With both teams coming off wins that are impressive in their own way, the Houston Texans head up to Southern Ohio for a matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday (11/12/23) at 1 p.m. EST. Get Texans vs. Bengals odds, picks and predictions below as our best bet is Bengals -6..5
Texans vs Bengals Prediction
C.J. Stroud just posted one of the most impressive games you’ll see from a rookie quarterback, and one of the best by any QB this season. The Texans defense let him down by allowing Cade Otton to score a go-ahead touchdown to put the Tampa Bay Buccaneers up 37-33 with 46 seconds left. But Stroud was undeterred. The former Ohio State Buckeye drove Houston down the field, tossing a 15-yard pass to Tank Dell to seal the game with six seconds left.
Stroud got the job done with very little support from the Houston rushing offense. The same can be said for Joe Burrow in the Bengals’ huge win over the Buffalo Bills. The former Heisman winner has been on fire of late, as he’s topped a passer rating of 100 in three of his last four games. He had failed to do so once in the first four contests of the season. He’s through the health issues he was dealing with earlier, and looks to be back to his best self.
This matchup will be a real treat for locals as it pits native Ohioan and brief Buckeye Burrow against Stroud, a two-time Heisman finalist and Big Ten Quarterback of the Year at Ohio State. The two sides actually grade similarly in terms of advanced metrics. The Bengals are 11th in offensive, defensive and net DVOA. The Texans are ninth, 18th and 13th in those same metrics, respectively. Cincy is trending upwards after a tough start to the season, and just might be undervalued.
Whichever side you take, you’re buying high on a team coming off of an excellent win. But the Bengals’ tough start has deflated their pricing enough that they’re still a good value. Their line is also on the right side of the key number of seven, giving us a much more likely array of outcomes for Cincy to cover in a game that finishes with a margin somewhere around that number.
It’s hard to stop this Cincy passing game when everyone’s healthy, and it’s looking like they fare for the first time in a long time. With the defense stepping up as well of late, we’ll back the Bengals at home for another nice win.
Texans vs Bengals Prediction: Bengals -6.5
Texans vs Bengals Best Odds
The Bengals are -6.5 favorites at home, giving you the key half-point hook if they win by exactly a touchdown. They’re an even -300 on the moneyline, compared to +240 for the visiting Texans, and both sides of the scoring total of 48 are set at -110 to hit.
Texans vs Bengals Key Injuries
Superstar wideout Ja’Marr Chase is listed as questionable for Cincinnati. But Joe Burrow is looking healthier each week. For Houston, skill players Dameon Pierce and Robert Woods are both listed as questionable as well.
Texans vs Bengals Key Matchups
This game is going to be decided by who can gain air superiority. With excellent quarterbacks on both sides, and some seriously talented pass catchers as well, it’s going to be fascinating to see how each defense approaches this challenge.
Texans Passing Offense vs. Bengals Air Defense
Stroud is the centerpiece of the Houston air attack, but he’s far from alone. The Texans have their offensive line, anchored by the now-healthy Laremy Tunsil, to league-average per PFF, and they rank 10th in adjusted sack rate. PFF also gives their pass-catching group, which has been quietly excellent, the third-highest receiving grade in the league. Nico Collins has broken out, while Tank Dell has been the mid-round star many believed he could be.
The Bengals have struggled a bit in coverage after the losses of safeties Jessie Bates and Vonn Bell. But a solid pass rush has helped to soften the blow. They rank fifth in PFF’s pass rushing grade, and 10th in adjusted sack rate, headlined by Trey Hendrickson with eight sacks. He’s had some nice support from Sam Hubbard and D.J. Reader. As for that secondary, there are still some real questions, but safety Jordan Battle has filled in well for the departed starters.
Bengals Air Attack vs. Texans Pass Defense
Burrow has really started to get his act together as he’s become healthier in recent weeks. Over the Bengals’ four-game win streak, he’s tossed 10 touchdowns to just two picks while completing more than 75% of his passes for a QB passer rating of 111.2. He’s behind an improved offensive line that has allowed the league’s third-best adjusted sack rate, and is throwing to a hyper-talented wide receiver room. Ja’Marr Chase leads the way and a finally-healthy Tee Higgins is perhaps the league’s best second option.
The Houston pass defense is an improved group in many ways. But as we saw last week when they were sliced and diced by Baker Mayfield in crunch time, they still have a ways to go before they’re taking down superstars and contenders. The pass rush has achieved the league’s 11th-best pressure rate despite the team blitzing at the 25th-highest rate. The coverage group ranks eighth in PFF’s rankings. The Bengals are more talented. This game could be a problem for Houston.