Browns vs Texans Prediction & Pick: NFL Wild Card Odds & Preview

Browns vs Texans Prediction & Pick: NFL Wild Card Odds & Preview article feature image

Action Network Design Team. Pictured: Joe Flacco (left) and C.J. Stroud (right).

Browns vs Texans Prediction & Pick: NFL Wild Card Odds & Preview

Saturday, Jan. 13
4:30 p.m. ET
Devin Singletary Under 66.5 Rushing Yards (-110)

The NFL Wild Card Round begins on Saturday, where we'll start things off with the Cleveland Browns taking on the Houston Texans. What better way to kick off the playoffs than with our Browns vs Texans prediction and pick and NFL Wild Card preview?

The latest NFL Wild Card odds for Browns vs Texans have the Browns installed as 2-point favorites on the spread with an over/under of 45 total points. However, my Browns vs Texans pick for the NFL Wild Card Round is on a player prop.

Pick: Devin Singletary Under 66.5 Rushing Yards

My pick focuses on Devin Singletary, who had a breakout season in 2023 but now faces the task of going up against arguably the best defensive line in the NFL this season. The Texans' top RB has his yardage prop at a reasonable 65.5 yards, but I think there is a chance this number is still underselling how good Cleveland's defensive front is.

Let's get to my NFL Wild Card preview for the opener of this weekend's slate of games.

Browns vs Texans Prediction

Pick: Devin Singletary Under 66.5 Rushing Yards (-110)

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Browns vs Texans Odds

Monday, Jan. 15
8:15 p.m. ET
Browns Odds
-110o / -110u
Texans Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Browns vs. Texans Preview

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Browns and Texans match up statistically:

Browns vs. Texans DVOA Breakdown
Overall DVOA2816
Pass DVOA2723
Rush DVOA232
Overall DVOA142
Pass DVOA102
Rush DVOA304

We already watched these two teams match up less than a month ago, with Cleveland putting on an impressive showing. However, the context of that game was much different, as rookie phenom quarterback C.J. Stroud was stuck watching from the sidelines with a concussion while the Browns defense brutalized Case Keenum and Davis Mills.

With Stroud back in the lineup, the Texans now stand a fighting chance, but it remains to be seen whether the rookie will be able to take care of business in the first playoff game of his young career while facing one of the best defenses in the league.

This Cleveland defensive line has arguably been the best in the NFL this season. It ranks first in ESPN’s run-stop win rate and second in pass rush win rate. The Browns also have the highest-graded pass-rushing unit in the league, according to PFF.

This Cleveland defense has been historically good. It is first in success rate allowed and EPA per play allowed, with its biggest strength coming against the pass where it is also first in those two categories.

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Browns vs Texans Picks | FanDuel

I'm bullish on this Cleveland run defense this weekend. Singletary has not been an overly efficient running back in his career. Even amid a career year, he is averaging just 4.16 yards per carry. In only one game this season has he exceeded five yards per carry.

In Week 16 against Cleveland, Singletary carried the ball just nine times for 44 yards in a negative game script. While he should see a higher workload this weekend, I don't see him being efficient enough on those carries to go over 65.5 yards.

Only five times this season (sans Week 18) has an opposing running back eclipsed this number against the Browns defense. The backs to do so were Jonathan Taylor, Kyren Williams, Breece Hall, Kenneth Walker III and Jaylen Warren.

I’d argue all of those backs are superior to Singletary in terms of talent, and most of them required plenty of carries to get to that number. Their teams also mostly skew towards the run and don’t have a talented quarterback to rely on (besides Matthew Stafford), leaving the run game as their only outlet to attack this Cleveland defense.

Singletary himself has only gone over 65 yards in four games this year. These instances all came in games in which Singletary received at least 16 carries (including at least 22 carries in three of them).

Those matchups were against two bottom-five run defenses in terms of Success Rate (Cleveland and Arizona) and twice against Tennessee, which ranks 13th in this metric. Additionally, Jeffery Simmons was out for both of those Titans games, making Singletary's performance less impressive.

Houston has also been dealing with injuries along its offensive line for much of the season. This weekend's combo of Shaq Mason, Laremy Tunsil, Michael Deiter, Juice Scruggs and Charlie Heck has not been their best unit this season. That group has accounted for 7.7% of Houston's offensive snaps and is averaging -0.11 EPA per play. The latter three listed all have below-average PFF run-blocking grades on the season, which may also spell trouble this weekend.

Browns vs. Texans Pick & Prediction

Cleveland is currently a 2.5-point favorite on the road. If the Browns are able to get into a positive game script, that makes it even more likely that Singletary will not get the requisite workload to go over his rushing yards total.

This Cleveland defensive line is one of the best we have seen in some time. I believe they will be able to stuff the Texans’ rushing attack on early downs and keep Singletary in check. I like taking the under on his yardage at 65.5 and would take this down to 64.

Pick: Devin Singletary Under 65.5 Rushing Yards

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