Thursday Night Football: Texans vs Bengals Prop Bets to Target
Football returns on Thursday, as week two of the 2017 NFL season arrives with a showdown between the Houston Texans and Cincinnati Bengals.
Both sides will be hard-pressed to get a win after rough week one losses, while Vegas is presently favoring the Bengals (-275), per BetOnline.
Calling that game straight up or against the spread won’t be easy and in a lot of ways, this TNF kicks off week two with one of the toughest games on the schedule.
While we certainly want to gauge the prospects of betting on the actual game, there might be easier paths to monetary gain on Thursday night.
You can research what the best bet is for this game’s Total, spread and straight up pick, but it’s a weird one and we might just prefer to roll with some fun prop bets.
The best NFL prop bets are either engaging or present interesting value, or they actually provide a mixture of both. We can’t always get both, but due to a litany of Texans vs. Bengals prop bets over at BetOnline, we can surely pick our spots.
Here’s a look at our favorite prop bets for Thursday Night Football:
Will There Be a Defensive TD?
Probably. Deshaun Watson is a rookie making his first start of his career and Andy Dalton was straight up garbage (4 picks) in week one. Jacksonville got a defensive score on Houston in week one and Baltimore probably should have against Cincy.
BetOnline doesn’t love the odds of it happening, however:
- Yes +190
- No -230
Defensive touchdowns are tough to predict and overall fairly rare, so we get BetOnline’s hesitance here. However, there is logic for a pretty crummy game producing a defensive touchdown. When you also factor in special teams, we like the upside of the “yes” side of this bet.
Will There Be a Safety?
Again, this is set up as a pretty low-scoring defensive battle. Opportunity is key here, as you generally need the ball at your own 5 or worse to get a safety, but if the ball is there, both defenses have the ability to pull it off.
- Yes +1000
- No -1500
We can’t know if there will even be a remote chance for a safety to be pulled off, but when you think of the Texans and Bengals, doesn’t it only make sense that this game would start off with a safety?
The upside and logic point to a nice flier bet, but ultimately we’d bet against it due to how rare safeties typically are.
We’re Going to OT
Another fun bet is whether or not we get an overtime period in this game. It really isn’t that illogical, as the Texans and Bengals have played each other rather close in their short history and both teams will badly want this win.
Without many points being put on the board, it’s not crazy to think these teams will keep things tight until late and keep the door open for an OT battle:
- Yes +1000
- No -1500
This is another great spot to chase the value, as an OT game could easily be in the cards. That also bleeds into our next prop bet, but if we’re playing it safe, we’d probably go against this bet.
Game Ends in a Tie
Sure, why not? The Bengals and Texans are both terrible enough offensively and have enough talent on defense to smash each other’s heads in and accomplish absolutely nothing.
Ties aren’t very common, but it’s going to be tough to ignore the upside with throwing caution to the wind here:
- Yes, game ends tied +4000
- No -10000
Okay, no, we don’t actually believe we get a tie here, but what’s the harm in a flier bet? At +4000 you don’t have to invest much to get a solid return and these teams could very easily give us that end result.
Logic still points toward someone winning on Thursday, but tossing $10 to $20 on a bet with that upside makes sense.
Will There Be a Kick Return TD?
Thursday night games are horrendous when we factor in competition, time to plan, fresh players and impressive talent. But they usually are good for some random happenings.
One of those could easily end up being a kick return for a score and if it happens, we could be looking at a big payout:
- Yes +2000
- No -5000
Alex Erickson is a pretty good return man for the Bengals and makes this a bet to consider. He did chip in an 84-yard kick return at one point in 2016 and averaged 27.9 yards per return. He’s no lock to do anything similar after notching one return for 11 yards last week, but he has the speed and vision to give us a realistic out.
On Houston’s side, we’re probably looking at Tyler Ervin, who is considerably less imposing.
Overall, a return is possible and the value is through the roof, but it feels like a pipe dream. Still, +2000 offers a nice payout, so it’s another prop bet to consider dropping a small bet on.
Margin of Victory
I like this one a lot for two reasons; there is a ton of betting options and both of these teams lost by 20+ points last week. Offensively, the Bengals are the safer play because they have the better quarterback, more general talent on offense and will be at home.
The two most interesting bets are keeping it simple either way and betting right around that same 20-point window:
- Bengals to win by 19-24 pts +1200
- Texans to win by 19-24 points +2000
It gets even crazier if you want to target a massive blowout. Houston winning by 37+ points would yield insane +10000 odds, while the Bengals winning by that wide of a margin would bring +5000 odds to the table.
Any bet here feels safer on Cincy’s side, but the Texans offer more upside as the obvious underdog. Ultimately, we anticipate a tight game in what should be a defensive battle. Cincinnati might be the better team right now and they’re at home, so they make plenty of sense to roll with by a touchdown.
The funny part? We still get the Bengals at a solid value in this bet, while their regular -6.5 spread only returns a -113 line.
Player Matchup – More Passing Yards
We’re losing value here, but this is a fun prop bet and you can base your bet on knowledge and data more than just guesswork:
- Deshaun Watson – Texans (+20.5 yds) -110
- Andy Dalton – Bengals (-20.5 yds) -110
The upside is non-existent here, but Dalton is the more polished player and he’s at home, so we’d take him to beat Watson in the yardage department. The 21-yard spread is doable and the best part is we’re not even being asked to bet Dalton will have a lot of yardage.
Player Matchup – More Receiving Yards
We get a similar bet with two stud wide receivers duking it out for yardage tonight:
- DeAndre Hopkins – Texans (+5.5 yds) -110
- J. Green – Bengals (-5.5) -110
I’m not sure how much we can trust Deshaun Watson to get the ball to his main man on the road against a solid defense.
Dalton at least funnels targets to Green relentlessly. Both receivers can spring big plays and make plays down the field, but in the end, Green gets our vote.
First Touchdown Scored
This seriously could be a game where we don’t get any touchdowns, but for the sake of these prop bets, we’ll assume somebody scores. There are a lot of options to consider here, but here are the ones that make the most sense:
- Lamar Miller – Texans +1000
- DeAndre Hopkins – Texans +1200
- Deshaun Watson – Texans +2000
- J. Green – Bengals +800
- Jeremy Hill – Bengals +1200
- Giovani Bernard – Bengals +1200
- Joe Mixon – Bengals +1400
- Tyler Eifert – Bengals +1400
- Andy Dalton – Bengals +2500
There are more options to consider, but these are our favorite picks. Of this group, the one that stands out the most in terms of value and upside is Tyler Eifert.
Eifert was not used much in week one and it wouldn’t be shocking for the Bengals to try to make up for that. With Houston focused on stopping A.J. Green and top inside linebacker Brian Cushing out (concussion), I think Eifert could be active in the red-zone tonight.
Andy Dalton Interception Total
Dalton was awful in week one and tossed four picks. We get a very small Total to bet on here, as BetOnline asks us to gauge if he’ll throw one at all:
- Over 0.5 picks -160
- Under 0.5 picks +140
The obvious value lies with betting Dalton doesn’t turn the ball over through the air, but I don’t love the logic and I actually don’t mind the -160 line the other way.
In six games against the Texans, Dalton has refrained from tossing an interception just once. His history in this matchup combined with what we saw out of him last week makes the Over the easy call.
That does it for our look at the top Texans vs. Bengals prop bets. Obviously, a lot of these bets carry considerable risk and some don’t really offer that much upside. Mixing them up and taking some chances could be in order, but it’s a small price to pay to spice up what could otherwise be a pretty ugly game.