NFL Playoff Predictions: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Houston Texans
Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans
Saturday, 1/5/12, 4:30 PM EST, TV: NBC
Opening Point Spread: Houston -5
Current Betting Line: Houston -4.5
Opening Total: 44
Current Total: 43
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
Cincinnati finished out the regular season in winning seven of its last eight games, including a 23-17 victory over the Baltimore Ravens as 5.5-point home favorites in Week 17, while going UNDER the total for the eighth time in 10 opportunities. The Bengals will now try to gain revenge from last year’s disappointing 31-10 postseason loss to the Texans, as quarterback Andy Dalton is a more seasoned player. “Personally, I’m a lot more confident,” commented Dalton this week. He’ll be facing a defense that ranked second in the NFL with 51 sacks, with defensive end J.J. Watt producing 20.5 of them. Cincinnati is 3-1 ATS as a road underdog this year, which is important to consider when making your NFL picks against the spread Saturday.
The Bengals are 0-5 all-time when playing on the road in the playoffs, but their .688 winning percentage away from home over the last two years is second-best in their history during a two-year span. Over the last eight games, Cincinnati rose from 20th to sixth in the NFL in fewest yards allowed per game. The unit also gets after the quarterback—setting a club record in that particular category.
Houston managed to score 22 points in dropping their final two games of the year, including a 28-16 setback to the Indianapolis Colts as 6.5-point road favorites, while going UNDER the total in three consecutive weeks. “I’ve just got to play more consistent,” stated Texans quarterback Matt Schaub. He has thrown just one touchdown and three interceptions over the last four games, but the offense boasts six Pro Bowl selections. The franchise is also one of just two teams to rank in the top 10 in offense and defense. Houston is 7-3 ATS after two straight losses by 10 or more points, with the OVER going 8-4 in that situation.
The Texans have played six teams that made the playoffs this season, while they’ve gone a combined 17-41 all-time against the current field overall. Houston will lean heavily on running back Arian Foster, who gained the most rushing yards by a player in his first two postseason games in league history, as he ran for a combined 285 yards last year.
Sports bettors will likely back the Texans due to their 8-3-1 ATS mark versus winning teams, while the Bengals are 0-5 ATS in the last five meetings in this series.
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