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Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans Odds and Game Pick (2020)

by December 25, 2020

In one of the more lackluster matchups of NFL Week 16, we have the Cincinnati Bengals traveling to the Houston Texans. Currently, the Texans are the NFL odds favorites to win at home. However, the Bengals proved last week that they are capable of pulling off upsets.

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Bengals vs. Texans Odds and Info

All odds taken from FanDuel Sportsbook.

Game Odds

  • Opening Lines: HOU -8.5, O/U 46.5
  • Location: NRG Stadium — Houston, TX
  • Start Time: 1 p.m. EST
  • Coverage: FOX

View consensus odds, picks, and matchup notes from top betting experts for the Bengals vs. Texans >>


There were two big upsets in the NFL last week. The first was the Jets getting their first win of the season. Then, the Bengals won straight up against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ryan Finley started at quarterback and got the first win of his NFL career. He did not impress with his arm, completing just over half of his passes for 89 yards. However, he did scramble for 47 yards, which included a crucial touchdown at the end of the game. Cincinnati’s defense is a bit confusing. While they are second-worst in sacks per game (1.1), they are fourth-best in completion percentage allowed (62.37%). Still, Ben Roethlisberger made them look better than they actually were last week, missing wide-open receivers all night.

The Texans, while also bad, are the opposite of the Bengals. While they no longer have WR1 Will Fuller due to suspension, their offense is the strength of their team, thanks to Deshaun Watson. They are tied for fourth-best in average yards per play (6.1). Houston also has a league-best 8.1 yards per pass attempt, though some of this is due to game script. Still, Watson has kept this team competitive in games. He has completed nearly 70 percent of his passes for 4,134 yards, 27 touchdowns, and six interceptions. Watson has added another 394 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.

For as good as their offense is, their defense is just as terrible. They are tied for the second-worst yards per play allowed (6.1), bottom-10 in points per game allowed (27.6), worst in yards per rushing attempt (5.0) and they allowed the fifth-highest completion percentage (69.33%). This defense is much weaker than the one the Bengals just saw. However, Houston’s offense is also better than Pittsburgh’s.


  • The under has hit in each of the last five meetings between Cincinnati and Houston.
  • The under has hit in four of Cincinnati’s last five games.
  • Houston is 8-1 straight up in its last nine games against Cincinnati.

Prop Bet

All odds taken from FanDuel Sportsbook.

3rd Quarter Total: Under 10 (-134)
The story is the exact same for both of these teams in the third quarter this season. Clearly, there aren’t many halftime adjustments for the offense, as Houston averages 3.5 third-quarter points (No. 29), while Cincinnati averages 2.8 (No. 31). However, they defenses typically step up. Houston allows just 3.3 third-quarter points (T-No. 5), and Cincinnati allows 4.5 (No. 14).

Bottom Line

There is zero sign that Ryan Finley belongs in the NFL. He has a 48.7% completion rate for his career, which includes a 53.1% performance last week. While Houston’s defense is terrible, Finley would go three and out a couple of times on open air. Then, Cincinnati’s defense is better than you would expect, but nowhere near as good as Pittsburgh made them look. Deshaun Watson should have little issue moving the ball on them at home. I don’t think the Bengals are capable of scoring enough points to keep this game within eight.

Pick: Texans -7.5

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Zach Brunner is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Zach, check out his archive and follow his work at FlurrySports.

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