$1500 Bengals +5
Texans regressed as the season progressed, losing 3 of their last 4 and failing to get a first round bye that seemed all but certain a month ago. It's hard to tell how this Texans team is going to react, but they are at home so that should help them a bit here. What I like the most about the Bengals tho is their front 7, and their ability to stop the run and get pressure on opposing Qb. This Bengals team is playing with tons of confidence as they have won 7 of 8 SU and ATS. They also have some weapons on offense that I think will cause some trouble for this Texans defense.
Bengals Offense vs. Texans Defense:
Bengals aren't the greatest offensive team but they can hit the big play every now and then with AJ Green outside. The big thing for this offense is to make sure they don't turn it over, because they have a defense that can keep them in any game. The Bengals will likely try to establish their running game, although I don't think they are going to have too much success agains this Texans front 7. I will note that this Texans run defense hasnt been nearly as good in the last month as they were in the beginning of the year. I'm counting on Andy Dalton and these receivers to take advantage of this shaky Texans secondary. If they can put up around 20 points, and not give the game away by turning it over, I think the Bengals pull the upset here.
Texans Offense vs. Bengals Defense:
As I said before, it has all started to fall apart for the Texans, and that includes this offensives ability to put points on the board. In the last 4 games the Bengals have only put up 65 points, a average of around 16 per game. That's not a good recipe for getting wins. It's seemed that opposing defense have figured our this Texans offense, which is predicated on a strong running game and the using Play action for big chunks down the field. They have failed tho in recent weeks to establish their running game early, and teams aren't biting on the play action when they use it. Also they are limited in their use of play action because they are getting into longer down and distances. Making this team into a drop back passing team is an advantage for the Bengals here. The Bengals defense, excluding the game against Bmore last week when the game was being played with the second string, hasn't allowed more than 100 yards on the ground in the past 6 weeks. They are also getting pressure on opposing Qb and getting sacks. This pressure is leading to turnovers as well. I'm taking the hot team here with the Bengals. Bengals win 23-20.