Houston Texans vs. Buffalo Bills Matchup Preview (10/3/21): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)

Houston Texans vs. Buffalo Bills Matchup Preview (10/3/21)

With Week 3 came regression to the mean, as the Texans came back down to Earth and the Bills proved how good they can be.

Recent news has Tyrod Taylor missing up to four weeks with his hamstring, so Davis Mills will be under center in Houston for the foreseeable future. That doesn’t bode well for the Texans, but it wasn’t all bad for him last Thursday.

Given the performance of these teams last week, the Bills have opened as whopping 16.5-point favorites. They’re probably worthy of the line, but does it mean that Buffalo is an auto-bet?

Perhaps there’s a more profitable angle we can find. Let’s dive into this Week 4 matchup between Houston and Buffalo.

Houston Texans vs. Buffalo Bills Betting Odds

This line opened at Buffalo -14, but as over 60% of the bets and 80% of the handle rolls in on Houston, the line has moved to Buffalo -16.5.

That feels like typical reverse line movement, and therefore I want to back Buffalo in this game. However, I think 16.5 points is a tad high and leaves too much room for a back-door cover.

Through three weeks, the Buffalo defense is second in First Half Defense DVOA (-73%). Davis Mills is going to have a very tough time adjusting to the Bills’ defense, especially in the rowdy Buffalo environment, and I don’t see the Texans putting up points early. Meanwhile, Josh Allen and Co. could come out of the gate firing.

Right now, Fox Bet has Bills at -9.5 in the first half (-118), and that’s my favorite bet for this matchup. I think the first half ends at 14-0 or 17-3, although I wouldn’t play the Bills 1H at anything worse than -10.

My Predictions: Bills 1H -9.5 (-118 Fox Bet)

US States with Legal Sports Gambling

TV Schedule

Date: Sunday, October 3
Time: 1:00 PM ET
Location: Highmark Stadium – Buffalo, NY
TV Coverage: CBS

Houston Texans vs. Buffalo Bills Live Stream

Where can you watch Texans vs. Bills online? You can stream this game, and many other NFL games live online with Hulu. Hulu has a 7 Day free trial and is cheaper than cable options at $5.99/month. Watch Texans vs. Bills Free Online Now.

hulu free trial


Houston Texans: Justin Reid (Q), Terrance Marshall (Q)
Buffalo Bills: Jordan Poyer (Q)

Houston Texans Analysis

While they managed to cover in Weeks 1 and 2, the Texans finally suffered their first against the spread (ATS) defeat on Thursday Night Football last week. Houston entered the game as eight-point underdogs and left as 16-point losers.

The defense didn’t play well, but the offense is entirely to blame. The Texans managed less than 200 yards of total offense, compiling 14 first downs but going 1-for-10 on third and fourth down. The ground attack got nothing going, as Mark Ingram II led all Houston rushers with 21 yards.

Of course, the Houston offensive line isn’t doing the backfield any favors. They’re one of the worst teams in the league in Adjusted Line Yards, and they were overpowered by a talented Carolina front seven.

For what it’s worth, I didn’t think Mills played all that awful considering expectations. He was sacked four times but managed to complete 19 of his 28 passes for over six yards per attempt. He even recorded a 1:0 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

He did so by throwing the ball to Brandin Cooks, over and over. He was targeted 11 times and caught nine of them for a whopping 112 yards, including this beauty at the end of the first half that went for 30:


Through three weeks, Cooks has recorded 38% of Houston’s Target Marketshare. With Davis Mills under center, that number was 55% in Week 2 and 44% in Week 3. Cooks is going to get a lot of action in this offense, and I think he’s about to record his fourth 1000-yard season with his fourth different team.

The secondary continues to be an issue in Houston, as they allowed Sam Darnold to light them up 300 yards at nearly eight yards per play. He completed 34 passes to nine different targets, with six of them recording multiple catches.

Houston Texans Depth Chart

QB: Davis Mills
RB1: Mark Ingram II
RB2: David Johnson
WR1: Chris Conley
WR2: Anthony Miller
WR3: Brandin Cooks
TE1: Jordan Akins

Buffalo Bills Analysis

After being embarrassed in Week 1, the Bills outscored Miami and Washington 78-21. And despite underperforming in his first two contests, Allen completed 75% of his passes for 358 yards and four touchdowns against a supposedly elite Washington defense.

The offense managed over 480 yards in total while converting on 9 of their 15 third-down opportunities, and it wasn’t Buffalo’s best unit. That distinction goes to the defense, which thoroughly and completely dominated Taylor Heinicke and Co.

If it wasn’t for a miracle 73-yard touchdown by Antonio Gibson and a muffed punt by Buffalo, this score would’ve been even more lopsided. Washington managed 13 first downs and under 300 yards of total offense. Buffalo held the Football Team to just 3-for-13 on third and fourth down, and they forced three turnovers in the process.

This was cool:

But other than that, Heinicke looked lost. He completed just 14 of his 24 passes, and if you take away Gibson’s 73-yard score on a screen pass, Heinicke would’ve totaled just 139 yards.

Heinicke added 21 yards on the ground, but only for a measly 2.6 yards per carry.

But back to the Buffalo defense — This unit now ranks second in Defense DVOA. Buffalo ranks third in Pass Defense DVOA, and although the Bills rank just 7th in Rush Defense DVOA, they also are top five in Defense Adjusted Line Yards.

Between a top defense and an elite quarterback, Buffalo is going to win a lot of games. Buffalo might even win the Super Bowl, and that might be a good bet at +700 on DraftKings.

Buffalo Bills Depth Chart

QB: Josh Allen
RB1: Devin Singletary
RB2: Zack Moss
WR1: Cole Beasley
WR2: Emmanuel Sanders
WR3: Stefon Diggs
TE1: Dawson Knox

Houston Texans vs. Buffalo Bills Daily Fantasy Picks

Cooks is my favorite DFS play. As I mentioned, when Mills drops back to back, he’s looking towards Cooks about half the time. Cooks is catching over 70% of those targets at 14 yards per reception, and he’s averaging over 100 yards per game through the first three weeks. Given Houston’s offensive woes, I think he’ll be undervalued again this week. Although he doesn’t have much touchdown potential, Cooks is going to fill up the box score.

Week 4 Matchup Previews
  • Bills @ Rams
  • Saints @ Falcons
  • Browns @ Panthers
  • 49ers @ Bears
  • Steelers @ Bengals
  • Eagles @ Lions
  • Colts @ Texans
  • Patriots @ Dolphins
  • Ravens @ Jets
  • Jaguars @ Commanders
  • Giants @ Titans
  • Chiefs @ Cardinals
  • Raiders @ Chargers
  • Packers @ Vikings
  • Buccaneers @ Cowboys
  • Broncos @ Seahawks
Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

Hot NFL Matchup Previews Stories