The strength of the Bills however, is without question their defense. They have playmakers at each level, and get after the quarterback at will. The secondary doesn’t allow many big plays, and TreDavious White is one of the game’s premier playmakers at corner, consistently locking up opposing #1’s on the outside. White vs Hopkins will be one of the main deciding factors in this matchup.
Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans Key Stats
- Deshaun Watson is 6-0 against teams who finished with a Top-5 pass defense (Bills #4)
- J.J Watt will return from the IR to play this week
- The Bills lost their last playoff game in 2017 to the Jaguars
Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans Betting Lines
- The O/U for the game is 44
- The Texans are 2.5 point favorites on Draftkings
- The Patriots are 141 on the ML, Titans +125
Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans Prediction
While this may be the first game of the weekend, make sure you don’t miss it. Both of these teams will be motivated to change the perception of themselves, and a big win in this game will do just that.
The Bills are desperate for a playoff win, and they have the defense to pull the upset. The question mark is at QB, and while Josh Allen has made some plays, if the team falls in an early hole, he isn’t known as a passer who can put up points in bunches. For that reason, the team that starts fast may take control of this game.
The Texans are only 2.5 point favorites in this game. They’ve been up and down this season, but I think they will be bolstered emotionally by the return of team leader JJ Watt. Couple that with the experience Watson has received in his playoff career, and the Texans come out on top in a tight affair, continuing the Bills playoff misery.