The Houston Texans will try to win their third straight game as they play host to the Buffalo Bills in Week 6. Kickoff is set for 1:00 EST on Sunday, October 14, at NRG Stadium in Houston. Fans in certain markets can watch the game on CBS.
Oddsmakers list the Texans at 10-point favorites at home. The over/under for the game is set at 41 points. Be sure to check out a complete list of the Week 6 NFL betting odds.
Just a few weeks ago, the Texans were 0-3 and there were rumors that head coach Bill O’Brien could be fired soon. However, after back-to-back overtime victories over the Colts and Cowboys, things are looking up. The Texans are 2-3 and just a game back of both the Titans and Jaguars for the top spot in the AFC South.
The key, of course, is for the Texans to keep building on that momentum, and perhaps doing so without needing to go to overtime. Other than a road trip to Jacksonville next week, the Texans have a rather manageable schedule ahead of them over the next couple of months. With another 2-3 team coming to Houston this week, the Texans are in a perfect position to keep things rolling.
The Bills, meanwhile, hit the road this week with a little bit of confidence as well. After a disastrous start to the season, Buffalo has won two of their last three games, including a road win over the Vikings and last week’s home defeat of the Titans. Those results should keep them optimistic heading into this week’s road game in Houston.
At 2-3, the Bills are just a game behind the Dolphins and Patriots in what has become a tight AFC East. Obviously, as the lowest-scoring team in the NFL, it could be tough keeping to stay competitive all season. But despite everything that has gone wrong this year, the Bills can still feel like they have a chance to get things going in the right direction.
The Texans definitely have a good chance to win this week to make it three in a row. But there’s a big difference between winning in overtime and covering a 10-point spread. It’s important not to lose sight of some of the flaws the Texans had early in the season when they were 0-3. I’ll lean toward the Bills being competitive and at least keeping this game within 10 points.
While Deshaun Watson has steadily improved from week to week, there are still some concerns with him and the Houston offense. For starters, the Texans are asking him to run the ball too much. He took some serious shots against the Cowboys last week, which is a problem for a franchise quarterback. In fact, he’s been officially listed as questionable most of the week.
Of course, if you take away Watson’s 40 rushing yards per game, the Texans are averaging less than 80 yards per game on the ground. Both Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue are averaging less than four yards per carry on the season. Those struggles running the ball have also contributed to Houston’s inefficiency in the red zone this season, especially last week against the Cowboys.
Watson has also been sacked 18 times in five games, which again, is too much. While the Texans are a constant threat to throw the ball down the field to DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller, Watson is taking a beating in the process. The Bills are just good enough on the defensive line to slow down Houston’s running backs and apply some pressure on Watson.
The Texans should also be wary of turnovers in this game, as Watson has thrown five picks in five games. Meanwhile, the Buffalo defense has created eight takeaways over their last three games. Also, the Bills are only giving up 13 points per game over their last three games, and obviously, they’ve been opportunistic at creating turnovers during that span as well.
On the other side of the ball, the Bills are the worst offensive team in the league. However, they’re capable of scoring when given good field position, which was how they won so convincingly against the Vikings a few weeks ago. Quarterback Josh Allen has three rushing touchdowns on the season, so he’s capable of finding the end zone with his legs from short range. Stephen Hauschka has also been one of the more consistent placekickers in the league this year. The Bills may not get to the red zone often, but when they get there, they come away with points.
The biggest key for the Bills this week is getting their running game going. Despite some promising flashes at times, Allen is unreliable as a passer and the Bills aren’t going to put the game in his hands. However, LeSean McCoy is coming off his best outing of the season, gaining 108 total yards on 26 touches. To be fair, Houston’s defense has been tough against the run this season, but if McCoy can get into a rhythm, he’s still a dangerous playmaker.
Obviously, Buffalo has a rather narrow path to victory every week. However, the Texans are still too flawed to make me confident that they can cover a 10-point spread. If the line for this game were less than a touchdown, it might be a different story. But I’ll take my chances with the Bills doing enough to at least beat the spread.