The Buffalo Bills look to extend their two-game winning streak when they come up against the Houston Texans, who face injury setbacks and bring a two-game losing streak into Sunday’s clash at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park.
The consensus opinion is predictably high on Buffalo and, conversely, low on Houston. The Bills are at home and in good form ahead of this Week 4 clash. Moreover, they’re playing with such confidence that few expect anything but a Buffalo victory in this game. You could say a Buffalo win is as sure as the sun is to rise in the morning.
This sentiment is literally exemplified by the NFL odds, with books tipping Buffalo at -1400 (or thereabouts depending on the sportsbook) to win on the moneyline. As well, the Bills are trading at -17 in point-spread betting markets after opening at Buffalo -16.5. The NFL line instantly jumped up, thanks to early bettors pounding the NFL line.
From NFL experts to fans and neutrals alike, few expect anything but a Buffalo victory in this game as a result. However, with the moneyline offering no value, bettors can only turn to the point spread to capitalize on a Buffalo victory. The question is whether the Bills can cover this hefty spread, or is it too many points to be spotting the Texans?
Houston Texans vs. Buffalo Bills
Sunday, October 03, 2021 – 01:00 PM EDT at Highmark Stadium
The Houston Texans are in dire straits after losing starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor to a hamstring injury. They’ve lost two games on the trot and face the likelihood of a third-straight defeat against Buffalo in Week 4, which would see them sink deeper into the AFC South shadows.
The Texans started brightly, as Taylor lifted the Texans to the 37-21 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1, pulling off the upset as the 3-point home underdogs across NFL betting markets. But things went awry in a hurry. Tyrod started for the Texans against the Cleveland Browns in Week 2. The journeyman quarterback even had the Texans up by 14-7 before he pulled up lame and exited the game.
Alas, without Taylor, the Texans couldn’t compete with the Browns. Rookie quarterback Davis Mills took over as the offensive pivot in the second half, but it was all one-way traffic as the Browns pulled ahead to win the game. Mills was put in a difficult position, having spent hardly any time practicing with the first team or preparing for such an occasion. The young gunslinger was overwhelmed.
Mills was again out of his depth the following week, on a short turnaround for Thursday night football against the Carolina Panthers. The Texans lost to the Panthers 24-9 at home, failing to even whiff at the 8-point closing spread.
Bills Back On Track
After a shocking 23-16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers at home, in their much-anticipated season home-opener, Josh Allen and the Bills bounced back nicely. Back-to-back wins at the expense of Miami Dolphins and Washington Football Team has Buffalo improving to a 2-1 record and sat pretty atop the AFC East pile.
That said the Bills have benefited from a relatively light schedule over the last fortnight. Additionally, they’ve had the most curious luck ever with watered-down opposition in both instances. In Week 2, Tua Tagovailoa was forced to leave in the first quarter with bruised ribs after he was tackled aggressively to the ground by the Bills defense. Jacoby Brissett stepped in, but the journeyman quarterback proved to be ill-prepared and the Bills cruised to the whopping 35-0 win.
In Week 3, the Bills faced a Washington Football Team that was fielding backup quarterback, Taylor Heincke. It was no contest at all. The Bills stomped to another commanding 43-21 win, smashing the closing 7-point spread comfortably.
NFL Predictions and Picks
By the stats, the Buffalo Bills offense is the fourth-highest scoring offense in the league with an average of 31.3 points per game. The passing offense ranks tenth overall and the rushing offense is seventh overall in the league. On the flipside, the defense is amongst the Top 5 in total defense.
Inasmuch as these stats are impressive, the fact that they’re gained against injury-riddled teams can’t be overlooked. Basically, it’s yet uncertain how good the Bills really are this season. They’ve yet to be tested by a legitimate contender. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen this week because for a third straight week, the Bills are going to face a backup quarterback again.
It’s no surprise that the Bills are laying 17-points to the Texans at top sportsbooks. It’s a lot of points to cover, but not for the Bills. They have the offensive firepower and the defense might to crush the spirit of the Texans. And this ruthlessness in the face of weak opposition makes the Bills the best bet to cover the double-digit spread.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.