Houston Texans vs. Buffalo Bills Odds, Preview and Picks - 10/03/2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 1 p.m. ET, Oct. 3, 2021
Venue: Highmark Stadium, Buffalo, NY
Where to watch: CBS

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Bills -16; O/U 48; Bills -1125, Texans +700
BetMGM: Bills -16; O/U 47; Bills -1667, Texans +900
Caesars: Bills -16.5; O/U 47; Bills -1600, Texans +850

Season record
Texans: 0-3
Bills: 2-1

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Bills - Texans preview and analysis


Recent form
Texans: lost 24-9 vs. Panthers in Week 3
Bills: won 43-21 vs. Bills in Week 3

It would appear that the Buffalo Bills have gotten back to figuring things out.

That is a dangerous thought for a Houston Texans team that will come to Buffalo on Sunday with no quarterback and an offense in real danger of getting ran out of the stadium.

The Bills, since losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1, have responded in kind with consecutive dominant performances against the Miami Dolphins and Washington Football Team. The Bills defeated Washington by 22 points in what was more dominant than the score dictated.

Josh Allen has found his MVP form after throwing for 358 yards and five total touchdowns (four passing, one rushing) to become the fourth player in league history to throw for 300 yards, four touchdown tosses and a rushing score in multiple games.

Allen is locked in at home, and that's a dangerous thought when Buffalo becomes a home-field terror. He's thrown at least two touchdown passes in three of his last four at Highmark Stadium.

But it's the Bills' defense that has been the constant through three weeks. Buffalo's defense has allowed 14.7 points per game through three games and has already registered six takeaways. Safeties Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer each had an interception, and top corner Tre'Davious White also had a forced fumble.

This is a unit that will be chomping at the bit against rookie quarterback Davis Mills. The former Stanford quarterback will fill in for Tyrod Taylor for the second consecutive week; he went 19 of 28 for 168 yards and a touchdown in his first NFL start last Thursday against the Carolina Panthers.

Problem was the Texans only had nine points, and no one outside of leading receiver Brandin Cooks (9 catches, 112 yards) didn't do much. Anthony Miller caught the lone touchdown.

Defensively, Houston is a strong unit with linebackers Zach Cunningham (league-high 191 tackles since 2020) and Christian Kirksey (10 last week). But this will be a tough test for a defense that has questions in the secondary. Vernon Hargreaves will be busy shadowing Stefon Diggs all day.

Prediction


Houston is still a ways away from getting back to playoff contention, and this won't be an easy time for Mills and the offense. The Bills are 12-2 in their last 14 straight up as a home favorite, and I don't blame anyone for thinking they can carry that Washington performance against a worst offense this week. Bills by 21

Betting trends


The Texans are 3-10 straight up in their last 13 as a road underdog, but 6-7 against the spread.

Buffalo is 20-4 in its last 24 straight up as a favorite, 8-6 ATS as a home favorite.

Players to watch


Texans: If there was ever a time for the Texans to utilize the running game, it’d be this week. Mark Ingram II has 210 yards from scrimmage and three rushing touchdowns in two games vs. Buffalo.

Bills: Stefon Diggs has been a godsend for the Bills since coming over from Minnesota. He is looking to reach 60 receiving yards for the ninth consecutive game. Since last season, Diggs leads the league in catches (146) and yards (1,726).

Statistical leaders


Texans:
Passing: Davis Mills -- 270 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Mark Ingram II -- 147 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: Brandin Cooks -- 322 yards, 1 TD
Defense: Justin Reid -- 2 INT

Bills:
Passing: Josh Allen -- 807 yards, 7 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Devin Singletary -- 180 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: Cole Beasley -- 194 yards
Defense: Gregory Rousseau -- 2 sacks

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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