NFL Picks Home Favorite Texans Spread vs. Bills

Nikki Adams

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 7:12 PM UTC

Wednesday, Sep. 24, 2014 7:12 PM UTC

Houston Texans face the Buffalo Bills this weekend, both teams looking to get back on the winning track after defeats in week 3. Find out what NFL odds are currently in swing and where the value NFL picks are to be had.

Buffalo Bills (2-1, 1-0 away)
Buffalo Bills came crashing down to earth last week when they lost 22-10 to the San Diego Chargers at home, failing to lay the points as the 1-point favourites. What began as a dream start to the season, winning their first two games – beating the Bears 23-20 in OT and stifling Miami Dolphins 29-10 was dealt a rude awakening by a Chargers side that had just come off a statement-making win over the Seattle Seahawks.

Admittedly, buying the Bills as 3-0 side on the season was a bit much for many NFL bettors. The franchise has accomplished the feat only a couple of times since 1993. It would have been frankly out-of-this-world. Besides, the proof is in the pudding so to speak. The Bills are 28th in passing offense with 191.3 yards per game – in other words, it’s struggle with that aspect of the game. What’s more, they are 26th defending against the pass 267.3 yards allowed per game.

Overall, they are 23rd in the league on total offense, averaging 322.3 yards per game and accounting for just 20.7 points per game. Compounding those numbers are the questions surrounding E.J. Manuel, who’s averaging at 63.2 percent completion, 204 yards per game, just a touchdown a game, and has a passer rating of 90.8 so far. How deep is Manuel’s ability to generate offense?

Bills are 2-1 SU and ATS ahead of week 4. They are 10-9 ATS overall since 2013, 3-6 ATS as just the away team, and they are 2-6 ATS as the away underdog, which includes a 1-0 ATS this season.


Houston Texans (2-1, 1-0 home)
Houston Texans were dealt their first defeat of the season when they lost to the New York Giants, in a surprisingly lopsided 30-17 defeat. Ryan Fitzpatrick had a forgettable outing in the Big Apple, despite the Texans almost matching the Giants for total offense 411 to 419. The veteran quarterback went 20-of-34 for 289 yards and a touchdown but he had three interceptions and two sacks on the night. It was the first game in which Fitzpatrick threw any interceptions this season or suffered the sack. Along with those positive streaks ending, he almost singlehandedly undid the Texans’ league leading plus-5 turnover differential.

Some allowances have to be made for Arian Foster’s absence (sidelined with a hamstring injury). Foster was second in the league in rushing with an average of 120.5 yards per game. Without Foster at their disposal, the Texans – 5th in the league in rushing with 140.7 yards per game – had to resort to the passing game, which ranks 20th overall on 212.3 yards per game. It remains to be seen whether Foster returns to the line-up for Sunday’s game with the Bills, which will also be a reunion for Fitzpatrick who was released by the Bills in spring of last year.


NFL Betting Line
Buffalo Bills +3.0 +100, +150, O/U 41.0
Houston Texans -3.0 -120, -170, O/U 41.0

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NFL Betting Analysis
The Texans lost the plot against the Giants last week, but we think they’ll be motivated to bounce back at home when they host the Bills to come through on our NFL picks as the -170 favourites to win SU and lay the points as the 3-point favourites.

Going for the Texans is a rushing offense that could perk up with the return of Foster. (Offense isn’t the same without him, to put it bluntly). Still, the Bills are sixth in the league defending against the rush, so that side of offense is sure to be tested with or without Foster. In the event they’ll be forced to make do without him, the Texans will have to resort to the passing game once again. Consider the Bills are a lowly 26th opposing the pass, allowing 267.3 yards per game, the Texans could fare better than they did against the Giants who are 22nd in that category. For the Texans to come through as the hot home favourites with NFL odds at -165 to win SU however, they’ll need their defense to come through for them – going into week 4, defense is allowing 368 yards per game – 18th against the pass with 243.3 allowed and 25th opposing the rush with 141.7 allowed. They have forced seven turnovers and four sacks, and Brian Cushing leads the Texans with 28 tackles while J.J. Watt has three tackles for loss.


NFL Betting Verdict
If Foster is back for this game and Fitzpatrick rises to the occasion, the Texans should win straight up and cover. The Texans are a solid team at home; that is, if we take last season’s stats as an aberration of course. They are 8-10 ATS since 2012 (a number skewed dramatically by their forgettable 2013) and they are 7-7 ATS as home favourites since 2012 (again skewed by 2013 negatively). The Bills have shown some improvements and had a good start to the season, but we’re not ready to buy what they are selling. We’re not convinced E.J. Manuel has the offensive abilities to lead his team to victory week in-week out, especially if the Bills fall behind early.

NFL Picks: Texans -165 SU; -3.0 (-115) at 5Dimes


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