Expert Final Thoughts - How To Bet Bengals vs. Texans

Texans player Tom Savage in action

Kevin Stott

Saturday, December 24, 2016 1:20 PM UTC

Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016 1:20 PM UTC

Egg Nog and Saturday Night Football? While Santa Claus and Rudolph and that whole reindeer lot are flying through the skies, Tom Savage will be making his first start for the Texans against the Bengals. Let’s look at this quirky matchup and see if there is a value-laden bettable angle.

Cincinnati Bengals vs Houston Texans 

The Cincinnati Bengals head to NRG Stadium (Grass) in Houston (Partly Cloudy, 66°) Saturday night to face Tom Savage and the Texans in a big week 16 Christmas Eve flex schedule matchup for the hosts.

Offshore odds have this game PK to Houston as 1½-point favorites and with the total at 41 in most shops. Earlier this week, Texans HC Bill O’Brien named Savage starter for this game over the anemic Brock Osweiler.

The money Line odds see the Texans -115 favorites with Cincinnati -105 while the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook opened the Texans 2½-point chalks in its NFL Week 16 Advanced Line—before we knew Osweiler would get benched.


Series, Side, and Totals Trends 

The Trends in this Bengals-Texans matchup reveal the Texans 7-1 ATS L8 and 3-1 ATS L4 at home in Houston with the Under 6-2 L8 meetings. Houston is 20-6-2 ATS L28 after accumulating 350+Yards previous game, 10-1-1 ATS after accumulating less than 90 yards rushing previous game but 1-4 ATS L5 after SU Win and 0-4 L4 on Grass. The Under is 6-1-1 L8 Week 16 Texans games and 10-4 their L14 December.

AJ Green (Hamstring) and the Bengals are 0-7-1 ATS L8 vs. team with winning records, 1-5-1 ATS L7 Saturday's and 1-5 ATS L6 Road games but 6-0 ATS L6 week 16 dates, 5-1 ATS L5 December and 13-5 ATS L18 after accumulating less than 90 yards rushing previous game, so both these teams have had trouble running the football lately with Lamar Miller (Ankle, Probable) and Giovani Bernard (ACL, I-R List) both being beat up.


Tom Savage Could Impress

With Savage starting, it seems an admission from management at the perfectly wrong time that QB guru O’Brien and the franchise have possibly put too many of its eggs—and dollars—in Osweiler, but in reality it may be just a simple, smart move at the perfect time as the NFL playoff picture shows the Titans (8-6, projected 8th seed) and Colts (7-7, projected 10th seed) lying in wait to snatch the AFC South title or a Wild Card spot should Houston falter.

Rutgers-product Savage (6-4, 230) gives the Texans a better downfield threat and against the Jaguars last Sunday, he went 26-39 for 260 yards in his stead of Osweiler, who’s averaged a measly 5.75 ypp on his downfield pass attempts—the third-lowest mark in NFL history according to ESPN Stats and Info. So let me guide you to some truth: O’Brien did the right thing here and receivers like star DeAndre Hopkins will be better off for it.

Houston needs to win this game with a Week 17 date at Tennessee looming, so expect Pro Bowl pick Jadeveon Clowney and the top-ranked Texans defense (4,291 Total Yards, #1 NFL) to rise to the occasion here against a possibly ambivalent Bengals (2-5 SU Road) squad.

Predicted Final Score: Texans 20 Bengals 17Free NFL Pick: Texans -110 Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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