Ravens vs Texans Odds, Picks, Player Props | NFL Best Bets

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Ravens vs Texans Odds, Picks, Player Props: NFL Playoffs Best Bets

Saturday, Jan. 20
4:30 p.m. ET
Ravens Odds
-110o / -110u
Texans Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

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Ravens vs Texans Pick

By Stuckey

I like the Ravens for the full game, but I prefer the first half (1H) a bit more for a few reasons I'll mention below.

First, with two weeks to prepare, Baltimore will obviously come into this game much healthier than the Texans, who are already undermanned in the secondary and at wide receiver, and dealing with some injuries at defensive end.

Under John Harbaugh, the Ravens have historically excelled with extra prep time, but I think it's even more of a benefit this season due to the quality of both coordinators, who have consistently come up with excellent game plans all season. It's one of the reasons why the Ravens have an average margin of victory of over two touchdowns against the eight playoff teams they faced (removing the finale with backups against the Steelers).

Defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald has customized his weekly game plans based on the opponent more than any other coordinator in the league. The Ravens have no real identity on defense — this makes them flexible, versatile and tough for opponents to scheme against.

For this particular matchup, I'm assuming Baltimore goes with a more man-heavy approach since C.J. Stroud has had significantly more success against zone. I expect plenty of exotic blitzes and simulated pressures to confuse the young signal-caller into a key mistake or two, especially since Baltimore can consistently generate pressure, which is paramount against the outstanding Ohio State product.

On the other side of the ball, I expect the Ravens to come out with an aggressive, pass-heavy approach since the Texans have fared exponentially better against the run. On the season, Houston ranks first in Success Rate against the run compared to 19th against the pass. And that doesn't even account for the fact that Houston faced almost no elite passing offenses to date.

In fact, the only offense ranked in the top 10 in EPA per Play that Houston has faced this season was Baltimore in Week 1 (a 25-9 loss), but even that was a Ravens offense playing their first game in a brand new scheme.

Some other notes to chew on:

  • Over the last 10 weeks, the only playoff quarterback Houston faced was Joe Flacco.
  • Besides Lamar Jackson, Baker Mayfield was the only other quarterback ranked inside the top 16 in EPA.

Conversely, the Ravens finished as the top defense in the league even with a top-five schedule and seeing eight of the top 16 quarterbacks in EPA.

Facing this Baltimore offense might be a shock to the system, especially since Houston plays an abundance of zone and doesn't blitz at a high frequency. That's not an ideal formula for success against Jackson, who has absolutely carved up zone defenses in Todd Monken's system, completing over 70% of his passes with an EPA per dropback of 0.1 and success rate north of 50%.

He also scrambled more with better success against zone, which might seem counterintuitive, but Jackson's speed negates logic when it comes to scrambling. Teams also tend to struggle more earlier in the game adjusting to required angles against Jackson, which is one of the reasons he has fared so well in the first half against the spread historically.

Even with an extremely easy schedule (bottom five) of opposing offenses, Houston graded out as one of the worst tackling teams in the league. That's not ideal in freezing cold temperatures for a dome team against this potent offense that may even get Mark Andrews back in some capacity.

Additionally, Houston has started slow all season, with last week being a clear exception rather than the rule. It ranked 20th in first-quarter scoring (Baltimore fourth) compared to ninth in the fourth quarter.

Lastly, don't forget about the pretty substantial home-field advantage (with conditions) and superior special teams for Baltimore.

For what it's worth, Jackson is the most profitable quarterback in NFL history in the 1H. He has gone a ridiculous 50-25-2 (66.7%) ATS in the 1H, covering by a field goal per game on average. Meanwhile, Harbaugh is the most profitable coach in NFL history in the 1H with an ATS record of 148-108-3 (59%).

There's obviously some overlap there, but Harbaugh is still 98-78-6 (55.7%) if you remove Jackson, including 7-2 against the number in Tyler Huntley starts.

Pick: Ravens First Half -5.5 (-115) | Play to -6.5 (-110)

Ravens vs Texans Player Props

QB C.J. Stroud

Over 239.5 Passing Yards (-110)

By Sam Farley

I understand why some would fade Stroud against one of the best defenses in the NFL, but I believe the quality and reputation of Baltimore's defense just allows us to squeeze more value out of Stroud props. It’s a strategy that worked last week against the Browns and I still believe that the market still hasn't gotten a handle of just how good the rookie signal-caller is.

Stroud's passing yards line stands at 239.5 — that’s a number that he’s covered in seven of his last nine outings, including that incredible Wild Card Round performance against Cleveland's stout defense.

The Texans have total belief in their young QB and I don’t think they’ll take it out of his hands now. Not only that, but if the Texans go down early and find themselves in a negative game script, it’s only going to encourage more passing.

Pick: C.J. Stroud Over 239.5 Passing Yards (-110)

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WR Nico Collins

Anytime Touchdown (+175 or better)

By Gilles Gallant

The Ravens defense is aggressive and typically likes to use man coverage, playing it above league average and playing zone at a bottom-10 rate. Well, we just saw last week what Texans WR Nico Collins does to man coverage as he finished with six catches and a touchdown.

As amazing as he has looked over the last couple of games, I'd still prefer to get at least +175 odds instead of +160.

Pick: Nico Collins Anytime Touchdown (+175 or better)

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