NFL Wild Card Betting: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Houston Texans Odds, Prediction, and Pick

Cincinnati Bengals

This weekends opening NFL Wild Card match-up features two teams who you can bet that quite a few people are surprised are even in the playoffs in the first place.  The Houston Texans were definitely a favorite when the season kicked off, as they were a team with quite a bit of talent, but things went south as injuries completely hit this team harder than you could imagine.  The Cincinnati Bengals on the other hand, literally had an over/under on their total wins for this season set at four.  The team obviously excelled past that thanks to two rookies in quarterback Andy Dalton and wide out AJ Green.  So what does this add up to?  One of the most talked about games of the opening weekend of the NFL playoffs.  What really makes this game interesting is the fact that these two teams enter the playoffs as the underdogs to make deep runs, and this adds up to an excellent opening game in Houston.

The Houston Texans have waited a long time to be able to host a playoff game, and they’ll get to do just that this weekend.  While they lost two quarterbacks to injury this year in Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart, and they also lost stars Mario Williams for the season, and Andre Johnson for quite a while during this season.  Heck, this team even saw defensive coordinator Wade Phillips have to have surgery to miss a few weeks.  They’ve rebounded incredibly though, and they were led by rookie TJ Yates and running back Arian Foster to the point that they are at currently.  The team still put together an impressive 10-6 record, which leads to a huge game on Saturday.

How about those Cincinnati Bengals though?  On top of just Dalton and Green, running back Cedric Benson has been strong, and he’s been the veteran who had to prepare for one of the toughest seasons in front of him.  Instead of that, the veteran gets a chance to head into the playoffs and make some noise.  Sleeping on this Bengals team would be the wrong thing to do, and you can bet that Marvin Lewis will have his team ready to go this weekend.

Odds and Sports Betting Line

Cincinnati Bengals: +3

Houston Texans: -3

Free Prediction

Both teams started the year incredibly well, but both of these teams had their struggles throughout the season also.  What stands out most here though is the fact that the Texans suffered a three game losing streak to finish the year.  They’ll need to turn that around quickly in order to get a first round playoff win this weekend.  I don’t think it will happen though, as this offense has struggled quite a bit down the stretch.  I think that the Bengals offense does enough to win the game on the road, but it’ll be a close one.  Bengals by four here.

Prediction:  Cincinnati Bengals- 28 Houston Texans- 24

Free Pick

I’m surprised that the Texans are favored here, but you could really make a case for either side.  I’m siding with the team who has already surprised a few people this season in the Bengals.  I’m not only going to be picking the Cincinnati Bengals to cover the +3, but I’m going to get a small bet on them straight as well.

Pick:  Cincinnati Bengals +3

BONUS Pick:  Cincinnati Bengals STRAIGHT at +155