The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host the Houston Texans in the first of 3 NFL games on Saturday to get Week 16 underway. Kickoff is set for 1:00 EST at Raymond James Stadium and will be televised on the NFL Network.
Oddsmakers opened up this line at a pick’em, but early money has poured in on Houston and the Texans are now sitting at -3. The total opened at 53 and has been bet down as low as 50, though most books are at 50.5.
Click here for a full look at the Week 16 NFL odds and for more links to our individual game previews.
Betting Odds & Vegas Game Preview: Texans vs Buccaneers
Houston Texans (9-5 SU 7-7 ATS)
The Texans took control of the AFC South with a 24-21 win at Tennessee in Week 15, but still have work to do to ensure a trip to the playoffs. Houston is just 1-game in front of the Titans and must turn around and play Tennessee at home in Week 17.
The good news is that the Texans will own the tie-breaker over the Titans, which means a win over Tampa Bay and they are in. They could also clinch the division title with a loss if Tennessee were to lose at home to the Saints on Sunday.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-7 SU, 5-8 ATS)
The Bucs deserve a lot of credit for how they have been playing. It would have been really easy for Tampa Bay to throw in the towel after a miserable 2-6 start to the season. Instead this team is headed to Week 16 riding a 4-game winning streak after last week’s 38-17 blowout win at Detroit.
Unfortunately for the Bucs their big turnaround won’t be enough to get into the playoffs, even if they were to win out and finish 9-7. Tampa Bay wasn’t officially eliminated until after the conclusion of Week 15, so it will be interesting to see if they can keep the momentum going.
Free NFL Betting Pick & Predictions: Over 50
If I had to take a side here I would probably take the points with Tampa Bay. I just think a lot of people look at the fact that Houston has everything to play for and the Bucs are eliminated from the playoffs and just automatically look to back the Texans. I just think Tampa Bay is playing too well right now and I believe they are going to be motivated to not only keep winning, but also to play spoiler.
Click on the link for more free NFL picks from our expert handicappers on staff.
With that said, I have a much stronger feeling in this game on the OVER at 50. At this point it’s almost automatic to lean OVER in any game involving the Buccaneers, as it’s cashed in 11 of their 14 games this season.
There’s even more reason to like the OVER when you factor in how these two teams match up against one another.
Houston has a very balanced offensive attack. Texans rank 7th in rushing (130.9 ypg) and 11th in passing (245.0 ypg). Key here is they will be forced to throw it against this Tampa defense, as the Bucs are allowing a league-low 73.3 rushing yards/game. The good news is Deshaun Watson should have no problem exploiting a TB defense that ranks 30th against the pass (276.8 ypg).
On the flip side of this, the Bucs offense is riding the arm of Jameis Winston for better or worse. It’s resulted in Tampa Bay ranking 28th in rushing (91.4) and 1st in passing (308.8 ypg). While interceptions continue to haunt Winston, he’s coming in having thrown for 914 yards and 8 touchdowns in his last two games. He should stay hot, as the Texans are 28th against the pass (266.1 ypg) and have had a lot more trouble defending the pass since J.J. Watt went down. Give me the OVER 50!