O/U 43, down a full point from the opener. In moneyline odds betting the Texans are trading between -220 ($1.45) up to -200 ($1.50) while the Bengals are priced between +170 ($2.70) up to +185 ($2.85).
Where is the money going? Well, early wager counts from a leading offshore sportsbook reveals that around 52% of point spread wagers are on the Bengals (+4.5). In the moneyline odds market Cincinnati are attracting close to 61% of wagers while the over under bet is sitting at 49% and 51% respectively.
Matt Schaub and the Texans finished the regular season with a 12-4 record, having gone 1-3 over the last four weeks. Houston has averaged 26 points per game while conceding an average of 20.69 for a positive point's differential of +5.31. They have a 6-2 home record with a +8.63 points differential. Recent results for Houston include losses against the Colts (16-28), Vikings (6-23) and Patriots (14-42) and a win against the Colts (29-17). In NFL wagering results the Texans ended the regular season with a 9-7 (+$155) point spread record, +$79 profit against the opening moneyline odds and they went 7-9 in over under results.
The Bengals are one of the hottest teams in the NFL right now having finished the season with 7 wins from their last eight games. Cincinnati finished with a 10-6 record having averaged 24.44 points on offense while allowing an average of 20 points on defense for a differential of +4.44. Andy Dalton and Co. traveled well this season as their 6-2 road record and +4.50 points differential shows. The Bengals last four games have seen them defeat the Ravens (23-17), Steelers (13-10) and Eagles (34-13) and go down to the Cowboys by a point (19-20). In NFL Point Spread Results Cincinnati are 9-6-1 (+$255), against the opening money line odds they are +$321 (for $100 bets each week) and they went 6-10 in over under betting.
History between Texans v Bengals - As the above table shows, Houston have had the better of the last three regular season encounters between these two teams. They also met in this very same wild card game last year where Houston prevailed (31-10) as -4 point spread favorites at moneyline odds of -226 ($1.44). The over under total for that game opened at O/U39 and closed at O/U38 with the combined total of 41 points going over by 3. Over their last 4 meetings the average game total is 41.5, the winning team has covered the point spread on all occasions and Houston have gone 4-0 straight up and against the spread.
The Verdict - Well there is no denying that it is the Cincinnati Bengals who head into this game with the better momentum, they have also traveled well. Do we see any value here? Not by our handicapping numbers, our no vig pricing has Houston around -208 ($1.48) and the Bengals around +208 ($3.08) with a point spread of around 5.5. So we agree with the sportsbooks odds and lines and will leave this one alone.